By Deborah Devenney
I recently read a post over at the personal finance blog Mocha Money about the importance of gratitude. Dr. Alonzo wrote that the more you are thankful for the things you have, the less you will feel consumed by all the things you don't have - eventually saving you money and making you a happier, well-rounded person.
I decided that on this Monday (and we're probably looking at the first in a series, people) I would do a quick round-up of some things I am thankful for today. We could all use a little reminder :)
1. Simple, delicious foreign food
I never had a chance to study abroad in college, but I have several friends that did and they brought back with them amazing stories, pictures, and recipes that can send you anywhere in the world with just one bite. My friend Chelsea spent a semester in France and recently started a blog about her life. One of her first posts was this recipe for a simple French salad. Inexpensive, light, and simple: this recipe could have me eating greens every day of the week!
2. Board games
Board games have been at the centerpiece of most of my fondest memories: they are a great way to spend quality time together andmaybe even learn a thing or two. My family is addicted to every version of Trivial Pursuit we can get our hands on, and my father is a downright mean Monopoly player. Give us a board game and a pot of coffee and we could be entertained for hours!
3. Our baby chickens
Last week my family brought home ten itty bitty baby chicks. Eventually they will lay eggs, which we'll get to keep and save a little money. Right now, though, they are just cute and make little "peeping" sounds all day long (even when you don't want them to!). Tiny fluffy birds in my living room - that feels like spring.
4. Easter Egg hunts
Yesterday was Easter and since I have a lot of little cousins and siblings, we still have an annual Easter Egg Hunt. All the kids get sent down to the basement so they can't see where we're hiding the eggs outside. When we're ready, they explode from the house armed with baskets and buckets and search for the little plastic things like they've just lost their new puppy. What I love about it is obviously how cute they are but also that they have to work for their candy. After all the searching and running, they end up with about ten pieces of candy and it might as well be the world to them. That's what I call gratitude.
This is tough for me, because usually I hate surprises; I sort like to know everything that's going on and be in control of as much as possible. But recently I've been reminded that this is not necessarily a heatlhy attitude and that some surprises - whether it's a bonus check in the mail you didn't expect, the foster child you've been waiting months for finally arrives, or a visit from a friend who said they couldn't make it this weekend - are pretty great after all. Surprises are the cream filling in the cupcake of life :)
What are you grateful for today?