I am pretty proud of myself! For the past 20 days without fail, I have posted 5 things each day that I was grateful for. I never missed a day, even when I had to wrack my brain to come up with something and even when I felt unmotivated, or like lately, just sad.
I can be proud of myself for small accomplishments.
My initial hopes at the start were that by the end of three weeks I would be more grateful of what I have, and pine less for things I don’t have. I also wanted to be more mindful by pausing daily to reflect upon my blessings, instead of always worrying about the future or fretting over the past. Lastly, I hoped that all these things would help me be happier.
Well, it’s day 21 (whether it actually takes 21 days to form a habit is debatable) and here is what I have discovered:
- It is still not easy, so it is not a habit. Some days it is a lot easier than others to bang out 5 things to be grateful for. There have been days when all I can do is be grateful to have food to eat, or just be grateful to be alive because it feels like that is all I have.
- I have a whole host of first world problems. I’m soft. I am definitely spoiled to live in the world that I do. I have problems brought on by luxuries that some people could only dream of. I’ve already known that, but I had it reinforced.
- The most important things to me became clear: running, access to fresh fruits and veggies, my supportive friends, my coach, and my mom. These were pretty consistent themes throughout my gratitude challenge. Especially running. To have my health everyday and be able-bodied is something I cherish. Physical able-ness is tenuous, tomorrow I may get hit by a car or fall down a flight of stairs. I am so thankful for every day that I am able to move without constraint because I never know what might happen.
- This was not a magic pill for happiness. After 20 days of recording things to be grateful for, I am not miraculously happier. I still worry a lot, I still wish for things I don’t have, I still bemoan the small problems of my day. I mostly feel the same. Cultivating genuine gratitude is not a quick process.
There are a lot more things to be grateful for than what I was able to record. I’m not sure about what this says about my character, but I definitely found this challenge….umm, challenging. I tend to think that I am a grateful person and aware of my blessings, but there is a lot I could do to improve my mindfulness and gratitude. I’m done publicly recording things I am grateful for after today, but everyday I would like to continue acknowledging the blessings (big and small) that I have. There is always a reason to be grateful!
Five things I am grateful for today: November 1, 2014 Saturday
- A crisp, clear wonderful hour long run with my coach. Maybe I talk his ear off, but he hasn’t complained. I love running by myself, but it is also cathartic to run with a friend. You never realize how much you needed to say until you’ve put in a nice long run with a running buddy.
- It’s November! The season of holidays has begun!
- I knocked out and slept hard last night. I’m sure I needed it. Most nights lately I have been tossing and turning for hours and sleeping fitfully, I wake up several times a night. So I am always relieved when I fall straight to sleep.
- I am always learning new things to tweak when it comes to my running form. On Saturday mornings I get to work with a couple of wonderful professionals who really want to help me get better (run more efficiently= faster with the same amount of effort).
- I signed up for the LA Marathon in mid-March! I have 4 months to get stronger, faster, and fitter. I am thankful to have held off injury and maintained my health post Portland Marathon. I need to do my best to keep healthy and recover optimally after every run to continue to progress toward my goal, and I am grateful to have access to the resources I need to do that!