One thing that really helps me resist those impulsive feelings is to remember all of the great things I already have. When I'm lusting after clothes, I focus on the great items I've added to my wardrobe recently and the fact that I'll barely even have time to wear all of those this year without adding new things into the mix. Even more than that, though, remembering the more important things in my life helps put shopping, material desires, and even this blog into perspective. After being inspired by Lovely Little Things, I've been thinking of all of the things I'm grateful for having in my life this week.
1. My family & friends
My mom, my husband, my two sisters, my brother-in-law, various aunts, uncles, cousins, my late grandparents who still influence me everyday, new friends I just met this year, old friends I've known since 1st grade... I know how lucky I am to have even just a few such wonderful people in life, and I'm so grateful that I have a group of them!
2. My job
Sometimes work is boring no matter what you do, but I am so grateful to have a job in the throes of this awful economy. When I went into law school, the job market for lawyers in Chicago was abysmal and it never really picked up like everyone thought it would. I am lucky enough to have a great job with great benefits and people that I really enjoy working with.
3. Where I live
My kind of town, Chicago is! I hate on it sometimes because of the various pitfalls of urban living, but the truth is that I really love living in this city of neighborhoods where I can be close to so many things at the same time: amazing skyscraper views, one of the best city parks in the world, the beach, the lakefronth path, biking trails, broadway plays, insanely delicious restaurants, outlet malls, my family, summer concerts, a short drive to some really great nature parks... there are just too many things to keep going, but I am honestly lucky to be able to call this area home.
My marathon finish! My hat is pulled down so low because I was a blubbering crying mess from pain, pride, relief, and just from being overwhelmed in general. One of the proudest moments of my life.
Running really gives me so many things that it's hard to put in words. I had terrible self-esteem and body image when I was younger, and running gives me more confidence and pride in my body and what it can do. It gives me health and peace of mind that I am doing right by the only body I'll ever have. It gives me the completely indulgent opportunity to shamelessly blast Flo Rida, New Kids on the Block, Sir Mixalot, and any other ridiculous pop song I want and sing along. Most of the time, it gives me joy, and even on those days when it doesn't, it's given me faith that things will get easier even when they seem hard. I'll always be grateful for the life lessons and humility that running has given me.
5. Great books
I have always loved reading - one of my favorite things to during summer breaks as a kid was the family outing to the library to get a new stash of Sweet Valley Twins, Babysitters Club, Fear Street, and Judy Blume books. Sadly I wasn't able to keep up with it very much during law school because of the intense workload I already had, but I've been so thrilled to be able to spend my free time reading again since I've been done with school! I recently finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (really liked it), I'm currently reading Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, and next on the list is an older one I've had borrowed from my sister for
Homemade or Starbucks, iced or hot - no matter, it's all a little bit of joy every single day. I just love it.
I know I'm not alone in feeling that music can have such an impact on your daily life. A few old favorites for me are The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Sublime, Aerosmith, Weezer, Dave Matthews Band, and plenty more. There is so much great music out there right now too - I really love The Black Keys, Florence + The Machine, Alabama Shakes, Iron & Wine, and Muse. I've also always been a huge fan of motown and old r&b like Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Al Green, and The Temptations. And of course I can always get down with a catchy pop tune too! :) Who are some of your favorite bands and/or artists?
8. The internet (and lack thereof)
Honestly, what did we do before it was such a daily fixture? I'm old enough to remember when the internet didn't exist and the insane amount of time it took to use very first dial-up modems to connect (complete with 1000+ hours of free AOL! discs you would get in the mail on a daily basis), and it's crazy to remember those times when we weren't always connected. As great as the internet is, there's also a something wonderful about completely disconnecting on purpose, isn't there?
9. Arrested Development
Solves any problem, answers any question, and forms the basis for 95% of the conversations I have on a daily basis. But seriously, this cheers me up instantly anytime anything is wrong - I just can't help laughing even though I've seen every episode umpteen times. If you haven't seen it, do. Immediately.
10. Summer softball
How can you not love this? I've grown to really love the summer and fall leagues I play on even more than I did when I first started playing several years ago - it's such a fun after-work activity that gives a few carefree hours that remind me of being a kid again.
11. Sunday Morning Breakfast
One of my favorite rituals ever. Jason and I make breakfast together every weekend we can and read the Sunday paper while we finish our coffee. It's such a nice break from everything else during the week and it's something we both treasure - we really miss it when we're not at home to do it!
12. Good Beer
Okay, and sometimes wine...
What are you thankful for this week?