• The Hopefulist

Never lose your sense of wonder

One thing that really pumps up gratitude is to indulge your sense of wonder. If you look around there are so many things that are so much bigger than us that make the world go round. Just that the world is going round is a wonder in itself. The sun comes up and goes down everyday. The tides come in and go out. The flowers grow. The weeds sneak through cracks in the pavement. And that's just nature!

Think about your body and all that it takes to keep it alive and moving everyday. What a wonder! It's fascinating when you think about it. I walk without even thinking about it. I just intend to move my body and it does it. We breathe naturally just to keep ourselves alive. And think about how much we abuse our bodies and they still keep doing what we tell it to do. It won't always though so I hope you are kind to it. Treat it well with good foods and activity.

Think about your life and the path you have followed. Do you ever think about how different it may look if you made a different decision at one point in your life. One of my favorite examples of this is when I started a job based in Manahawkin, New Jersey while still living in Philadelphia. I took my time looking for a place to live while I commuted for the first few months. Most of my co-workers lived in Toms River which was about a half hour away from the studio. Since I worked mornings and had to be up early I typically liked to live as close to work as possible. Right down the street was Long Beach Island. I had always wanted to live at the shore for a summer so I thought maybe year round would be good too. I had it narrowed down to a place in Toms River, where I would be close to the people I worked with OR a place on the island that was right on the bay with an amazing view. It's worth noting that the apartment in Toms River was much nicer. The apartment I ultimately rented on Long Beach Island was a bit of a shack. But I knew I could decorate it to look better and I figured I would just look out the window at the view.

I obviously picked the place on Long Beach Island where I didn't know anyone. But within a few months I had met some people and started making friends. That first summer I got a job as a bartender at one of the local hangouts and met so many people that I am still friends with today. I took a chance. And now I live in the same area full time. Because I love the shore. I love being by the water. I knew that about myself. I knew my love of that could override just about anything else. My four years living on the island were the best years of my life up until that point. I had a ton of friends and was out and about often. I become more active by riding my bike all over the island and I started kayaking. I was a social butterfly and I loved it. But I often wonder, where would I be right now if I had chosen the apartment in Toms River. Would my love of the shore still won out and I would have moved here anyway to settle in for the long term? I'm thinking it wouldn't be the same. I certainly wouldn't know the people I know now. What would have happened if I hadn't screwed up my courage and asked for a bartending job where I ultimately met most of the people in my life now. When I think about these questions I sort of marvel at the way things worked out. I love living where I live and it contributes to my happiness considerably.

Have you made some missteps on your path? Are there things that you wish you would have done differently? It isn't too late to make changes. It may be harder now but it isn't impossible. Life can be so short and end in a moments notice. Do what you can to be happy right now so you can have as much gratitude in your life as possible. And if you are where you want to be...feel the gratitude. Reminding yourself of what you love about your life is so powerful in truly enjoying your time on earth. I never take where I live for granted. I still get excited every time I see the sky turn pink right before sunrise. I love the sunsets. Seeing the water first thing in the morning still makes me smile.

What is it in your life that brings you the most happiness? Are you taking it a little bit for granted? Do you feel like some things are just a given at this point? Sit back and remember how much a wonder this earth is. How things can change in an instant. How life can take so many different turns...in good and bad ways. So, take stock. What do you want more of? What do you want less of? Get on it!

It's Taco Tuesday! And by the way, we did have tacos last Tuesday! Not today though. I hope you get a chance for a healthy one. Now go be your badass self and of course, I'm cheering you on!

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