Monday, November 23, 2015

on appreciation aka i'm about to get real gross and sappy and i'm not sorry

if you're friends with me on twitter or facebook, you probably know about the drama my family had this weekend with a gas leak in our building, getting evacuated for 2 1/2 hours in the cold, and then having no heat or hot water for the rest of the weekend. after taking a very, very cold shower last night and then jumping into bed with like a million covers, washing my hands in warm water this morning was like a dream.

on my way to work today, there was the usual insane traffic trying to get out of town (all my bayonne peeps know that the struggle is REAL.) a truck driver slowed down to let me merge in, even though he had the right of way (i had a stop sign). i waved and said "thanks sir, i appreciate it!", even though he obviously couldn't hear me. but those words triggered a deep feeling in my cold, dead heart. it's been a rough fall for me, with the book debacle, family issues, and ikey getting sick. and that's not even counting the stress of trying to buy a house, which i totally brought on myself so i know i shouldn't complain about.

but it occurred to me in that moment that this week, (american) thanksgiving week, is the perfect time to choose to focus on all that i am thankful for. this sounds trite, i know, but in practical terms, i mean to make a conscious effort this week to stop and appreciate the things i do have, the things that go right, the relationships in my life. i'm going to say thank you more; going to stop and think, "wow, that was nice!" when someone goes out of their way for me; going to smile and acknowledge the people around me who make my life livable, from the crossing guards to the trash collectors to the coffee shop workers.

my parents taught me to be polite, so i'm definitely a please-and-thank-you kind of girl, but i'm going to focus on the words and the sentiment behind them, rather than just as an automatic response. instead of rushing through the thank-you moment, i'm going to pause in each one, and take an extra second or two to really feel the gratitude and appreciation. i have a feeling that just making this effort will make this a happy week for me and the people around me. (and let's hope it forms a habit!)