As human beings, we are accustomed to adapting to change and eventually, we grow comfortable with our lives. Once we get into a routine with our day to day activities, we often do not take the time to reflect on our lives. When do find the time to think about ourselves, most of us stay focused on the negative aspects. We worry about what we don't have and what we need to fix about ourselves and our society.
We dwell on fears that may not come to fruition when in reality, we should being appreciative of all that we do have. Similar to most people, I am notorious for becoming fixated by the negative aspects of my life, but I have attempted to push myself and think about all the small and meaningful things that I often overlook.
1. The ability to voice my opinion freely
Living in America, we are drilled with knowing our own rights and making sure to exercise them. There isn't a day that goes by where I do not voice my opinion, whether it be on social media, to my peers, my friends, or my community. It is alarming to me that people across the world do not have the same freedom as I do and it makes me even more grateful to have the ability to do so.
2. Being able to pick my own career path
Growing up, I was never forced to fit a certain mold or aspire to become someone who I didn't want to be. The ability to plan out my own future based on my own preferences and interests is something that was gifted to me and I could not imagine my life any other way.
3. Experiencing all four seasons
It wasn't until I got to college that I realized some of my friends from different parts of the world never got the chance to experience winter or four distinct seasons. Although I could do without snow, growing up with four seasons gave me variety and an abundance of memories.
4. Public transportation
Without the bus or train systems, traveling back and forth from school wouldn't be possible.
5. Hot water
Something I use every day but never acknowledge!
I am not the biggest fan of needles but not having to worry about becoming infected with a life-threatening illness is definitely a blessing.
Although this concept is abstract, independence is something that not everyone has. There are millions of people who suffer from disabilities which make them unable to drive cars, walk on their own, hold certain jobs and even attend a public school. Being able to take of myself and be in charge of my own life is something that I do not spend a lot of time thinking even though it shapes my whole life.
8. Chocolate (and anything else that has sugar in it)
The accessibility of chocolate, as well as all of our favorite foods and guilty pleasures should never be taken for granted.
9. Washing machines
Imagine how time-consuming it would be to wash clothes without access to a washing machine and any other modern technology.
10. A group of people that care about me
There are many times throughout the day where I will turn to my friends, my parents or even my teachers for advice but I don't thank them enough for all that they do. Having a group of people that you know will support you through your triumphs and failures is invaluable and their compassion should never be forgotten or ignored. The people that make up your life directly influence your happiness and without them, your life would truly not be the same.
While this list is short and cannot adequately encompass all the small things that I should be grateful for in my life, it also makes me realize that even taking the time to count a handful of your blessings is critical, especially in times where it seems like your life is falling to pieces. By reflecting on what you do have, you become more mindful of your own blessings and realize that even though life could better, it could also be much worse.