Start every day with a thought of gratitude.
The past two years have changed my life. 2020 has taught us all a lesson about solidarity, loneliness, and isolation. We’ve learned the importance of human contact, friendship, and family. We’ve all done everything in our power to protect our loved ones and keep them safe… and sane. Like many people on this planet, I lost not one, but two jobs, and had to search deep in my heart and find the courage to start over and get back on my feet.
I walked in 2021 confident that life would get better, only to be diagnosed with cancer in the first month of this year. Once again, I was forced to look deep in my soul to find the courage and strength to beat this awful disease. But I did it. And as I’m getting ready for what I’m hoping to be the last surgery in this story, my heart is filled with gratitude. For the lessons I’ve learned in these past two years, the strength I found in my soul, but most of all, for the wonderful people who were and are by my side. Here are 25 reasons to be grateful:
1. Your Family
I am so grateful for my family. We are not perfect, sometimes we even argue, but the love we share is infinite. So many people are alone in this world, and I feel so thankful for being able to hug my loved ones every day.
2. Your Friends
You can’t choose your parents, siblings, aunts, or uncles. But you can pick your friends, and if you do it right, they will become the family you choose. I am so thankful for my friends. For 30 years, we’ve supported, loved, and pushed each other to become better. If you, too, have at least one person you can call your friend, be grateful.
3. The Love In Your Life
If you have love in your heart, you are blessed. That’s all we really need to be happy: Love. The love we give to our parents, children, friends, and spouses. The love we give to strangers through our kind gestures. The love we put into our work, hobbies, and daily chores. If you have love in your life, be grateful, and appreciate it.
4. The Roof Over Your Head
If you have a roof over your head, you have more than a lot of people. We sometimes take for granted things that others can only dream of. If you have a roof over your head, somewhere safe, where there’s no danger of war or natural disaster, you are so lucky!
5. The Peace In Your Heart
I’ve realized that many people chase the wrong things in life. Money, success, professional achievements, fancy titles, and possessions won’t bring you happiness unless you have peace in your heart. Nothing will make you happy if you hold grudges and resentment in your soul. If there is peace in your heart, be grateful.
6. The Food On Your Table
Millions of people go to bed hungry every night because they can’t afford to eat. If you get to open your fridge at any time and wonder what to eat, you are so lucky. Be grateful. And if you ever have the chance to feed a hungry soul, do it.
7. People Being Kind
Last year, I helped friends raise money for their child who was battling cancer and needed help to pay for the treatment. The response we got from kind strangers was amazing. So inspiring. People who didn’t even know us gave up their savings and helped a sick child live. I was impressed to tears. This year, when I went through chemo myself, the same generous people helped me with emotional support, prayers, and small gestures that made a huge difference. I am so grateful for the kindness in this world. And I know you are a kind person too, so please know I’m thankful for the generosity in your heart.
8. The Strength In Your Heart
Whatever life throws at you, the strength in your heart, the love in your life, and the kindness in this world will help you overcome it.
9. The Peace In Your Home
Peace is what makes a family happy. One can have the biggest house, the nicest pool, and the most expensive car. But, if there’s no peace, that family will never be happy.
10. The Lessons You've Learned
The mistakes in our past are blessings, as they come with the life lessons we’ve learned, becoming who we are today. I am grateful for everything life has thrown at me because every second has shaped me into the person I am now.
11. Good Books
I am so grateful for the wisdom, the beauty, and the stories you can find in a good book. And lying in bed with a cup of warm coffee and a good story is sometimes all you need.
12. Being At Peace With Yourself
Making peace with yourself is one of the hardest things to do. You have to forgive yourself for the mistakes in your past, to let go of grudges and resentment, and to forgive others, even though they’ve never apologized.
13. Your Talents
We all have a special skill we received as a gift when we were born. Be grateful for your natural talents, and share them with the world. When 2020 left me jobless, I had to ask myself: “what can I do well?”, “what is my special skill?,” and “can I make a living out of it?”. My answer was YES, and I am so grateful for the wonderful months that followed.
14. Every Accomplishment In Your Life
Celebrate every accomplishment in your life, no matter how small. It may not look like a big deal now, but these small steps will take you to success. Be grateful for what you have achieved.
15. Your Education
I am who I am today, primarily because of the education I got at home. Growing up, I had positive examples who taught me to be respectful, kind, and reliable. I also had negative examples who taught me what not to become. I am grateful for both because the path I took in life turned out to be right for me.
16. Your Health
For the past months, I have been fighting cancer. With a positive attitude, a lot of love from my family and friends, support from kind people, and the great work of my doctors, I managed to kick cancer in the butt. I used to take my health for granted. I never knew how blessed I’d been was before. If you have your health, be grateful. And please, take care of it. It is so precious.
17. Good Humor
Whatever happens, if we find the power to laugh, we’ll get through it. Good humor got me through my hardest times, and I’m so thankful for everyone who made me laugh.
18. That Person Who Is Always There For You
You know who they are. Be grateful for them.
19. People Who Call Just To See How You've Been
I am so grateful for the people who take the time to care. The times are crazy, everyone is busy, and a friend who cares is a rare thing these days.
20. Good Music
Never underestimate the power of listening to your favorite song while dancing in your underwear. (At home, not Walmart.) Music heals the soul, and I am so grateful for my favorite songs.
21. The Internet That Connects Us All
We live in such amazing times. We can connect with people who live on the other side of the world. But what’s even more impressive is that we can send our message out in the world and reach thousands of people. I say we all use it to spread positivity and good vibes. That’s my plan.
22. Unconditional Love
If you have received unconditional love, you are blessed. Be grateful for the love of your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, and last but not least, the pets to whom you meant the world.
23. People Accepting You For Who You Are
I am thankful for everyone who accepts me for who I am, and I will do the same for others. We are different, but we all matter the same. We are all very valuable, in our own unique way. And I cherish our differences, because life would be so boring if we were all the same! Diversity is awesome!
24. Falling In Love
Some people never find true love, and I was lucky enough to marry my soul mate. I am grateful for experiencing the magic of true love.
25. Waking Up Today
I am grateful for being here. Every day is a blessing.