Gratitude is the number one new year’s resolution we all need. Sure, many people would like to get richer/fitter/healthier/happier, travel more, discover themselves, “find love” and so on and so on, but unless you are actually grateful for what you have now, none of those should be a priority. People are wired to constantly crave to improve their quality of life, and that’s pretty normal. After all, this desire is the first stepping stone to change if you actually act on it, but only focusing on these resolutions is wrong.
Looking back two years ago, I can say that I was hardly thankful for anything. Although I didn’t have any real problems, I ended up being this ungrateful, somewhat bratty eighteen-year-old who complained about EVERYTHING. Remembering the first months of 2016, I realize that I should have been so blissfully happy and appreciating every second of the close-to-perfect life I had. But then again, because I didn’t have any serious problems back then, I literally took everything for granted. If something didn’t go my way – even if it was the most minor thing – I would make a huge tragedy out of it and make sure to mention how everything always goes wrong for me. I suppose the absence of any genuinely serious issues is what caused me to be such a brat in the first place; I just didn’t know any better.
Fast forward two years: 2018, 20 years old and definitely much more tired, stressed and sometimes sad (for valid reasons). But at the same time, I am so incredibly thankful for learning the art of gratitude, which honestly makes up for a lot. Maybe if things stayed as smooth as they were back when I was 18, I would still be the same person – bored, permanently annoyed and bitching about every tiny thing that went wrong.
The “problems” I had back then were mostly due to me not knowing what to do with myself, being too lazy to do what I actually wanted to do with my life and getting into petty personal dramas. Being broke for a couple of weeks was a tragedy, going through a break-up after dating someone for a month or two was life ruining, and gaining half a kilo because I didn’t have time to work out for a few days meant that I would basically spend the next few days avoiding food and feeling miserable because OH MY GOD 500 extra grams. You know, just the usual superficial bullshit.
Little did I know that June 2016 would be the last month I felt comfortable. Without going into too much detail, I can say that the last two years have been so difficult – more difficult than I would like to share. Because I’ve always been that weird-funny-sociable person, many people – even the close ones – probably can’t even imagine the extent to which I’ve had to pick myself up over and over again just to not give up on things that I used to take completely for granted.
But this is not a “feel sorry for me” post – this is a lesson. Although I lost some things I didn’t even realize I had, I gained this incredible feeling of gratitude for everything good that is still in my life. And maybe some days are still bad, but I appreciate the good ones so much that they make up for anything that happened before. And when things get better, I know that I’m never ever going to take the good things I have for granted. I will never be depressed over petty things, procrastinate on the important stuff, or even miss opportunities just because I’m waiting for everything to be “perfect”.
So now, just take a moment to be grateful what you have right now, because good things are fickle and have the tendency to disappear if they are not appreciated. Happy 2018.