Take Nothing for Granted

Sometimes, when you’re going through a rough time, or when depression may be showing its ugly face again, it may be hard to feel grateful for what you do have. It’s easy to despair when chronic illness causes debilitating pain, or when luck doesn’t seem to be on your side.

But even during these difficult times, it’s important to remember the things you should be grateful for. Indeed, developing a gratitude habit could actually help you through these tough times. Even if the world seems against you, chances are, if you’re reading this, you have a lot to be thankful for. Take nothing for granted. Remember your good fortune, even in the middle of a crisis. Doing so will help you to find the silver linings in every situation, and in turn, will help you lead a happier life.

 

take nothing for granted, www.marianamcdougall.com, woman holding sunflower, Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

1. If you’re reading this, you have an Internet connection.

Even if you’re borrowing your friend’s laptop or cell phone, or visiting the library so you can use the Internet for free, you have a way of getting information and connecting with the world. Don’t take this for granted, as not everyone is granted this luxury.

2. If you’re reading this, you probably have enough to eat.

If you can use a phone or computer, you’re probably able to purchase enough food to not go hungry. Or you have the skills to access a Food Bank or ask your neighbourhood friends to help you. And if you have a phone or computer but can’t do these things, you need to shift your priorities a little. 

3. If you’re reading this, you probably have clean water to drink.

And even if your community is under a boil water advisory, you probably can still turn on the faucet instead of travelling for hours before carrying a heavy water bucket back to your community. Clean water should be a basic right, yet many the world over view it as a luxury, because they have no other choice.

 

These three things may seem so simple that it’s hard to feel grateful for them, especially in times of crisis. But developing a gratitude habit is an act of taking absolutely nothing for granted. Remember to be thankful for the little things, and soon enough, the bigger things will find you (or you’ll have enough gratitude and energy to find them).

What are you grateful for today?

Travel Makes Me Happy

A long time ago, I had decided I’d write a quick post about something I was thankful for each day. Reality is that publishing this post every day just didn’t happen. But I do want to try this again, so I’m going to try and see if I can at least publish one post per week about the things I’m thankful for. And what better day to do it than on #ThankfulThursday? 

Continue reading “Travel Makes Me Happy”

Gratitude & Self-Care: An Intimate Connection

If you’re trying to develop a gratitude habit, remembering your self-care is important. Although these two things may seem completely unrelated, they’re really not: self-care is a way of showing gratitude for your body. 

Your body is the only thing you’ll know you’ll have for the rest of your life. Whether you have an amazing body that does everything the way you want it to, or a bruised, battered body, or a body that doesn’t always act the way it should, your body is yours. It carries you through this life and allows you to experience everything our earth has to offer. 

Developing a gratitude habit sometimes takes effort, but if you start with your own self-care and being grateful for your body, it can become a little easier.

It can be hard to make time for self-care. That’s why I’ve written a simple document with 50 self-care ideas that take 10 minutes or less.

Sign up for the mailing list for your FREE copy!

Swing Dancing and Old Friends

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after following a link on this post, I may receive a small commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use and love, or that I want to use in the near future.

Roughly 16 years ago, I met my husband at the University of Western Ontario’s swing dance club, Swing Kids. Roughly two years before that, way back in 1999, my brother had dragged me to a swing dancing event at Chicago’s Willowbrook Ballroom (well, sort of Chicago. Close enough). I reluctantly went, sure that 1930’s dancing would be extremely boring. In my defense, I was 17 at the time, and knew absolutely nothing about swing dancing. Well, to my surprise, it was great fun, and I was hooked right away. How could you not be, when you got to take a lesson to learn how to dance and then got to dance with pretty much everyone – and to a live band, no less!

Continue reading “Swing Dancing and Old Friends”

All the nice things… from (almost) all the days I didn’t post

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after following a link on this post, I may receive a small commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use and love, or that I want to use in the near future.

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Trains and visits from grandma

Today my mom (whom my kids call Vó Bia) came to stay for a 5-day visit. It’s been a while since she was able to come from London, ON to Kingston, ON, so we were looking forward to her coming to see us. We picked her up at the train station, then headed straight to the YMCA for the kids’ swimming and jump rope lessons. Dan met us there, and I headed out to grab some pizzas, because we didn’t have time to make anything to bring with us for dinner.

Continue reading “All the nice things… from (almost) all the days I didn’t post”

Birthday and Special Haircuts

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after following a link on this post, I may receive a small commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use and love, or that I want to use in the near future.

I love birthday parties. I love hosting little parties at my house, making yummy food, and having friends over. My little K-girl turned 7 on January 20th. I can’t believe how fast time is flying.

Continue reading “Birthday and Special Haircuts”

Sunday Treats & Family Time

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after following a link on this post, I may receive a small commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use and love, or that I want to use in the near future.

Our church has a lovely fellowship hour after mass. When we left Kingston temporarily between 2006-2008, one of the reasons we really yearned to come back was our church community. It was hard to find that back in Ottawa.

Not only do we get to spend some time chatting with our Sunday family and just hanging out, we also get some lovely treats, too. Thoughtful folks bring lovely treats each Sunday, and the kids really enjoy them. The kids they run around in the back of the hall and burn off their energy before we go home and put them down for rest time.

Today’s nice thing is being free to attend church, hang out, and have yummy treats.

The other nice thing is to be able to spend time as a family, watching our kids quickly acquire new skills by using the indoor playground daddy built. We’ve got some pretty cool monkey bars and a trapeze in our basement now. My hubby is awesome. In so many ways.

Those are my nice things for Sunday. What nice things happened for you today?

Thank you to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check out their awesome art!

Husbands Who Cook

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after following a link on this post, I may receive a small commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use and love, or that I want to use in the near future.

Today’s nice thing was that we had some more folks over for dinner. Dan decided that this year he’d like to have people over for dinner on most weekends. We had found we were getting a little too socially isolated, and we wanted to re-connect with friends and re-establish a social life. After all, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” as they say.

So today’s nice thing is that we had a lovely family over for dinner. I met Chris when I performed in my very first play last spring – an adaptation of the Princess Bride. I like to joke that I was in a play with Johnny Depp, because it’s uncanny how much this dude looks like the actor. Anyway, after doing the play, we became friends with Chris and his lovely family. So we invited them over a couple of times, one of which was for yesterday’s dinner. Their kids and ours get along well, so they played and we actually got to have a fairly uninterrupted conversation, which was nice.

But the other nice thing is that the entire meal was cooked by Dan. Dan really enjoys cooking, so he takes pride in making the meals when he invites people over. And sorry, family, but he also makes the best “pudim de leite condensado” I’ve ever had. I don’t even make the stuff (I refuse to, ’cause there’s no way it can compare). When we first got married, Dan was a better cook than me. Now I think we’re pretty much on par. It’s nice to have a dinner cooked for me though 🙂

Today I’m grateful for an involved husband and father who can cook, dance, fold laundry, change diapers and clean toilets, and who enjoys entertaining guests. Looks like I hit the jackpot (but I already knew that).

What nice thing happened to you today?

Thank you to Dream Big Printables for this post’s lovely image. Check out their awesome art.

Mighty Fingers and Good Movies

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after following a link on this post, I may receive a small commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use and love, or that I want to use in the near future.

Today I went to hand clinic for the third time. Back in October, I broke my left pinky finger playing basketball. To make a long story short, I was given some exercises to do, and the nice thing for today is that the exercises seem to be working. My range of motion has improved greatly from when I first landed at the hand clinic. I don’t have full extension yet, but I should get back to almost full if not full extension if I continue doing the exercises. My flexion is almost normal, though it still needs a little work. I’ll always have a “fat knuckle” (doctor’s words, not mine), but I don’t mind.

The other nice thing is that Dan went to the library and surprised me with some movies for us to watch. Yesterday we finally finished Saving Mr. Banks, which I’d been meaning to watch since it came out in 2013. It was a pretty good movie, but, as expected, was very loosely based on the true story (just as Mary Poppins was very loosely based on the original books).

But the nice thing about watching that movie is that now I’m very curious to learn more about P.L. Travers, so I decided to read her biography – and it’s available at my library. Yay! Can’t wait to learn more about this really interesting (if very odd) author.

What nice thing happened for you today?

Thanks to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check out their awesome art!