It's a difficult time to be optimistic when there is an uncertain future ahead, but Dave and I have found that we can get through tough situations when we take stock of all the things we are grateful for in our lives.
I'll never forget Oprah talking about her Gratitude Journal. Each day she would wake up and recite five things she is thankful for.
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut
After hearing that, I always made a point of practicing gratitude each day no matter how low I felt. Because let's face it, it's easier to let negativity take over.
Gratitude takes work, but after making gratitude lists on a regular basis, I soon started to feel positive even when times are tough.
Sometimes, it can be difficult seeing the good in our lives, but if we stop to appreciate the little things, it can help us get through the day.
Times are scary and Dave and I are struggling with our thoughts and feelings just like so many others around the world, but when we sit down and think about all the good fortune that we have in our lives, it puts a smile on our face.
For this Earth Day, we are taking a pause to think about how lucky we are to be alive.
40 Things to be Thankful For
1. Our Health
We often take our health for granted, but now as daily death tolls rise we have never been so aware of how lucky we are to remain in good health.
We are in a position where we can self isolate and keep our distance from others and we never take that for granted.
Each morning I wake up and I'm grateful that I am feeling healthy, energized and alive.
2. Our Family
We have seen friends and strangers lose family due to this virus and our hearts break for them. We are grateful every day that our parents and siblings are still healthy. We know others are not so lucky and it could happen to us in a heartbeat.
My parents have done so much for us. If it weren't for them, we'd be sheltering in a hotel or apartment rental while we wait for new our house to be built.
We have been able to lean my parents for support and if we ever need to give my siblings a call to ask for advice or help, we know they will pick up the phone.
3. Running Water
Having traveled the world, we have seen how many people go without fresh and clean water. In the 21st century, it is unacceptable.
Each time we turn on the tap, we are aware of how lucky we are. We don't have to walk for hours each day to fill up a bucket of water for drinking and cooking.
We have clean water at our fingertips and that is something to be thankful for.
4. Our Health Care Workers
I cannot imagine the hardships that doctors and nurses are going through in our emergency rooms. I have read many articles of the sadness in our hospitals and how overwhelmed our medical professionals are feeling.
They are putting their lives at risk for all of us. They are the ones fighting to keep people alive. We cannot express the gratitude we feel towards these heroes.
5. Living in Peace
We have been lucky to never have to experience war. Wars are still raging around the world and people suffer daily. We have never had to experience war, and we are grateful for that.
We have only had a small taste of what it is like to live in fear as we live through this pandemic, but other countries have had to deal with fear every day of their lives. They face bombings and attacks, disease and hunger.
We are grateful that we have always known peace and will never take that for granted. We hope that after this, the world may find a little bit more peace. Life is precious.
6. Our Front of the Line Workers
Each time we gear up with gloves and masks to buy groceries, we think of the heroes that stock the aisles, help us at checkout, and face the front lines every day.
We think of our police officers keeping communities safe, our mail and delivery services that have kept the economy functioning, and our public transit workers who go to work each day to help us all get where we need to go.
There are so many people putting their lives at risk so that our life can continue with some semblance of normalcy.
To all of you, we give our deepest thanks and gratitude.
7. Animals Thriving
During our daily walks, we have seen more animals in the fields and on the trails than we have in years.
I had forgotten that deer would just show up in a yard or that Canada Geese mate for life. We have seen so many pairs of geese sitting on the golf course or flying through the air.
I don't recall noticing this for several years and I am so thankful to see them thriving and surviving.
8. Being Canadian
Most nationalities are very proud of who they are. We can only speak for our own and that is being Canadian.
It isn't fair that some people are born into poverty and war while others are born into a life of safety and privilege.
We are grateful for our healthcare system, and our government helping us through this difficult time.
We are grateful that we have social assistance should we need it. And we are so grateful to live in a country that gives us freedom of speech, movement, and the freedom to believe in whatever we want.
We would love to hear where you are from and why you are grateful for living where you do.
9. Our Friends
I have to admit, we have isolated ourselves a bit too much during this quarantine period. We have used this time to recharge and reflect but have now made it a point to make sure to talk more with family and friends.
Knowing we have good friends that we can talk to when we need to means the world to us.
When we were traveling full time, meaningful friendships was something we missed terribly.
When we settled back into our lives in Toronto again, we were grateful to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
Even when we don't see them, we are grateful to have them in our lives and know that we can reach out whenever we need to.
10. Having a Roof Over our Heads
Dave and I are the lucky ones. There are so many people going through this tragedy alone on the streets.
They need to make a decision each day to either go into a shelter at night and risk being exposed or stay on the streets to deal with the elements and fear.
When we go to bed at night, we are grateful that we have a roof over our heads and a warm bed to sleep in safety and comfort.
If there was one time in history that is the best time to be in quarantine, it is 2020. We are so very lucky to have the Internet at our fingertips.
We can have a beer and talk with friends over video chats. Like the friends above from Drink Tea and Travel, Y Travel Blog, The Instatiable Traveler and Honey Trek who took this screenshot. Thanks guys!
We have an endless stream of movies at our disposal and we can put on any song we feel like listening to by simply asking Alexa and we can order a book and instantly start to read it.
Being inside every day is not ideal, but we are grateful that we live in a time with social media, video chats, and entertainment in our house. Even though we are isolated, we can have the daily comforts in life that we are used to.
12. Being Able to Go for Walks
Getting outside each day has helped us keep our sanity.
We know that other countries are not so lucky. We know that if we were still living on the 63rd floor of a condo building in downtown Toronto, we wouldn't be so lucky.
We are sheltering in place at my parents in the country and we are free to go out for walks each day. We have a backyard and a beautiful view to take our minds off of what is happening.
We are grateful for the space and freedom that other people don't have.
13. Pollution Levels Dropping
Let's face it, the earth has been plummeting into a state of disrepair for decades and the human race is to blame. Perhaps this time of isolation will help us all reflect and appreciate how fragile this life is.
The Earth will continue without us. We are seeing it with our own eyes.
We are seeing pollution levels drop to an all-time low and we are hopeful that it can continue even after we get back to our lives.
Humans may not learn, but for now, we are thankful to see that the world can recover quickly when it needs to.
I'll never forget watching an interview with Bill Gates talking about sanitation in developing countries.
We have traveled the world and have seen first hand the horrible sanitation conditions people live in. It is one of the most difficult human crises' to overcome.
According to the Gates foundation: About 4.5 billion use unsafe sanitation facilities and services. To be effective, sanitation must be carefully managed at all stages, from the point that waste is collected and contained to how it is transported and treated.
The few times in our travels that we have had to use toilets in unsanitary facilities have been awful and we have felt for the people who have to live this every day of their lives.
When I go to my bathroom and use clean toilets, have hot water to shower and fresh soap to clean, I am grateful that I am lucky enough to have healthy conditions in my house and public toilets.
- I will never take that for granted and to learn more visit the Bill Gates Foundation.
15. Slowing Down
The 21st century has been busy. It's noisy and it's overwhelming.
This time in isolation has allowed us to take time stop being consumed by outside influences.
We have been on the go for 10 years and always found excuses to skip exercising or to not read a book.
Our downtime was always spent “in-between projects” and we never truly relaxed because we knew we'd be back on the road or back at work in a few days or weeks.
For the first time in years, we don't feel pressure to be busy. We have been able to enjoy each other's company and with get to know our inner selves again.
16. Time to Reflect
It is easy to get caught up in the rat race regardless of careers.
But now, we are forced into a pause and it has given us time to reflect.
Dave and I got into travel blogging because we love to travel. But over the past few years, our lifestyle wasn't about traveling, it was about working -and our lives and health took a backseat.
We are grateful to look at this time as a moment to think about how we want to live the next chapter in our lives.
It can be difficult, especially when incomes are slashed but being still can be the best tim to make decisions and plans.
Travel used to be our way to reset our brains but now we are using isolation as a time to recharge.
17. My Soul Mate
I am so grateful for Dave each day. He is so smart and thoughtful.
He makes me a better person and I am grateful that I met him at a young age and was able to grow with him.
I never take it for granted that I have the best husband in the world.
18. Having a Purpose
There is no doubt, this crisis has hurt everybody financially. Like so many people, we are unsure of the future of our business.
But, we have always said that we love what we do, and if it all fell apart, we'd find a way to rebuild. Well, it fell apart and our industry will be forever changed.
But our purpose and calling is this blog.
We love sharing our thoughts and experiences. And we know that even if things change, we will still have the passion to write, take photos, and create videos.
We will start over, because we found what we love to do. We never take that for granted.
We'll never forget how it felt to live a life without passion and purpose and each day we are grateful that we found ours.
If you haven't found your purpose, maybe this time can be spent finding it.
We are so lucky to be able to see the beauty of the world.
20. Real News
The media is being beaten up on a daily basis around the world, but some publications and channels push on and try to get us the information we need.
We are grateful for the reporters and journalists that take risks to give us information and expose what is going on around the world.
My parents have a cat named Zach. He is a cutie pie.
Each day he brings a smile to our faces when he does something cute like snooping around in the cupboards.
We can't wait to move into our new home to settle down a bit.
We loved our cat Spoofy and would like to shelter another animal soon.
As I write this, it is the end of April and it is snowing outside.
It is odd for this time of year, but nothing in the year 2020 has been normal.
I think of the people and animals outside in the cold and I thank my lucky stars each day that I have warmth when I need it.
When I go to bed, I look forward to my morning cup of coffee coffee. Thank you to whoever invented a good cup of Joe centuries ago.
I have have always taken food and nutrition for granted, and I will never again.
24. Food and Supermarkets
I have never been so grateful to have food on the table. This time has made us realize how dependent we are on our farmers, grocery stores and delivery personnel.
I have realized that should our food supply chain run out, we would be in serious trouble. Dave and I don't know how to farm, we don't have a garden and we wouldn't be able to provide for ourselves.
Each day I am grateful that supermarkets have stayed open and that we are still able to buy food.
And now it is time for the speed round of Things to be Grateful for:
We start each day listening to meditation music and as the day goes on, we change to our mellow mix and then finally a good mix of upbeat tunes and motivational songs.
Being able to listen to the music of the world is a gift and while in isolation, we are so lucky to be able to listen to our favourite music to give us the motivation to keep on living each day to the fullest.
26. Afternoon Naps
It can be as little as 20 minutes but an afternoon nap feels so decadent. I love being able to stop everything for a moment, close my eyes and float away for a little bit.
27. My Pillow
When we travel, my neck and shoulders are always sore and stiff when I wake up. Dave and I spent a lot of time trying out pillows when we first moved back to Toronto. I now can't sleep without it. I look forward to my pillow each night.
28. A Good Movie that Makes me Cry
I don't know about you, but I love a movie that is inspirational and transformational. A movie where someone overcomes adversity and once they go through a struggle they come out on top.
I love popcorn. I sometimes skip dinner and just eat popcorn.
30. Reading Socks
I love putting on my big socks to read a book or sit down to work at my computer.
31. Comfortable Pajamas
My favourite time of day is changing into my pajamas at night.
I love putting gon my jammies with my big comfy socks and then I turn on Netflix or Amazon Prime and watch a good movie.
32. Dave's Cooking
I know many people are trying new recipes out there with the extra time on their hands. I am lucky because I married an excellent cook.
Each night he makes the best meals.
We have often joked that if travel never comes back, Dave can always turn this into a cooking blog. The Planet D stands for Dining anyone?
33. Sleeping In
I remember working in the film industry and having to leave for work at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning. What I wouldn't have given to be able to sleep a few more ours.
During this time in isolation, we appreciate being able to have a flexible schedule.
34. Toilet Paper
We have traveled to many places in the past where we had to carry our own toilet paper, but we always knew that the trip would either be coming to an end or that we could buy more.
The great toilet paper shortage of 2020 made us realize just how much we use the soft squares.
I am grateful it is back on the shelves and when we move into our new house, we are installing a Japanese toilet for sure!
I have never washed my hands so thoroughly and often.
I am thankful that we have an abundance of soap to be able to sanitize our hands after coming home from shopping. Other people are not so lucky.
36. An Empty Email In Box
For years, we have seen an influx of emails from spam to silly business scams.
Lately, the junk mail has slowed down. And with travel being put on pause, business proposals have slowed as well.
For the first time in years, we have been able to stay on top of our daily emails and keep our inbox to a minimum.
37. Our Life Experiences
Everything that we have done in our lives has led us to this place. We are thankful for the ups and downs and thankful to be able to grow old.
Having maturity has given us humility and appreciation for everything we have.
When I was younger, I would only look at the negative and I would think about what I didn't have and what I didn't get.
Now, I appreciate how far we have come, and how lucky we are.
Whenever we travel, we always take the time in each day to watch the sun go down. When we are not traveling, we tend to forget about a beautiful sunset and go on with our daily lives.
While we are at home in isolation, we have the time to appreciate the beauty of this world. Watching the sun go down in a beautiful burst of colour can instantly lift our spirits.
So tonight, if you can, take the time to sit and watch the sunset, it will make you feel thankful to be alive.
39. Essential Oil Diffuser
I love the smell of peppermint, lavender, or eucalyptus essential oils coming through my diffuser.
When I wake up in the morning, put on my Spotify playlist, let the mellow music sooth my soul as I take deep breathes of the delicious aroma filling the air.
I am grateful that we still have hope.
The world is in a very dark place right now, but we have seen the best of human kind. There are countless people doing selfless acts of kindness.
Even in a polarized world, the good in people is shining through and showing us that humans can be kind and that gives us hope.
If you are feeling blue and having a difficult time finding things to be grateful for, don't feel bad, you are not alone.
Many people are feeling anxious and sad, but maybe these quick ideas will help you feel more optimistic that there is still some good in being alive.
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