Thankful Thursday – Cold Gratitude

thoughtfulSometimes one can become hyper-focused on something bad. The thing begins to consume from within until one has difficulty doing the most basic things such as eating and sleeping.

It’s at times like that when I find it helpful to freeze.

Then I switch my thinking to what is wonderful in my life. Close friends who support me and my writing. A delightful little boy who makes me remember my purpose of helping others. Clients who love my work. New friends. Acquaintances who might be becoming more. Realizing I may not be as far from becoming bilingual as I thought. New hobbies.

My life is full of so much potentially awesome things right now.

It can be hard to realize one is spiraling downward though. Hard to get to that point where one knows they need to put the brakes on. Hard to stop the negative momentum from carrying one further down.

The only way I’ve found that works is to breathe. When everything around me seems to be exploding, I stop and take a breath. I talk to loved ones. I take a walk and contemplate where I’m at and where I want to be. I think about whether or not the path I’m on is leading me in a different direction than my goals.

Being thankful for what I have helps me get through the bad times and find my way back.

Today is the last day of my graduate studies and I’m thankful for all the people I’ve met this year. Even the bad ones taught me lessons that will surely benefit me in some way in the future if only to make me properly cautious of everything I do and who I do it with.

It’s been quite the ride. At the start, I was scared I wouldn’t make any friends because I’m a little older than most in the program and a lot older than others. The bus also terrified me as I had nothing but terrible experiences with it before. And I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to keep up on the workload.

But I got used to the bus. I made friends. And I not only handed nearly everything in on time or early, but I received a letter from the dean telling me I had made the Honour’s list.

I’ve even come to embrace that I’m part of the millennial generation, which is something I wasn’t particularly grateful for before. Being born in 1981 makes me an odd millennial as my life began more like a Gen Xer’s rather than always having the Internet and computers around. Yesterday, I actually had a conversation about remembering when CDs became a thing and how awesome it was when anti-skip technology came out after.

All this to say that a year that started off cold and full of fear has ended so differently than it began. It wasn’t easy. That whole strike thing was an extra bit of stress that no one needed, but I made it and I’m ready to tackle whatever comes next.

My plan for the summer includes getting a job and refreshing my French because I’m getting closer to being able to at least speak it. I feel like that will open a lot of doors for me and I’m excited to continue working on my writing. And I definitely want to make time for loved ones too because they make all the challenges worth pushing through.

R~

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