Appreciating the here and now

rita schiano thankfulness quote

I lost it in my car the other day.

Let’s back up. It had been a rough day at work, it was very late and for some reason there was traffic backing up my exit at 10 p.m. forcing me to take the back way through South Dallas to my apartment. Now, this is always tricky. I miss my unmarked turn home every time, ending up lost in the kind of area you don’t want to get lost in. I was determined that this would not be the case this time. No, this time I would see that turn coming. This time I would make it home in the same amount of time my phone tells me the trip should actually take.

This did not happen.

So I yelled and screamed in my car as I made the seemingly giant loop to get back around town to my apartment…and then I looked up to find the most beautiful bridge and view I think I can safely say in all of Dallas. It was like magic, driving into the darkness along the empty stone bridge lined with glowing, old-fashioned street lamps and a perfect view of the Dallas skyline peeking over the far edge. SO worth the detour.

Why am I telling you this? Ironically, less than 20 minutes earlier I had been telling my friends how I want to work on thankfulness. I realized I had somehow become immune to the blessings around me…life, other people, random little things and even personal gifts and talents. I committed to more actively appreciating situations and people throughout my day…and promptly resorted back to frustration the second something wasn’t going my way. Seeing that bridge put me in my place, reminding me of my commitment and calling out just how quick I was to forget it.

So now I’m telling you, too: I’m working on my thankfulness. There are so many things to appreciate about life, especially right now! Working on my appreciation is also a great way to keep me rooted in the present, to dream about the future without getting stuck in it. It never fails – whenever I look back on a time of my life, even one that frankly didn’t seem so great at the time, I think about how happy / meaningful / edifying it actually was. Wouldn’t it be awfully sad to later look back on this time so fondly and realize we didn’t appreciate it to the fullest when it was actually here?

Here’s some things I’m thankful for right now:

  • airline miles.
  • parents who have those miles to generously donate.
  • straws.
  • sunshine.
  • friends who wait for you despite 25 minutes of traffic.
  • pay day yesterday.
  • patios.
  • co-workers who genuinely like each other.
  • blogging.
  • free film screening tickets.
  • community.
  • my perfect apartment.
  • tv time with the roommates.
  • friends that tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
  • sweet potatoes.
  • excited new home decor planning
  • carpooling.
  • dinner plans.
  • podcasts.

Oh, and if you ever have the chance to drive on the Corinth Street Bridge at night DO IT.

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