On a logistical side note – I find myself committing more and more to this project. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I got a fantastic package in the mail from Amazon.com today – two containers of the protein powder that I add to my morning smoothie (way cheaper than Whole Foods btw) and two books – Sarah Ban Breathnach’s The Illustrated Discovery Journal: Creating a Visual Autobiography of Your Authentic Self as well as The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude . These are both items that are mentioned in the Joyful Simplicities for January Section.
If I’m going to commit to the blogging project, I may as well throw myself all the way in by doing the gratitude-ing and illustrated journaling.
So back to the regularly scheduled programming.
After the past 12 days focusing on happiness and the importance of finding happiness and mentally readying ourselves for this project and investment in ourselves, Sarah has finally brought up the concept of gratitude and taking carving out a time and space, at least for today (but I’m suspecting gratitude will be a part of every day) to take a look at our lives and honestly take note of everything we have to be grateful for – things that aren’t tied to money or things – but those basic tenets of life that we are too prone to take for granted or ignore.
Sarah asks, what are likely rhetorical questions, but I’d like to answer them here:
Are your basic needs met? Yes, they definitely are. I have the privilege and luxury to have a job – one in which I am able to provide for my basic needs, as well as my husband, and manage to eek out a pretty good existence. Sure, we are living in a one bedroom apartment – but I look at that as a definite bonus. We don’t have kids, we don’t have any pets (we can’t here), and we are able to plan for our expenses every month. And living here allows us to keep costs down. We are fortunate.
Do you have a home? Yes – I have a home. We don’t own it and it isn’t big – but it is the place I can’t wait to come home to at the end of the day. Before I even officially lived here, it was my home because my love was here. There were a number of Sunday evenings that I cried knowing I was having to leave and go back to my week and back to my apartment until the next weekend. Even though it was just across town.
Food on the table? Yes. I am proud of this one. We not only have the ability and resources to put food on the table but it is some good tasting food. Bonus is that when it comes down to it, we prefer to cook and eat at home over going out. That’s not to say that there aren’t certain things that are just better from a restaurant – Chinese food, fried chicken, a really effing good steak.
Clothes to wear? Yes! And they are relatively stylish and more importantly they are things that I have been able to buy on my own. There were a number of years where new clothes were outside of my budget and thankfully my mother treated me to new work clothes a couple times a year. She is amazing and the best.
Is there a regular paycheck coming in? Yep. It’s enough to cover our expenses.
Do you have dreams? Absolutely. And you know what, they have significantly changed in the last six months. It’s quite the thing to become engaged and become married and have someone to concretely make plans and dreams with.
Do you have your health? Yes. And I have health insurance that isn’t too expensive, is available through my employer, and provides pretty darn robust benefits.
Can you walk, talk, see the beauty that surrounds you, listen to music that stirs your soul or makes your feet want to boogie? Yes! Every day!
Do you have family and friends whom you love and who love you? Yes! They may not be large in numbers but they are giant in quality. I love them all and I feel so lucky to have them all in my life. I feel even luckier to have had my family grow significantly in numbers when I married my husband.
I can’t wait to dig in deeper.