365 DoT – Week 1

365 DoT 1 . Collage

So it’s been about 8 days since I kicked off my New Year’s resolution to spend 365 days being consistently thankful. With no significant changes to report, I can say that it wasn’t too terribly hard to stick to my plan. What’s been nice so far is that I start my day with a focus on trying to be thankful, finding something that I can focus on as a sort of touchstone for the day. Sometimes I don’t find it right away; the day has to yawn and stretch and unfurl itself before I have that one single moment where I think to myself: I cannot imagine what my day would have been like without X. But that’s okay. I didn’t start this with any real sense of a strategy or approach. I just wanted to try to live my life a little more mindfully, to focus on the positive that can so often be drowned out by the little irritations of each day.

Here’s how my week looked:

Day #1: Tuesday –  As I mentioned in my initial post, I am constantly thankful for my fiance, Andrew, who fills my life with so much love.

Day #2: Wednesday – Today was Bob day. Bob is a co-worker of mine. Despite our different backgrounds (he grew up in Brooklyn and I grew up in South Carolina), Bob is one of my new favorite people.  Not only does he demonstrate kindness and compassion in all of his actions, but he’s also ready with a joke to make someone laugh or words of support to make sure that every single person he meets feels appreciated. It’s pretty inspiring.

Day #3: Friday – Friday evening I got a call that my brand new running shoes had come in and that I would be able to pick them up the next day. I was so excited! One of my personal fitness goals this year is to complete my first half marathon. I start a training program in February, and I’m planning to run the Prairie Fire Half Marathon in early May. These new shoes were a huge boost in my mood. Running in them over the weekend felt like running on clouds.

Day #4: Saturday – The weather was just gorgeous on Saturday and Sunday. Andrew and I took our run outside (and learned that we are slow as molasses when we’re not on the track) and also took our favorite pupper dog for a walk in the park near our house. He was thrilled and so were we!

Day #5: Sunday – Today I was thankful for vegetables. That’s right, I actually gave considerable thanks for broccoli, peppers, and onions. In an effort to eat healthier, I’ve been trying to plan our meals a week in advance, so tonight I prepped all of the vegetables we’d need for the week (and a whole bowl of chicken for a double recipe of curry). Having them on hand and ready to go is a huge help in making sure that we cook real food rather than relying on lean cuisines.

Day #7: Monday – It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. day! Not only can I be thankful for the sacrifices this man made to help bring equality to all of the people in our country, but I was also able to spend my day at home taking care of my family. I spent the day cleaning, organizing, and making sure the house would be nice for Andrew when he came home. Usually we split the household chores 50/50, but he’s been working a lot of overtime lately, and I wanted him to be able to come home and relax. Plus, I bought myself a new label maker. Check out the progress on those pantry cabinets!

Day #8: Tuesday – Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to have a day where I just was not in the mood to be thankful. This morning Jeep vomited twice within the space of five minutes (never pleasant) and, what was worse, had blood mixed in with his vomit. Panicked and insane with anxiety, we called Dr. Kelly as soon as the clinic opened. She not only eased my concerns, but she also had us bring Jeep to the clinic. She watched him all day while we were at work, monitoring him for any signs of illness, taking extra special care of him–on top of all of her daily responsibilities. Stomach in knots, I drove to work and found a lobby full of students with myriad enrollment and academic issues. The day was a constant stream of people in and out my door, with my mind focused all the while on my little Jeepers Creepers and wondering how he was doing. Turns out he’s okay for now. No signs of problems, but man was I just not in the mood to deal with anything. I took him home, gave him some love, then hit the track to burn off some stress. And, of course, it was busy, full of people who were either running far to fast for the limited indoor space and almost knocking me over or people who seemed to think that stopping in the middle of the walkway was the best idea they had EVER had and why didn’t they do it for TEN MINUTES?! But. But. I needed to remember to be thankful. I need to find the positive moment in the day. So I thought about Dr. Kelly, who has been kind, gracious, and incredibly supportive as we continue to battle Jeep’s mystery medical issues. I thought about how she cares for Jeep as much as we do. How, when I cried in her office, overwhelmed with all of Jeep’s nine months of unsolvable medical mysteries, she gave me tissues and told me to go home and drink some wine, that even though this was hard, we were doing a good thing for our dog–that we’d essentially saved his life. Because of the undiagnosable and expensive nature of his illnesses, he would likely have been put to sleep. At two years old, he is the sweetest, kindest, most lovable pup on the planet and the thought of him being put down tears me up inside. Yes caring for him his hard and stressful, but we’re able to make it work. Dr. Kelly reminded me of that. I don’t think I will ever be able to thank her enough for all that she has done to help us and to help Jeep.

Day #9: Wednesday – I’m thankful for my legs. You can see them in the picture up above–how they’re flabby, full of cellulite, and generally unattractive. But they are my legs, and they work incredibly hard for me. They’ve carried me through almost 26 years of life, they’ve stuck with me through day after day of lunges at the gym and mile after mile of running on the track. They provide me with support, stability, and the ability to keep myself grounded. Everyday I work to improve them. Laps, horseshoes, squats, and lunges–they’ve carried me through everything, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have them.

How about you? How did your week turn out?

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