Sometimes it is just too easy to forget the beauty and happiness that surrounds us all. I try to focus a particular amount of my attention on appreciating the people and circumstances around me, but I take so so much for granted, especially lately. Do you ever feel that way?
I went to my grandparents’ house for my grandpa’s birthday party last night, and my grandma made and purchased for me a variety of vegan dishes, including vegan pizza from my favorite pizzeria in town. As in, the only vegan pizzeria in town. Seriously, this place is so so good. It is named Allie’s Pizza, and they make their own vegan cheese, as well as their own homemade vegan cheesecake and cafe-style desserts. I will try to do a review of their little place here someday, but I don’t get up there as often as I’d like to. I can say this: If anyone is stopping through Spokane, Washington, don’t forget to hop over to Allie’s. I seem to always get the “Hot Mess,” which has vegan macaroni and cheese, chicken chunks, onion, and bacon chunks. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm.
Anyways, I feel a knot in my throat anytime that someone makes or purchases vegan foods when they are not vegan. I want to jump up and cry and thank them for caring about me, but I try to remain civil about it with a heartfelt “thank you.” Because even though it seems simple to accommodate a guest, it certainly isn’t necessary for anyone to think about my decisions about food or to change their plans to fit my desires. When I do see vegan food on the table, or the host sneaks up behind me to point and whisper, “that one is vegan,” I am defenseless against the overwhelming feeling of appreciation. True, deep appreciation for my life and my community.
From personal experience, I think that appreciation is the most intense form of happiness, and it extends an attitude of happiness beyond the moment of recognizing gratitude. The mood of my entire day reflects how mindful and appreciative I have been, because if I truly focus on all of the positivity around me, there is never a reason for me to be sad. Even when bumps pop up in the road or events don’t go as planned, I want to always remember how much happiness surrounds me apart from those silly little things. Even more than that, I want to work on my ability to see those bumps not as negative interference, but rather as challenges to gain knowledge and experience from. I definitely need to work on that last one more, and I feel good about working on it slowly as problems arise.
In honor of the beautiful life I live, I want to notate some things that I am immensely grateful for, big and small. When I feel very upset, I always seem desire more than anything to sit down, quiet my negativity, and list all of the good things in my life. It brings some serious perspective to the teeny little problem that I am usually upset about.
- Of course, the first item of appreciation right now is non-vegans who make me vegan food and love me.
- The feeling of warming up after being cold. I love love love love winter. I love winter not for the frozen finger tips, but for the invigorating feeling of standing in front of a warm heater once I come back inside from the cold weather. The heat surges through, and it feels like I am coming back to life and immediately being wrapped in a warm blanket.
- After a frustrating, fast-paced argument or an aggravating toe-stub, the calm of snuggling with pet babies. Just the other day, I started getting heated while talking to Mitch about household chores, and he very calmly said “Kassy, you are not calm and this will not be constructive. Take ten seconds,” so I exasperatedly scooped up Apollo and sat back. When I grabbed him, my mind was racing and I didn’t want to calm down. I wanted to tell Mitch that he was a dumb face and that I didn’t need or want to take ten seconds. But somewhere in me I knew I did, and after about 5 seconds, I already felt my heart and mind slow down. There is a little picture I saw on Instagram that captures my appreciation perfectly:
- And inspired by that last one, the levelheadedness of my love, Mitchy. Even when my passion is over the top, he is able to reel me back in. I am the spontaneity, and he is the pragmatism. So often I see couples who feed off of one another’s passion, and it scares me to see when one becomes angry about a situation, and for support, the other becomes even angrier. It’s a vicious cycle, and I’m proud to have someone who can laugh and say that I’m getting too angry or annoyed or worried.
- My sisters. I depend on my sisters so much. Their opinions, their humor, their memories. With the recent engagement, I have anxiously remembered countless episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress,” where conflicting opinions of the bride’s family members causes sadness and frustration for the bride, and knowing that I could bring my sisters for support gave me confidence and hope for my shopping experience. Not only did they learn some of their fashion from the fashion queen (yours truly) but they are also honest and kind, making it impossible to have a bad time.
- The epitome of indulgence, dark chocolate. When I think about eating dark chocolate, I feel like the women in those Dove chocolate commercials who are wrapped in silk with a sensual commentator in the background.
- One thing that fills me with deep pride and satisfaction is my dog doing tricks. Most recently, we have been teaching him to ring a bell by the door when he needs to go potty, and Cupid does it consistently now, which is an absolute dream. He is so smart and sweet, and it makes me appreciate him so much when I see how quickly and effectively he can be taught.
- Nice customers. I am in a position that serves heavily to customer service as a leasing agent, and I know that it is easy for people to treat customer service representatives poorly in order to displace anger from other areas of their lives or to get their way through means of intimidation. So when I have someone who lifts me up with a compliment or thanks me for my service, I feel like crying and hugging them.
- Not only the nice customers, but also my job in general. At the end of high school, I made the decision to not go immediately to college but instead to find a job and become more independent. Anyone who has ever looked for a job knows the feeling like you have spent a thousand hours and applied to a hundred places without hearing response from any of them. But then during my searches, I found this one on craigslist, which I didn’t even know to be legitimate, and I was called in for an interview. Boo ya. I have the perfect position for me right now, I have funny and supportive coworkers, and I have enough down time to even get in a blog post or two 😉
Obviously, there are infinite things to be thankful for, but these are the top nine that I am deeply concentrating on right now. What are you appreciative of?
Thank you and love you all,