“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle
It’s been a minute since I’ve sat down and counted my blessings, been actively grateful for what I have in life. Ironically, I’ll do this sort of thing when I’m at my lowest. So it’ll be in fits of sadness or confusion or negative what-have-you’s that I’ll write out the things that make me happiest. Projects I’ve embarked on in the past three years: three good thing that happened today and why; 100 happy days; list of reasons to be happy, stuff like that. But when I am cruising on happiness and genuinely content, as I am now, and as I have been, I’ll do everything but.
The daily quote by Tolle on Momentum, a Chrome installation, reminds me otherwise. So, in the spirit of acknowledging the good, and not just when it’s bad, here are 10 things that in my life that, well, bring me happiness. Or at the very least, that I am grateful for.
- The relationships in my life– to my family, s/o, best friend, and friends. That there’s nothing but kindness and respect in said relationships. That we care for each other, are there for each other, are supportive of each other. We have each other’s back. And it’s always fun with them. A handful of toxic relationships later, I mean it when I say: we bring each other up.
- I go to one of the best universities in the world. This often slips my mind. People around here can r-eally complain. A lot. About the culture, about other people, about this job or that class or that group of people, etc. But we don’t often realize how damn lucky we are to just be here, to be afforded this opportunity, to have had the chance to have this education. It’s not all butterfly turds and shiny unicorns, but still. We are so lucky to be here.
- Food! Water! And to have so much, and to have enough.
- My physical health. My mental health. That I can wake up, run to the gym and skip around. That I feel content most of the time, that nothing torments me, that I’m not sickly or bedridden.
- Having my person(s). When it comes to my s/o and best friends, we don’t make plans as much as we ask each other where the other person is. It’s not a “let’s grab lunch Monday!” that characterizes most relationships, but “where are you? let’s hang out now”. A few days ago, I wondered aloud if everybody had that person. The person you just find, stick with, are glued to the hip with. Maybe everyone has their person, but I don’t know, I’ve never really asked.
- A space of my own. I am a self-professed hermit. Yes, I love (certain) people, making new friends, talking to strangers. But at the end of the day, god, I need my own space, somewhere to decompress, to air out my introverted tendencies. And that I have one brings me limitless joy.
- A relaxing/manageable schedule. There have been times of the 9-5, the 9 AM, days filled with unlimited errands and boundless stress. No more–at least for now. My schedule may be laughably empty on some days, but I’ll keep myself occupied. I used to love being “busy”: too “busy” to hang out, too “busy” to chill, too “busy” to paint or make music or live. Now I have time to do all of the above. And I’m neither bored nor overwhelmed.
- Sleep. On occasion, I have insomnia: insomnia is the worst. It’s been kept at bay lately, though. Sleeping for 9-10 hours a night, for the non-insomniac, is not always feasible. Sleep 9-10 hours a night, as an occasional-insomniac, is a godsend.
- To have hobbies that pass the time and make me happy–reading books (recently checked out books by Zadie Smith and Junot Diaz, both of whom I’ve photographed!) or writing on this blog or painting or playing music.
- For the past few months, for the past year. For everything that’s happened since the start of 2017. Sometimes, when life happens, you rationalize that it all happens for a reason, even when it doesn’t feel like it. And it doesn’t make sense. But then life pieces itself together, and things work out, and life just does its thing. You start to get where you’re going. I know that sounds vague. But I’m immeasurably grateful for the (spontaneous?) decisions I made, and how things turned out.