Happiness is a Choice.

The Gratitude Challenge: Day 1 Grateful for this Day

“Finding gratitude in the good things (coffee) and the nuisances (missing the bus), has revealed to me that I always have a choice.”

This morning my alarm clock woke me up with an abruptness that jolted me from my dream. The sun was still sleeping behind the horizon but it was time for me to throw off the duvet and start the day. I’m grateful I was able to get up at 6:30 am.

I am grateful for coffee.

I could hear the melodic drip, drip, drip of freshly brewed coffee hitting the bottom of the pot as I cozied up for my morning meditation. A splash of almond milk and the sharp taste of caffeine touched my lips and made me smile.

I am grateful for my morning meditation.

The timer begins at 10 minutes and I sit in my bed, eyes gently fluttering closed, listening to sounds around me. The gaps between my thoughts are where I peacefully sit.

I am grateful for my ability to walk (and explore).

Transit tested my patience. The crisp breeze of a fresh fall day tickled my skin and made the hairs prickle over my body. It’s 7:50 am and I’m standing at the bus stop. The bus doesn’t come. When it does, people are pressed together, pressed into windows, pressed to their tipping point.

The bus doesn’t stop for me, so I decide to walk. I walk and walk for an hour or so and I feel grateful. I see neighborhoods I’ve never explored, I see plants on people’s window sills, I see smiles from strangers, and I see cafes I plan to go back to.

I am grateful for music.

I shuffle my playlist for the entirety of the walk and challenge myself not to skip a song. The music transitions from folky Bob Dylan tracks into soulful Rihanna songs and Matt Corby acoustics. A Miles Davis song comes on while I ride the subway and makes the entire experience feel more poetic than hectic.

I am grateful for the people I work with and for.

When I hop off the subway and into the hustle of the downtown core, I’m elbowed, bumped, and pushed in the flow of commuters. I see a man balancing a coffee try to quickly sprint passed me. I jump out of the way to ensure his Americano wouldn’t end up on my blouse. I smile and realize how grateful I am that my bosses are so understanding. I walk into work at 9:18 am which is earlier than I expected and immediately am welcomed with genuine good mornings.

I am grateful for kindness.

I tried something new on my walk. I tried to make eye contact and smile at each person I passed. I made a point to not get caught up in fearing a cold glance or a disregard. To my surprise and delight, most people that returned my stare smiled genuinely back at me. This gave me a real feeling of human connection, if even for a split second with a total stranger.

I am going to continue to be grateful today.

Finding gratitude in the good things (coffee) and the nuisances (missing the bus), has revealed to me that I always have a choice. I don’t have to claim “today’s just one of those days”, because I’m in control of the kind of day I want to have. Today has been a good day! And I’m going to continue choosing this.