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  • Writer's pictureCiara

I Tried a Gratitude Challenge: Week 1

Nothing like a gratitude challenge to get me writing on this blog again! Yes, it's been 4 whole months since my last proper entry, which is just... shocking... Why does it feel like time is barely moving, but meanwhile flying by through this pandemic?

Anyway, I saw Dani DiPirro's (also known as @positivelypresent on instagram) Gratitude Challenge a whole year ago. In 2019, I had to pass it up for lack of time and focus on other writing projects. However, when I saw it AGAIN this year, I said "that's it! I'm IN!"

So here goes! I'll be writing every single day in November (the month of thankfulness) on the different gratitude prompts and updating the blog here weekly. For more information and if you want to join and read the prompts yourself, go visit @positivelypresent on instagram. If you join the challenge, I'd love to see how you explore gratitude in your life as well! Tag me on instagram or facebook when you share!

Gratitude Challenge Day 1: Health

A great way to start off this challenge. THE #1 thing I am grateful for EVERY 👏 SINGLE 👏 DAY 👏. In my nightly journaling, I write 3 things I am thankful for and health is always at the top of the list especially since the pandemic started. I am in love with the feeling of being healthy and when I'm physically and mentally well, I'm in optimal condition to do what I love (create, explore, write - whatever!). I absolutely hate going to doctors appointments (they make me feel more sick than when I went in, especially if it's a well-visit), but this year I'm very grateful that I've been able to even afford health insurance and medical care as a entrepreneur/freelancer. To me, it's an annoyingly necessary cost of living but I'm currently thankful to not have had to tap into its benefits too much this year. What do you have if you don't have your health? Over the past months, I've seen people close to me and complete strangers struggle with health - I mean, come on, hearing about these things seems inescapable this year, right? I can be thankful it's not me, but at the same time, it hits hard (as an empath) to watch others struggle, to try to help them, or to suffer from lack of control over the situation. I look forward to better healthy times for all in the future.

Gratitude Challenge Day 2: Seasons

Gawd. I LOVE fall. Undoubtedly my favorite season. There's just something amazing about beautiful red, orange and yellow foliage, clear views into the distance and squirrels going absolutely nuts in piles of leaves - it's like a natural ball pit for them, they're just the right size. I mean, how else would we know time is passing if it weren't for the seasons changing? Yes, we have day and night, but even then in the monotonous hot days of summer or longest winters it can be challenging to remember what day it is without consulting a calendar, no?

Gratitude Challenge Day 3: Optimism

"Who knows?" What I think of when I think of optimism is that scene in West Side Story when Tony has that feeling that something good is about to happen. I don't like to identify as either optimist/pessimist, I classify as somewhere between realist and dreamer. Things could always be changing right around the corner for the better.

Gratitude Challenge Day 4: Strength

Sometimes I take a look back over the past year (or few years) and think "how did I get through that?!" It's like going on a hike and you're standing up on a hill top half wondering how you got that far and half thinking how you're gonna be able to make it back to the car. I think a bit of progress should be attributed just good ol' hard work, maybe a bit to luck (although I don't consider myself an unusually lucky person, I think more-so that there's angels watching over me) and all the rest to strength. Having strength implies you've battled some tough stuff and risen above it. I saw a guy wearing a shirt the other day that said "nothing comes easy." I think those that have strength can all say "ain't that the truth!"

Gratitude Challenge Day 5: Nature

Fresh air? Trees? Flowers? Being able to have access to all these are vital to my existence. Even B.C. (before COVID), I made it a point to get outdoors at least 3 times a week for exercise or even just to sit (even in the cold) and breathe in the natural landscape. I'm thankful that even through the various lockdown periods, our right to be able to get out in nature has been respected and even encouraged. I think a lot more people are recognizing its benefits.

Gratitude Challenge Day 6: Fun

Fun? Hmmm... What a difficult prompt for this year (and my current mood, to be honest). I do truly find joy in the simplest things, even going grocery shopping - well not when there are long lines and I'm in a hurry - but I love the simple pleasures of life and delighting in them is fun to me, like finding a book sale at the local library or playing with a toddler. Too, I find fun in being creative which is why I've chosen my current work. I can have even just a bit of fun sprinkled through every day (even when work is not 100% fun).

Gratitude Challenge Day 7: Words

I love to write. I write at least once a day in my journal and apparently I love to talk too. I say apparently because I wouldn't typically describe myself as a talker except that became clear when upon waking from having my wisdom teeth removed, all I wanted to do was TALK! Anyone who has had their wisdom teeth removed knows how difficult that is with a mouth full of cotton. In particular, I love words from other languages and the feelings they emote. Like the Entzugserscheinungen (withdrawal symptoms) of travel during a global pandemic.


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