I woke up Wednesday morning with a deep sense of exhaustion in my bones and had only one thought beyond wishing I could go back to sleep: That I would be grateful for this day I’ve been granted. I closed my eyes and listened to the birds outside the window, the kind of quiet coming from my son’s bedroom that could only mean he was still asleep, the soft breathing of my husband in bed next to me. I slipped out of bed and tugged on a housecoat over my nightgown. I was on a mission for coffee; if I acted quickly—and quietly—I could enjoy it in bed before DJ woke up.
When I sat back down on the bed, hot cup of coffee in hand, I forced myself to be still for a moment longer. I studied the way the early morning sun cast itself over the furniture and walls in the bedroom. I listened again to my husband’s breathing. I took my first sip of coffee.
It’s easy to get caught up in the every day minutia of life—work, parenting, cooking and cleaning, errand running and bill paying—and forget to stop and recognize just how lucky you are. You, me; we’ve both been granted another day. All we have to do is embrace it. Play with your kids, your dogs, whatever it is. Kiss your partner. Do something for yourself, for someone else. Try your hardest. Be the best version of yourself you can be.
On January first, I had pulled an unused notebook from my bookshelf and started stamping dates in it. My plan was to record three things I was grateful for each day. I kept up with it for a while—right up until the day in early February that my parents called to tell me they’d found a lump in my mother’s abdomen.
The day after my mother died, I pulled out that notebook and vowed to continue filling it in each day. Now, more than ever, I needed to remember how thankful I should be for each and every day. That morning, my additions came more easily than other days: The safety and security I feel alongside Dominic. The excitement of an upcoming trip. That I’m still writing.
As I go on with my days, doing the things I must do, I keep these three thoughts in the forefront of my mind to remind me that it’s not as bad as I think it is. Even when I’m frustrated with a colleague, when I get upsetting news from a childhood friend, when I don’t write as many words as I set out to—I remain grateful. My mother is no longer here, but I am.
I am here.
Think of three things you’re grateful today, even if things are bad. Especially if things are bad. Try it right now.