A couple days late (of course..), but the post for the month of June is going to be a little different. I decided to take on a Month Challenge! This Month Challenge is all about gratitude. How many of us fall victim to sadness brought on by various life events and forget to be grateful for all the good things in life? Me! I feel like I appreciate my life, but many times I forget to be grateful and show gratitude. Thus, the challenge!
When I came across this challenge I decided it would be good for me to realign my thought process. Good things happen when you think good thoughts and remain humble. I truly believe that when you choose to be happy and grateful for the good things in your life, than life treats you well. Sure there will still be unfortunate events, but if you alter your mind to let the bad things go, than those events won’t wear you down.
Try this challenge. Remind yourself of the things you are grateful for in your life. Gratitude humbles you and reminds you of the things that make you happy.
I took this chart from TextMyJournal.
My answers below:
Day #1: What smell are you grateful for today? (June 1st, 2017)
Today I am grateful for the smell of jasmine. I was out at a farmer’s market last night and I walked past a jasmine flower bush and my mind went instantly to my family vacations in Kauai, Hawaii. The smell puts me back to my grandparent’s timeshare with ocean waves crashing close-by and a huge smile on my face as we walk past the jasmine bushes to our car to start our next adventure. Those memories mean so much to me these days. I have not been able to return back to Kauai in over 6 years. Kauai was like a second home to me growing up. Time spent playing shuffle board with my grandparents, beating my brother at mini-golf, swimming every day at our favorite beaches, snorkeling for hours, hiking to see the true beauty of the island, eating shaved iced every day, and spending time with my family. When I was younger, I took those trips for granted. It took a few more years to realize just how spoiled I was. I am thankful for the generosity of my grandparents and parents, who made sure to make every trip unforgettable. I can’t wait to go back and love it even more because of the memories I was able to have there. Jasmine….the smell reminds me of my love for Kauai.
Day #2: What technology are you grateful for? (June 2nd, 2017)
Technology….this is tough because I love/hate cellphones as they provide so much at our fingertips, but I have to go with cars. Cars provide a method of travel. Cellphones make it quick and easy to talk with our loved ones, but cars allow me to see them in person. There’s many forms of transportation and I wouldn’t mind going back to horses (haha), but the invention of cars allows for a more personal experience. I can travel to work and the beach and my parent’s home all in a day. I can see the mountains or visit another state at a moment’s notice. All I need is money for gas and I’m gone. Cars allow me to get to a destination quicker, but with the opportunity to enjoy the journey along the way. We have always managed without certain forms of technology before, but cars have become such a necessity and privilege now. I am grateful to have my own car and a form of technology that allows me to explore new places whenever I want.
Day #3: What color are you grateful for? (June 3rd, 2017)
Hmmm colors are hard…I guess I’ve never really associated a color with a memory or feeling before. I think I have to go with blue, although it feels like the cop-out color that everyone chooses. Besides it being my favorite color, I choose blue because it is the color of many things that bring me peace and joy. Blue is the color of the ocean, a place that gives me calmness and beauty. It is the the color of the sky, which makes my days happier when I see that clear, blue sky in the morning. Blue is the color of my eyes, which I have received many compliments on (yay me!). However, blue is also used as the color for sadness, which if I never knew sadness, than I wouldn’t appreciate happiness. I am grateful for the color blue because it is the color that encompasses so many important things in my life; and I love all the color variations of blue!
Day #4: What food are you most grateful for? (June 4th, 2017)
Ice cream! By far my favorite food is ice cream. I love it best in milkshakes. It’s my go to dessert when I’m happy and sad. It’s perfect after a long day at the beach or a treat before bedtime. I’ve woken up starving at 2 am because I missed dinner and ate an entire bowl of ice cream because it was the only thing that sounded good. Ice cream is the greatest dessert creation in my book. I am grateful for that creamy, frozen dessert full of terrible sugars. It never fails to put a smile on my face. 🙂
Day #5: What sound are you grateful for today? (June 5th, 2017)
Waves crashing. Nothing beats the sound of the ocean and waves crashing against the shore. I could sit on the beach all day and just listen to the sound of waves. It’s a serenade I know most people love. The gentle ebb and flow or the power during a storm. It always amazes me. I love the peacefulness of the forest, but I will always have to be within driving distance to the ocean. I do my best to never take the sound for granted. It has provided me peace during my happiest days or biggest storms.
Day #6: What in nature are you grateful for? (June 6th, 2017)
Animals. Nature truly has some magnificent wonders such as mountains, lakes, rivers, deserts, the ocean, but the creatures nature has created brings me the most joy. From deer to bison, wolves and bears, whales to sharks, birds and insects, dogs! Animals fascinate me (and scare me!). There are so many different species with so many distinct features and tasks for nature. Antlers, horns, the quickness of a cheetah, the strength of a single ant, the power of bear, the fierceness of a tiger, the ingenuity of a beaver, and the plain weirdness of a platypus. Animals are amazing. I love going to see nature’s geologic features, but being able to spot the animal that calls it home is the most exhilarating feeling. Nature would not be near as magnificent without all the animals and creatures that call it home.
Day #7: What memory are you grateful for? (June 7th, 2017)
Picking one memory is impossible. I have too many memories that I am grateful for. I truly don’t think I can answer this because there is no one memory. However, the memories that bring me the most smiles are the ones of my family on vacation with our family friends. The three set of parents would rent a house for a week and we’d bring our boat and jet skis and just have the best lake/river trips. The three parents would get their own rooms and then the kids were left to fend for ourselves in various sleeping arrangements (9 kids total!). We’d play cards, wakeboard, ride the inner tube, skateboard, play made up games, and just be kids. We were lucky enough to do this four times total over my life and I hope we get to do it again before the families grow even larger! I have so many more memories I’m grateful for, but those are among my top. I’ll never forget them.
Day #8: What book are you grateful for? (June 8th, 2017)
Goodness I love books. I have to choose 2 written by the same author. They are Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I enjoy his books, writing, and messages. Those two books though have stuck with me. Tuesdays with Morrie shares life stories of an elderly man Morrie and all the life lessons he learned along the way. I am a deep thinker and the book was my cup of tea. I took away many lessons while reading it and need to reread it again so I can learn even more. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is another deep thinker as a man enters Heaven and meets 5 people who he had no idea the impact his life had on them. The book’s message is a reminder that our lives have more impact on the people around us than we realize and to appreciate everyone we come into contact with. Both these books nurture my love of thought and help me think outside the box. I enjoy books that teach lessons rooted in love and open my mind. I highly recommend these books to everyone. Really any books Mitch Albom writes will leave you in a more rewarding and uplifting mindset than before. He has a way to touch your heart and open your mind.
Day #9: What place are you most grateful for? (June 9th, 2017)
Home. I know it sounds cliche, but I am grateful for being able to go to my parent’s house that no matter what will always be home for me. I am grateful to have great parents that provide a safe haven for me whenever I need it and them. There is nothing else I need to say. I wish everyone has one place they can call home.
Day #10: What taste are you grateful for today? (June 10th, 2017)
Haha a taste? I guess I’d have to say…sugar. I know it’s terrible for you, but all the things I find delicious have one thing in common and that’s sugar. Any dessert…cookies, ice cream, pie, etc. is so tasty because of sugar! It’s so bad for you in large quantities, but it’s a delicious substance. I am a dessert fiend, so I must be grateful for the base ingredient!
Day #11: What holiday are you grateful for? (June 11th, 2017)
This one is easy for me…Christmas! And not because of all the presents (although getting something I’ve been wanting all year is pretty amazing). I actually am most grateful for Christmas because it is the one time out of the year I see most of my loved ones within a 24 hour period. It’s a packed day and a half, but I look forward to it every year. People that are normally out of town or too busy most of the year finally get to join in the family events. With the holiday cheer and stress from trying to get the perfect present gone, we all just laugh and enjoy good food and company. I make sure to enjoy it as fully as possible because, sadly, my grandparents and extended family are getting older…
Day #12: What texture are you grateful for? (June 12th, 2017)
I’ve never thought about a specific texture. I’d have to go with something soft because who doesn’t enjoy feeling something soft! I’m assuming me it’s asking for a texture I can feel and not a visual texture. I don’t know names, but anything soft feeling. Those textures that you just touch and they make you want to rub your face all over them. You can’t help but smile and be in awe of the softness. It’s a little touch of bliss.
Day #13: What abilities are you grateful for? (June 13th, 2017)
This is going to sound really cliche, but I am very grateful for the ability to love. Not just in the form of a significant other, but love in all forms. The ability to love means everything to me. Life hasn’t been the easiest for my extended family this past year, but love has shown through more than ever. All member’s of my extended family have dropped any qualms they had with each other and came together when things got tough. To be able to love means I am able to forgive, sympathize, empathize, support, and be courageous. I have been very fortunate to grow up in a household where my parents made sure my brother and I were loved because they grew up in households that did the same. My entire family may be far from perfect, but our ability to love makes us wonderful. I get angry and pissed off at people (especially driving!), but at the end of the day I do my best to choose compassion and love over anger. It’s hard to do, but anger takes more energy over time than to just forgive and let go. Love allows me to be happy even in my worst moments. It really is the strongest force in the world.
Day #14: What sight are you grateful for today? (June 14th, 2017)
Sight…I’m guessing like a location or place maybe? I would have to say I am grateful for the sight from ocean sea cliffs. I think it’s the prettiest way to see the sea. Standing on the cliffs and looking out towards the horizon with the sea breeze is a beautiful sight to behold, Especially on a stormy day! The ocean is moving with greater gusto and you can see the power with each crashing wave. It’s a sight that everyone should experience.
Day #15: What season are you grateful for? (June 15th, 2017)
Normally I’d say winter because it’s my favorite time of year, but honestly after this year I think Spring is the one I am most grateful for. We finally had the drought lifted for California and the hills around my hometown were absolutely beautiful. It felt more like the start of a new year than the actual new year! Spring is when the flowers bloom, the snow melts, the waterfalls flourish, and the animals come out to play. There’s a refreshing smell in the air as warmer days approach. It’s a beautiful time of year. Not too hot and not too cold. Just right 🙂
Day #16: What about your body are you grateful for? (June 16th, 2017)
Haha this seems a little narcissistic to say, but I’d have to go with my smile. That and my eyes are the two features I seem to get the most compliments on. I’ve been told I have a great smile and great teeth (and surprisingly no braces needed!). I love to laugh (who doesn’t) and my smile seems to be contagious. I do appreciate making others happy and having others joining in my happiness.
Day #17: What knowledge are you grateful for? (June 17th, 2017)
The knowledge that I’d say I’m most grateful for is my knowledge of math and science. I enjoy that my brain is able to problem solve and (somewhat) understand the amazing intricacies of our natural world. I wish I could remember history better or have better knowledge of the English language (sorry for my less than steller grammar!). Math and science come pretty easy to me in comparison and provide me a very analytical brain. I am grateful that I can read and understand the science behind, well, everything. I am grateful for that knowledge and enjoy sharing what I know with others.
Day #18: What piece of art are you grateful for? (June 18th, 2017)
Goodness I LOVE art! I enjoy all art, except Pollack, I still can’t grasp art that I (think) I can do. Call me uncultured! However, the art/artist I am most grateful for and find inspiring is any sea life piece by Wyland. I first saw a piece of art by Wyland while in Kauai. One of his first murals was on the side of a shopping center building in Kapaa, Kauai, HI. It was(is) a large mural of two humpback whales among other smaller sea life. Beautiful. I have visited many of his galleries since and I will forever associate him with the Hawaiian Islands and beach culture. His art is soft and captures the wonderful beauty of the ocean and all it’s life. One day I’ll buy a piece of his work. I hear they do 0% interest financing! Wyland also does a lot of charity work, starting with nothing himself before he become known.
Day #19: What touch are you grateful for today? (June 19th, 2017)
Touch? Hmm a little interesting and kinda hard because I think it in the moment, like “ooo that feels nice to touch,” but don’t always remember it. I think I’ll have to say I am grateful for the touch of a warm mug. Of course I love feeling all those super soft fabrics. You know the ones! Where you just want to rub your face all over it. But a warm mug calms me. It’s the moments I need a hot beverage and I just hold it in my hands until it’s cooled enough to sip. For some reason the moments I am just sitting there holding a warm mug and either sipping or waiting to sip my tea or hot chocolate, I am my most calm and serene. The feeling is comfort and I am very grateful for that touch.
Day #20: What in your life are you grateful for? (June 20th, 2017)
My family and friends. I want to say that is an easy one, but I have realized that many people are not fortunate to have had a family life like mine. I have been very blessed to grow up with to two parents who love each other, but always put my brother and I first. I am grateful for my one and only sibling to also be one of my best friends. I am grateful that all my extended family loves one another even if they don’t see eye to eye. I am grateful for the friends I have made along the way, even for the ones I have lost as they have all helped me to where I am today. I am grateful and blessed to have (have had) all these people in my life.
Day #21: What song are you most grateful for? (June 21st, 2017)
The song that never fails to put me in a good mood and calm my active mind is “Over the Rainbow” by IZ. Everything about that song puts my mind at ease. The ukulele, his voice, the lyrics. I am very grateful for that song.
Day #22: What story are you grateful for? (June 22nd, 2017)
Story…..story…this is hard. I remember my dad reading me Aseop Fables and I always enjoyed those, but I really can’t think of one except the ones everyone knows like the Tortoise and the Hare or the Ugly Duckling. At least this is what I am assuming the challenge means by story. Haha actually I love the story of Balto. I loved the Disney movie and did some research behind the real story. The entire Iditarod team that saved the town of Nome is an amazing hero story. It’s a reminder to me of the determination and spirit of animals and humans working together to save a whole town. It’s just uplifting and inspired me as a kid.
Day #23: What tradition are you grateful for? (June 23rd, 2017)
As I previously mentioned for the holiday I am most grateful for, my family’s Christmas tradition is my favorite. From Christmas Eve to Christmas dinner, I am grateful for the events we do every year. Some years have been different than others, but I still look forward to them every year. It’s the only time of year I get to see (almost) everyone I love within 24 hours. It’s great! I will forever be grateful for that tradition.
Day #24: What challenge are you grateful for? (June 24th, 2017)
I will have to say my challenge with my Type I Diabetes is what I am most grateful for. I was diagnosed right before I turned 13 and it has been a daily struggle. I am very, very fortunate to have a manageable case compared to many stories I heard of fragile diabetes, but I can never ignore it. No matter how “normal” I try to be, I will always be planning out my meals and carb in-take and checking my glucose levels. Through all the frustration though I know it has made me a better person. I’m more aware of myself and more understanding of those who go through health issues. In a way, the diabetes brings me down to earth and keeps me humble (or I try to be!)
Day #25: What moment this week are you most grateful for? (June 25th, 2017)
The long walk I’ve taken with my dog. When I’ve been too busy with work, I appreciate the short time I take to take my dog on a good walk somewhere near the coast. I call them our little adventures. It’s just me and her enjoying being outside…and me yelling at her to not bark at cyclists and skateboarders. It’s just a calm time and I know it makes her really happy.
Day #26: What form of expression are you most grateful for? (June 26th, 2017)
That’s easy for me! Smiling. Smiling is my favorite form of expression because it always mean happiness. Laughter is great too, but a simple smile can go so far and always means something good. Seeing the smile on a friend’s face brings a lot of joy. Smiling is simple, but says so much.
Day #27: What small thing that you use daily are you grateful for? (June 27th, 2017)
Honestly, it has to be my cellphone. I know it’s a terrible thing to say and it absorbs my attention way too much, but without it I wouldn’t be able to talk through the day with my family and friends. When I’m with them I make sure to put the phone away, but when things happen during the day or I want to call my mom on the way home from work, the cellphone allows for that communication. I’m able to talk with family and friends out of town. I get help finding places when I’m lost. The cellphone/smartphone is a beautiful/terrible invention, but I am very grateful to have access to so many things daily because of it. Shoot people make their livelihood off it!
Day #28: What small thing that happened to you today are you grateful for? (June 28th, 2017)
It was a pretty easy going day, so I’ll have to go with breathing. It’s cliche, I know, but I woke up today and got out of bed and drove to work. I was able to do all this because I was able to live another day. Maybe nothing big happened, but I’m working towards goals and I enjoyed a day that I had a safe place to be and little worries in my mind. Something to be very grateful for.
Day #29: What friend/family member are you grateful for today? (June 29th, 2017)
I am grateful for them all, but today I will go with my mom because she listens to my long ramblings on the phone almost every day. I like to call her with any new event or news happens and then I ramble on about this and that and she just listens. I use to do it in college all the time, except I was usually crying about my workload, and now it’s just become a habit to inform her of my life really. I appreciate her insight and how she gives me different perspectives. I like hearing what her and my dad are up to. I love my parents and I enjoy hearing how they are doing and any crazy stories from their work life. But shout out to my mom for always remaining on the line even if I’ve repeated myself three times.
Day #30: What talent or skill that you have are you grateful for? (June 30th, 2017)
My athleticism. I’m not great at every sport, but I can play decently well at any I try. I’m talented in softball and soccer, but can throw a spiral, shoot decent hoops, hold my own in volleyball, and really any sport with a racket I just muscle through. I am grateful that I have been given the ability to pick up any sport and learn it quickly. I enjoy the outdoors and playing games and I am happy I can do them pretty well.