What a crazy week it has been. I’ve felt off-kilter since last week as I knew I’d be spending most of Friday in a car on the way up to New York. When you “lose” a day of work, it feels strange. Today feels like Monday instead of Sunday!
I’m happy to say the weather is definitely cooler here. When we left on Friday, it was in the 80s by us. Last night, I was freezing in a sweater, scarf, pants, and boots.
I actually changed all my clothes around last week in preparation. Interestingly, I didn’t have much to get rid of. Each time I change my clothes around for the seasons, I try to be as critical as possible in an effort to declutter.
I had done a fairly large purge the last two times, and I haven’t really purchased anything new, so most things stayed the same. I guess that’s a good thing! Am I allowed to say I’m grateful I don’t have a shopping addiction?
Being Grateful for…Gratitude?
Is it possible to be grateful that gratitude has been coming easier to me over the last year? I’ve written about it before, but this weekly exercise has made a huge difference in my life.
That really showed this weekend. For the most part, our trip went smoothly, but it wasn’t without its bumps. When you’re on the road for 12+ hours, that’s bound to happen.
We ended up leaving later than expected to get to my parents house on Thursday, and we wanted to get some sleep, so we didn’t leave until noon on Friday.
Our goal was to get there before Saturday because we had plans that night. We figured we could take it slow and it would be less stressful. That worked out for the first half of the trip…
Traffic, Bad Weather, and Bad Timing
I feel like I-95 in Virginia is cursed for us. That’s where we hit a major, major delay back when we moved. 8 hours worth of delays, causing the entire move to take 24 hours instead of 11. This time was no different (except for less traffic).
A storm started brewing while I was driving. I absolutely hate storms (when I was 5, my neighbor’s house got struck by lightning, scaring the crap out of me), I don’t like driving in the dark, and I especially don’t enjoy driving when it’s dark out and pouring.
All that happened at once. We were in the middle of traffic and the skies opened up. My plan was to stop somewhere for dinner once nighttime hit. We got off at an exit as soon as we could, but we couldn’t see any signs. I ended up pulling into a random parking lot where R switched to driving.
We found our way to the restaurant, and by the time we left, it had stopped raining. There was still some traffic, but it wasn’t as bad. Unfortunately, with all the stop and go, and R getting tired later on, we ended up getting here around 2:30AM.
Getting Lost and More Bad Timing
As if that wasn’t enough, the next day we headed into the city to meet up with friends. We missed the first train going there, and the one coming back (for multiple reasons). We got lost going to the meet up, and I’ve been having issues with my pinky toe hurting while walking. Being in pain and trying to figure out your way around NYC isn’t fun.
I’m not going to lie – I was miserable. As I hobbled along, I told myself I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other. We’d get to where we were going eventually. I needed to suck it up.
Then a few things happened. Not surprisingly, we saw a few homeless people on the streets, trying to get comfortable and stay warm in the brisk weather.
It served as a reminder of how privileged I am. I was able to afford a ticket into the city (damn you LIRR for being so pricey), and I have all my basic needs met. Friends, family, food, shelter, etc. – overall, life is good. I shouldn’t be complaining about pain in my foot.
On our way back to Penn Station, we happened to run into a few friends we had already said goodbye to. We were going on separate train lines and theirs left later, so we left before them. We saw them crossing the street we were on and intersected at the perfect time.
There’s a Bright Side if You Look for One
Coincidence? Who knows. I like to think things happen for a reason. We got lost, but we somehow reconnected with people, and had an amazingly interesting time taking the drunk train back to the island. Those are great memories I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
My point is, I was waffling back and forth on being annoyed and trying to find the bright side all of last night. Yes, we got lost twice, but we got to the meet up eventually and had a lot of fun with friends we barely get to see. We also got to meet new people!
I don’t think I would have been in both of those mindsets a few years ago. I had a horrible habit of sinking into the Woe is me, why does nothing ever go right? thought process instead. I’m still guilty of it to some extent, but I can snap myself out of it rather quickly and not let something ruin my night.
So yes, I think I can be grateful for having a better outlook on things.
A Gentle Reminder
I’m staying with my grandma this trip, and she’s been filling me in on what’s been happening with the rest of our family. Unfortunately, with everyone going off and doing their own thing these past few years, it’s been difficult to get everyone together.
Nevertheless, my grandma checks in with everyone because she cares, and when she doesn’t receive a call in return, she gets upset. She spoiled all of us grandchildren growing up, and when my parents went through rough patches with money, she was there.
From this, I wanted to give you all a reminder: if you’re on friendly terms with your family, give them a call. Maybe you’re closer with a cousin or an aunt or uncle – whoever it is, let them know you’re thinking about them.
You might assume your family already knows you love and care about them, but nothing beats actually hearing from one another. Many of us are grateful for our family and friends, but we don’t show it enough (myself included). Make time for them one way or another.
Writing Around the Web
I had two articles on Young Adult Money this week – the importance of finding your “why” when it comes to money, and a discussion of the sprint vs the marathon mindset when it comes to completing goals.
On Frugal Rules, I offered a rebuttal to the infamous piece from Elite Daily about not saving money in your 20s. I’m all about balance, and I think you can save, pay off debt, and still enjoy life if you just master the basics.
What are you being grateful for this week? Do you have to remind yourself to be grateful for certain things, or does gratitude come easily to you? When is the last time you connected with family and friends?