"Have gratitude for how blessed you truly are. Be a blessing for everything around you." - Lena Stevens, The Power Path
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Seems like everyone is taking a moment to remind themselves of all the things they're grateful for today. So I shall jump on the band-wagon and add my two-cents to all the thankfulness shout-outs.
Today I am most grateful for... NEW YORK CITY.
My life is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT REALITY since I moved to NY in 2007.
It has been both DEVASTATING and EUPHORIC, but definitely transformational... becoming a New Yorker and making my own way in the big city.
I am thankful for both the challenges and privileges of living in this city. Life is really amazing here on a daily basis. It's like nothing else I've ever experienced. I never imagined it would be like this. But here I am!!!
"Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings." - Ralph Blum
For example, this is a typical day for me as of 11/23/2011 (yesterday). I have many moments to be grateful for in a typical day... See below...
6:00am - Woke up in the softest bed I've ever slept in. I am cat-sitting at a friend's house on 2nd Ave and 53rd St in Manhattan. The building has a doorman and 3 elevators and the apartment has a dishwasher... LUXURIOUS!
7:30am - Blogged. Happy to live in a country where we have freedom-of-speech and I can do such things without government censorship.
8:45am - Walked to work, enjoying the brisk air and blue sky. Listening to music on my iPhone, which is a device that I love, love, love and keeps me connected with people that I love, love, love.
9:00am - Arrived at my schmancy Madison Avenue office building where I get to feel super special because I have "security clearance" to get into the building and I have my own desk with my own direct line and my own bowl of York Peppermint Patties on said desk to lure people to come and say hello to me while I am working. Also, I have a super nice bosses who always smile at me and say good morning and are genuinely happy to have me working with them. Soooo I am BEYOND BLESSED to feel appreciated at my job.
12:30pm - Lunch arrives... This is one of the BEST perks about my job. (This is about to blow your mind.) Our company buys us lunch every day and it is delivered to the office. I can order practically anything I want. NO JOKE. Can you even believe that's REAL? It's the BEST. I am soooooo grateful for this EVERY DAY. Seriously... free food is the way to win company loyalty. That's my theory, anyway.
5:00pm - Normally this is the time when I leave work and go about my life... But on this particular day I am working over-time because we've got a big event coming up and I am staying late to make sure that everything is going to be flawless and awesome and smooth-sailing. I love that I am allowed to work over-time for two reasons: A. It's great that my job gives me the time I need to be able to do my job well and B. That they compensate me for this valued contribution. I am NEVER expected to work for free. :) This makes me feel respected and it's a feeling I like getting used to.
7:00pm - I throw on some jeans, leave work and walk a few blocks over to Carnegie Hall... where Jason Mraz happens to be playing his Carnegie Hall debut concert on his "You Are Loved" tour. Yup... just got off of work and hopped on over to CARNEGIE HALL. That is my SURREALITY, people! Having easy access too AMAZING, world-class and unique cultural experiences is one of the BEST things about living in New York. I am soooo blessed to be able to live here.
11:30pm - I walk across the island of Manhattan on my way back to the beautiful apartment where I am cat-sitting... in my after-concert glow... Jason Mraz branded t-shirt in hand... and I feel perfectly safe in my city. I am alert and aware of my surroundings, but feel secure in my ability to walk in Manhattan, alone, late at night and reach my final destination in safety. Grateful for that.
Sooooo that's a typical kind of day for me in my current life in New York. Can you blame me for loving it here?
It hasn't always been that awesome/amazing/cushy/loving. But I am grateful for the gritty/awfulness too... because I wouldn't appreciate the goodness without all of the tough times that came before... when I felt alone, unloved, broke, invisible, trapped, unsafe, sad and lost. There were TONS of those days too.
"For sleep, riches and health to be truly enjoyed, they must be interrupted." - Jean Paul Richter, writer (1763-1825)
"New York doesn't give a f*%k, but in a loving way."... LOL! That's a direct quote from Jason's concert. And I think that's soooo true. That's been my experience, at least.
Anyhoo, I'm a big believer that we create our own reality... by the choices we make, the people we chose to surround ourselves with and the information we choose to fill our brains with. (For this reason, I cannot watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills because it makes me too sad to see American women spending $40,000 on a pair of earrings that they don't even like and making themselves miserable... when they could be spending $40,000 on helping someone better their life and making themselves happier knowing that they've done some good in the world. They are living in the reality of their own making though, it's their choice... and it hurts my soul to watch and I don't want that to be a part of MY reality... so I will turn off the TV.)
"What do we live for, it it is not to make life less difficult for each other?" - George Eliot, novelist (1819-1880)
I hope that with all of the abundance that has come into my life in recent years, that I will always strive to be a good steward of the resources I am given. I want to strike a solid balance between taking care of my own needs in a self-loving way, but also using my resources to be generous to others whenever I have the opportunity.
Thank you, New York, for giving me sooooo much and constantly reminding me to appreciate what I've got. I never imagined that this kind of life would be possible for me. I am blessed.
"Gratitude, gratitude and more gratitude." - Lena Stevens, The Power Path