Since I am fond of the idea of gratitude I thought this would be a nice reminder. A gratitude placeholder, if you will. A note to myself, so the next time I feel like the world is crumbling around me because Whole Foods is (ONCE AGAIN) out of my favorite salad dressing, I can have a little perspective.
Life is incredibly good right now. Savor it.
For instance, last night you slept 10 uninterrupted hours in a row because you were tired. Life is free like that – when you are tired, you sleep. When you are hungry, you cook something delicious. When there are errands to be run, you hop in the car and make that To-Do List your bitch. Weekends are easy, weeknights hold a multitude of opportunities -- enjoy this, because right now your life is your own, and that freedom is a gift.
Give yourself a pat on the back – you have lost 80 lbs, girl! While it seems easier to focus on what you have left to lose, seriously take a minute and wrap your brain around your accomplishments. You are stronger than you have ever been, weigh less than you have in the last decade, and feel like nothing is beyond your reach. Enjoy your confidence in your abilities. Appreciate the pride you have in your body. Even though it isn’t perfect (and probably never will be, so quit seeking that while we're at it) you have earned it! Each muscle is a testament, every bruise has a story to tell. You have found a way of eating and a fitness program that has completely relieved your life of diet and exercise noise. And on top of that, it has been a success! Some people struggle with this their whole lives, be grateful you have made peace with this at 32. You have the rest of your life to get to the perfect weight/size/skill level – it is not a race. Don’t forget to enjoy the process and keep up the good work.
Speaking of enjoying the process, you are in the healthiest and best relationship of your life. Remember when you were young and single and felt like you would never find that person who perfectly shared your offbeat sense of humor, yet was also adorable, responsible, and totally up for any adventure? Remember the nights in your early 20s, mid 20s, and even in your late 20s when you thought -- Will I ever find someone AT ALL??? Well you found him. The Relationship Holy Grail, Holly, now sleeps beside you every night. When you remind yourself of how much you wanted this, and relive the work it took to get you where you are now, let your feelings of gratitude be overwhelming. The next time he forgets to pick up the meat share or adds paprika to the crock pot instead of chili powder, or wants to explain to you every specific nuance about how to drive your car – choose to laugh about it instead of getting frustrated. And the next time someone gives you a hard time about not being married yet, remember that you are not under any obligation to follow someone else’s timeline. Married or not, you are luckier than ever to have this kind of love.
Also remember to love your job. Yes the job that seems to start just a little bit too early each day. The one that requires you sit at a desk in a cubicle during some of the most beautiful days of summer? Yep, that's the one. Love that job. Remember that this is the job that is supporting both you and Garrett in a very comfortable manner. It wasn’t that long ago that you were stressfully living paycheck to paycheck and crying over credit card bills and wondering how you would ever make it as a functioning adult. Remember those days? I know you do because it was only 5 or 6 years ago, you can’t already be that senile. That is so far from the reality of your daily life now it is laughable, and for that, say thank you. So what if you are not doing EXACTLY what you want to be doing, when you want to be doing it. You have realized by now that if you really want something, you have the skills to make it happen. So if that’s the problem, then MAKE IT HAPPEN. But in the meantime, don’t mope about your current opportunities. Remember what a fabulous opportunity you are cultivating RIGHT NOW in that cubicle, no matter how small it is. Someone, somewhere would love that opportunity and for now, it’s sitting right there in the palm of your hand -- so care for it. Don’t be a jerk about it.
Enjoy your family, because they will not always live nearby. Remember those days of living in LA and having to hop on a plane to hang out with your mom? Well now on a whim you can A to Z every aisle of Target with her, and you know there is no better shopping enabler. You can BBQ with your family, or watch your baby cousin learn to crawl, or have a fun night out that doesn’t involve getting super dressed up because when you hang out with good friends the dress code is always comfy. And you can do all of this with relatively little scheming because everyone is right there in your backyard. Yes, someday you may want to live somewhere that is a little more exotic than Sacramento, CA. But for now, you have a wealth of love right in your backyard. Appreciate the fact you’re your current zip code means that loneliness is never a defining emotion in your life, and this is a gift you have wished for in the past.
These are awesome times and life is good. Things will always change – some will get better and some will get worse -- but right now, make sure to acknowledge that you are lucky. And if you remember only one thing from this letter, please remember that.