Before I start 2017, it’s probably useful to look back at 2016 and note what I’m grateful for. Gratitude is the key to getting more of what you want out of life. I believe that. I believe that when we’re grateful, we’re happy. And when we’re happy we are better able to face the inevitable challenges that come our way. We’re also more open to the opportunities. You get the idea.
It’s easy to quickly say, “Well, I’m grateful for everything!” Of course you are. But it’s important to be specific. That makes you slow down and really looks at all the good that’s in your life. It’s about taking stock and expressing gratitude of not just the big things, but the little things, too.
Which brings me to the next point: Ideally, you should do this every day, since good things take place in our lives all the time. Try to list at least three things. They can be from any area of your life: Help on a project from someone you weren’t thinking could/would do so. Time spent with a loved one. Noticing the evening sunset. Whatever.
Lastly, keep this in mind: Gratitude is great because it involves a measure of humility and remembering that many of the things that will happen in your favor are completely out of your control.
Since I wasn’t consistent over the course of the year, here are some items from my gratitude list:
- Mom. Right before Christmas, my mom fell and spent the day she was supposed to travel in the hospital. Fortunately, there were no broken bones or concussions–both a real concern for someone in their 80s–and she was able to make it here a couple of days later. Ultimately, it was all good, but I know I’ll be much more involved in her healthcare in 2017. That said, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do so.
- Our home. I realized, I’m so happy every day I walk up the front steps to my home in Bed Stuy. It was three years ago this month that we bought the place, and moved from Park Slope. Haven’t looked back since. Lucky to live on a great block and have great neighbors.
- My family. I’m thrilled for Bridgett that she’s going to finally write the memoir on her mom. Abbie is growing into a poised and confident teenager. Tyler is college-bound and is on his way to exploring his deep interest in acting, as both a life and a profession; he’s so much clearer than I was at 17. Way more.
- My job. I’m grateful for my job at the ANA, and the opportunity to become a better marketer. There’s a lot that I can still learn and contribute in this role, and I’m looking forward to stepping up further in 2017.
- The NBI Festival. Yeah, it’s coming back. I’m so grateful for the the people who have stepped forward to express interest in supporting it. Such a huge vote of confidence. More on this as things develop.
- Podcasting. Well, kinda. What I’m grateful for is the opportunity to be part of the 2 Dope Boys & A Podcast crew. Great discussions have happened over the course of 2016 with Phil McKenzie, Michael Brooks and super producer Matt Lech. Looking forward to getting to know my fellow crew members, Georgette Pierre, and Big Wos, as well as creative director Shawn Awan.
- Miscellaneous. Grateful to be able to indulge my love of comics, video games, wine, cigars and, most recently, fountain pens (this is my Sheaffer 300 with a fine nib below).
What are you grateful for this year?