It’s the perfect time of year for us to remember the abundant goodness in each of our lives. Our editorial board reflects on why they’re thankful and what they appreciate.
According to 16 Personalities, I’m the Architect or an INTJ. There are few things that make me happier in this world than being able to share knowledge, and being able to help students develop an educated opinion about the world around them and how they can contribute to a better society. An Architect is best described by a wonderful, if a bit sassy quote by Harlan Ellison; “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” Knowing I can contribute to an individual’s overall development is truly humbling.
This may sounds silly, but when I lay down in bed at night, after just having made my bed with freshly laundered sheets, I’m forever grateful for the opportunities I have in my life. I had a full Sunday free to clean, I have a family who will be right there with me, lending a hand, I have the finances to support a roof over my head and a home filled with comfort. Clean sheets is really just the spark, laying down knowing I am secure in the literal bed I made, that’s what truly makes me very happy.
The Written Word
I’m absolutely fascinated with culture, and will become enamored quickly with a world created by an amazing author. It could be non-fiction, sharing the experiences of individuals I will never have the opportunity to meet, or an entire universe wholly formed in one individuals imagination. The idea that one can truly create something that never before was imagined is awe-inspiring and continually encourages and motivates me (even if I’m not that talented myself).
Hearing a Baby’s Laughter
I know this sounds weird, but hear me out: there is something amazing about a human being who is learning how to navigate this world with every look/smell/feel/hear/taste they do give you a laugh because it’s truly in its purest form. That means whatever they are laughing at really has to be funny.
Finding the Perfect Lyric to Relate to
Sometimes, you don’t have the right words to explain things. Luckily, someone else (who is extremely talented and hopefully gets paid well for doing it) does and it all makes sense.
Making Eye Contact with the Person that Gets You
Think about it: you’re watching TV together and something happens that reminds you of …, you look up, make eye contact, and don’t even have to say a word. You just smile at each other.
When I am feeling stressed, or like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, I can always turn to my family. Whether it is playing tea party with my four-year-old daughter and enjoying a moment away from “adulting” or venting to my mom, I am very lucky to have them in my life.
I grew up with cats and dogs my whole life, and there is something about having them that make life feel a little more blessed. Butters, my Cairn Terrier I’ve had for the past nine years, has gotten me through a lot. He cuddles with me when I’m sad, cheers me up with the silly way he sticks his tongue out, and makes me stay active … gotta get those walks in!
Living in Colorado, I have the great benefit of a wide array of outdoor activities. My favorite is hiking because I can challenge myself to just keep going. And by not stopping or giving in to the difficulty, I ultimately get to the top where the view is usually breathtaking.
Sometimes blessings are in disguise until the very end – take the opportunity to see the silver lining in each opportunity regardless of how horrible it can be from the start. Remember that sometimes the process is what is the blessing.
Practice Being a Kid
Kids are the best! They don’t judge, they don’t know what they don’t know, and they haven’t been tarnished by the world around them. Take a few moments to remember what it is like to be a kid.
I’m not sure there are a lot of people out there who like to age, but I know that I have gotten better with time. I take in moments differently now, I stop and pause when I used to rush through, and finally, I remember that my younger self didn’t know it all.
Freedom of our Voice
Despite all the craziness and the drama that comes with an election season, I am grateful we live in a country that allows for the opportunity to elect our government officials. This is a privilege I think often goes overlooked because most of us have never known a world that functions any differently.
Love Your Career
I spent most of my early adult life searching for a vocation that was not only enjoyable but rewarding. The students and professional staff who I associate with on a daily basis push me to be a better person by showing me that my work has an impact beyond the everyday interactions.
I am blessed to have spent almost an entire decade working at an institution that places a tremendous amount of emphasis on impact. The impact students have on their community; the impact staff has on students; the impact research and growth have on all of us; these are all examples of the commitment that is placed on the value of impact.
Fresh Start Every Day
I love waking up in the morning knowing that I have the whole day ahead of me – so many possibilities! And even on my worst days, I go to bed thinking, “at least I can try again tomorrow.” It gives me peace to know that each and every day we’re blessed with new beginnings and new opportunities.
Sarcasm and Sass
I appreciate a clever joke that brings to light a new perspective. And I love unbridled sass that just flows out of your mouth (sometimes when it’s not supposed to!) I think humor brings us closer together and when we can laugh at “the way things are” it helps engage us with a power that only laughter has. My kids are starting to develop well-thought sarcasm as they’re looking at the world around them, and I have to admit I’m proud of their critical thinking and sass (except when they’re sassing me – then I know it’s Karma taking over).
The Quiet Voice Unveiled with Confidence
I’ve spent a lot of time in leadership roles – as an instructor, group facilitator and presenter – and my favorite part of being in charge is helping the quiet/shy/afraid members of the group define their voice. Proudly. Confidently. When I provide the opportunity and listen, I learn and grown by engaging those who usually stay in the background.