If we don't have anything to be grateful for, then what do we have? Here's a list of things we tend to take for granted that we should be grateful for.

Being Grateful: Because What Else do we Have?

If we don't have anything to be grateful for, then what do we have? Here's a list of things we tend to take for granted that we should be grateful for.The last few weeks have been emotionally trying for a lot of people.

I couldn’t help but think that now is a pretty good time to reflect on what we have to be grateful for.

We’ve got Thanksgiving around the corner in the US, and I believe gratitude can help us overcome all the negativity going on right now.

Some might think it’s a trivial exercise in the face of bigger issues at hand, but if we can’t be grateful, what else do we have?

I’ve been through a lot of dark times in my life, but thinking back, I always had things I could be grateful for.

Unfortunately, when you’re going about your day-to-day, you tend to take the simple things for granted. We place more emphasis on the negative than the positive.

It’s time to change that. I hope you’ll join me in thinking about everything you have to be grateful for, despite the odds many of us are facing.

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I'm wrapping up the year and reflecting on being grateful for 2015 as a whole. So much has happened in such a little time, and I'm looking forward to 2016!

Being Grateful for 2015

I'm wrapping up the year and reflecting on being grateful for 2015 as a whole. So much has happened in such a little time, and I'm looking forward to 2016!We have less than two weeks left in December and I’m stubbornly in denial about where the hell 2015 went. (What else is new?)

I’m sure most of you will agree, but when I think back to 2014, I definitely didn’t know what amazing things 2015 would hold. There’s a lot I have to be grateful for, and I wanted to do a year-end wrap up of it all.

Plus, it’s always nice to take a moment and appreciate all that has happened to get me to where I am today. Especially when the year has gone by so fast! I encourage you all to do the same.

Being Grateful for Opportunity

I received so many different opportunities in 2015! My business was just taking off at the very end of 2014, and it has continued to skyrocket upward.

I’ve had to be pickier than ever with the work I take on, which both surprises me and saddens me. I hate telling people no, but I’ve learned that, at this point, I need to put my sanity first.

Having so many opportunities available to me has been a learning opportunity in and of itself as I figure out what I want to focus on and where I want to go next. I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve had, whether it has worked out or not, because you can’t know if it’s right unless you try.

While I began freelance writing, I added VA work into the mix shortly after to expand my services. VA work isn’t linear at all, and I’ve learned it requires a lot of experimenting to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are. Thankfully, I’ve gained a bit of clarity this year.

Being Grateful for Community

I say this all the time, but the PF community is truly wonderful to be a part of. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t began blogging, and I only started because of the inspiring individuals I’ve been honored to get to know.

FinCon, despite being a crazy whirlwind weekend, was so much fun, and I’m so glad I got to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. It inspired me to focus on strengthening existing relationships and forming new ones. It has been a rewarding experience, to say the least.

Not that any other community should steal the light, but as some of you may remember, I was privileged to volunteer at a huge convention back in August for a company I love. But the company isn’t the best thing, it’s the community surrounding it.

I am so lucky to be part of not one, but TWO kickass groups of people. I have a tendency to lose faith in humanity fairly quickly (all it takes is turning the news on or driving), but if it ever needs to be restored, I know where to look.

I’m very grateful to have been surrounded by kindness and selflessness this past year, and I think it has also made me a better (and more positive) person. So thank you all!

Being Grateful for the Little Things

I say this a lot, but if you’re having a horrible day, chances are, you can find something to be grateful for, even if it’s just the fact that you’re still breathing.

This year hasn’t been an easy one, emotionally-speaking. It has felt like a roller coaster more often than not.

There are days I wake up and I want nothing more than to close my eyes and go back to sleep. There are times I want to throw a blanket over myself and hide. There have been other days where I’ve cried for no reason at all.

Don’t let anyone tell you self-employment is a piece of cake. A lot of entrepreneurs like to paint a pretty image of their lives, especially on social media. And maybe some of them do have “perfect” days, but no success story is based on perfection.

I’ve learned to come to terms with that. I don’t think any job is ever perfect. Our perspective isn’t always going to be 100% positive. We’re human and that means we have bad days and good days.

The important thing to do is to:

  • Focus on the good when there’s a lot of bad
  • Stop and appreciate how good you have it when things are great
  • Remember that every day is a new start
  • Realize you’re in control of your thoughts and empower yourself to make the situation better
  • Comfort yourself with the fact that without the bad days, you wouldn’t grow as much as a person
  • Forgive yourself, plain and simple
  • Always remain grateful for something, whether it’s your loved ones (that includes pets), health, shelter, food – any basic necessities you have that others may not

Always hold onto the little things.

Being grateful for the little things in 2015

What Does 2016 Hold?

Well gee, I wish I had a crystal ball so I could tell you! Seriously though, while I’m not huge on setting a million goals for myself, there are a few things I want to make happen next year.

Paying Off my Student Loans

Melanie just recently kicked her loans to the curb and I couldn’t be happier for her! She has made such amazing progress and I feel like I need to up my game.

I’ve made a few large (for me) payments toward mine, and they currently sit at $6,300. My larger loan is $4,999 (that was intentional), and my smaller one is at $1,300.

I want them gone. I wanted to pay them off this year, but with barely earning anything in 2014, I took this year to catch up on savings. I did manage to make some big payments toward my loans, but not enough. 2016 is the year I will be debt free, dammit. Please feel free to hold me to that.

Saying Goodbye to Charlotte

Charlotte is a great little city, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not my city. I never felt like I was at home here.

While I don’t want to say goodbye to my parents, I can’t hold myself back, either. I’m 99% sure I’ll be heading to Austin (along with like a thousand other people). The lease is up in April, so I need to get a move on figuring out the logistics.

More Travel

I had a lot of fun visiting my family and friends the three times I went back to NY this year, and I don’t see a reason to stop doing that.

Beyond that, I want to take advantage of the freedom I have and travel to see friends. I’ve already got a trip to San Diego planned thanks to FinCon, and if I somehow don’t move to Austin, I’ll be making it back there for the convention again in July.

If I can somehow score a great deal, I’d love to go overseas for the first time, maybe in celebration of paying off my loans? =) I just have to get a passport…

Prioritizing Self Care and Development

That was one of my goals for this year, and I failed. Completely. In the sense that I fell flat on my face and never got the hell up.

I have put everything ahead of myself this year and that was a mistake. I’ve been riddled with stress, I wake up with headaches 80% of the time, and I get hit with another one at some point in the day. I feel tired and uninspired and just blah.

I need to recharge, and that means not apologizing for putting myself first and actually following through on it. I need to find a way to balance this around work, and I want to incorporate more creative outlets into my life. Expect more on this soon.

Thank you all for such a wonderful and crazy 2015! This will be my last post of the year as I take some time to reflect on where I want to go. Wishing all of you a Happy Holiday/Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/JUST CELEBRATE OKAY?!? *party poppers*

What are you being grateful for as the year comes to an end? What are you hoping for in 2016? Have any major plans you can share? Let me know so I can cheer you on!

The reasons I have for being grateful this week: reuniting with my cats, and finding gratitude in the basics we take for granted.

Being Grateful: Eightieth Edition

The reasons I have for being grateful this week: reuniting with my cats, and finding gratitude in the basics we take for granted.Hello everyone! How have you been? It seems like crunch-time is approaching with Thanksgiving being a week away. I still can’t believe it.

Does anyone else feel like there’s no real warm-up to the holidays anymore? Or maybe that was an illusion from being in school…I keep saying, “It doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving/Christmas,” but what does that even mean?

Okay, enough with the pondering. It is what it is. I’m just looking forward to lasagna next week. I convinced my mom not to buy a turkey since it’s only the four of us, and I don’t eat much. (Seriously, a 2 year-old can eat more than me.) It’s not worth the money!

Being Grateful for the Basics

Every now and again, I’ll go back to the basics for this series. While I’m always grateful for my family, friends, and health, the events of last weekend brought that home for me.

I’m conflicted as to how much text I should devote to this, because I don’t believe focusing on the bad (or listening to the news 24/7) helps anything. It breeds so much negativity. I think Tonya said it better than me.

Obviously, what happened is horrible and senseless. It kills me inside to see people out there who don’t hesitate to kill innocents. But completely giving into despair is what they want, and I prefer to focus on what good I can.

It’s for that reason, immediately after everything went down, I began to feel grateful for everything I have. I listened to an interview with a survivor who said she was “lucky” to be alive, and I realized, in a way, we all are.

I’ve shared before that I almost didn’t make it back when I was a baby, as I was born with some odd complications. I took that for granted for a long time, especially during my brooding teenage years (ahem).

Only in the past few years have I fully come to appreciate how precious life is. I know that’s sappy, but there are a million little things that have to happen for us to be here – for the entire world to be as it is today. It’s a little overwhelming to think about, but it fills me with gratitude to get to experience that in some way.

Regardless, every day that we wake up feeling okay is a good day. I’m not a morning person, at all, so sometimes that’s difficult for me to remember, but I urge all of you to stop taking little moments like that for granted. Simple reminders like that can be powerful.

Lastly, we should be grateful for each other. For all the monsters out there, there are beacons of light that outshine them. Strive to be that light, and welcome others into it when they need it.

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Being Grateful for my Cat!

All right, enough of the heavy stuff. It feels like I haven’t mentioned my cats here in ages, so here you go!

This past weekend, I finally got to pick up my cat, as my parents were babysitting her while we were away. I didn’t really have the chance to miss her while we were gone, since we were in a different environment.

However, as soon as I got home, I felt lonely! It’s amazing how much of a difference a tiny animal can make in your everyday life, but she makes things so entertaining. I’m glad to have her back.

As for my other cat, we decided to leave her with my parents. She was the “family” cat as we got her together back when I was 18. When my parents moved, we took her in, as we didn’t want her to go through that long drive. Of course, she ended up coming with us when we moved…

We’ve taken them to my parent’s house a few times on longer trips, and they both love going outside on the enclosed porch. We left them there in August when we went to Texas, and I didn’t have the heart to take my other cat away from her little paradise.

She’s perfectly at home with my parents, whereas our little cat is happier with us (apparently she found her place on the BBQ). Plus, they no longer go crazy chasing each other around. I think, at best, they tolerated each other, so it seems like things are better this way.

I know, I sound like a crazy cat lady, but hey. Quality of life is important for our pets. I’m just making sure they’re happy where they are, because they sadly don’t get much of a choice and can’t give their input.

Writing Around the Web

On Young Adult Money, I gave 5 gift ideas perfect for personal finance nerds (like myself), though I had a hard time coming up with them! I wonder if we’re all hard to shop for because we probably don’t want much? It seems like more and more people are going toward minimalism.

I also gave a few tips on how to stick with your debt repayment plan, which can be hard when you’re looking at a timeline of years.

I continued talking about debt on Frugal Rules with why debt shouldn’t be a normal part of your life. I answered one of those survey things while reading an NBC story online, asking what your biggest debt worry is, and the most popular answer was “I don’t worry about debt.” Umm. Considering 8 in 10 people have debt in the US, I find that hard to believe. Or they think it’s a normal part of life, in which case, they should read my post, and then continue on to find out how they can be proactive about paying it off!

On GenFKD, I wrote about the biggest challenge millennials face when saving for the future. Which is pretty much just getting started in the first place, and realizing how important it is!

Let’s end on this note – I’ve been grateful for some inspirational posts lately. I’m trying to make time to read blogs more often, and Kali has been hitting it out of the park (as always). Making Hard Choices and Do You Have Enough? definitely resonated with me. Give them a read!

What are you being grateful for this past week? What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you going to be one of those crazy people I absolutely don’t envy going out at the crack of dawn on Friday? ;)