Thankful Thursday - Life is Amazing

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The new year is always so invigorating isn't it? It's a clean slate that marks the beginning of new possibilities, goals and intentions. This year, one of my intentions is to cultivate more gratitude.

When I was a 5th grade teacher (years ago), I had a particularly grumpy group of kids one year. It was a class full of "negative Nancys". They complained about everything. I quickly became sick of this type of attitude and decided to assign them "gratitude" homework (on top of their regular studies homework). Every night they had to list 3 things that they were grateful for. It could be about anything that made them happy, no matter how big or small.

Many studies have shown that people who regularly wrote down what they're grateful for ended up being happier overall. Maybe it's because these people were actively training themselves to try to look for the good in their everyday life. As a result, they became more optimistic and hopeful; instead of feeling helpless and reacting to life's events. Don't get me wrong, there are always unforeseen circumstances that happen in life. Things that are completely out of our control that knocks us down, either emotionally, mentally or financially. We can't control these things, but we can control is how we react to them.

Do we choose to focus on the bad stuff that happened? Or do we instead choose to focus on the fact that we are still alive and breathing, and have a warm bed and the love of our friends/family/partner/pets/etc.? It's all about what we choose to focus our attention on. On that note, I'd like to start a new tradition here that I'm calling "Thankful Thursdays". Every Thursday I'll tell you one thing I'm thankful for.

Let's start: I'm thankful for is hot running water.

Yup, that's right. I don't know about you, but the bug/virus/cold/flu/whatever that's been going around since this past December hit me hard! I seriously haven't been this sick in a long time. Body aches, headaches, congestion, coughing - I was miserable! I'm still not 100% yet, but I sure am grateful for hot running water. Even with all the cold medicine and rest I could give myself, my biggest relief was taking a hot shower to help clear my nasty congestion.

Living in a first world country, it's easy to take for granted all the little things we have access to: heat and electricity, nutritious foods, etc. Things that people in other parts of the world can only dream of having. And when I think of the fact that so many people in this world don't even have clean water to drink, I am beyond grateful for the luxury of being able to take a shower with hot running water.

Now it's your turn. What are you thankful for?