Thursday, April 19, 2012

The End: 21 Days of Thanks

Lumping the final 3 days together is not really the best way to finish off my experiment, but on a positive note, I made it through with only 3 slip-ups! Here are my 3x thanks for Days 19, 20, and 21.

  • A guest appearance on K___'s blog. It's about her family (as is somewhat evident from the title OkMom&Dad), but I was tickled to show up in two posts about her brother, "Taboo" and "Yin."

  • Successfully finding Takoma Pool. With my unfortunately poor sense of direction and lack of smartphone, this admittedly took me over an hour; however, on the plus side, I did manage to correctly navigate the metro system (i.e. get off at the right stop), and it was a lovely day to be wandering around the suburban streets of Takoma. Plus, I'm getting less and less shy about stopping strangers to ask for directions!

  • My train was on time. It left on time and arrived on time. I can only hope that my flight tomorrow will be as smooth!

  • Seeing L___ the night I arrived. Seeing her upon arriving in a still-unfamiliar city is the best sort of welcome!

  • Seeing K2 and meeting her friends during the same work trip. It's so nice that my friends take time out of their schedules to see me when I am in town. It makes these work trips that much more fun!

  • The fact that I can give tasks to a shared assistant while I am away from the office, and he capably and confidently completes them. N___ is such a lifesaver; I don't know how we functioned before without him.

  • Meeting friendly work colleagues who make enjoyable and interesting dinner partners while travelling. I don't know how people can work for companies where they don't like any of their coworkers. Life would be miserable!

  • Being remembered by customers from my old paper route. A few ladies passed by my parents' house and, when they saw my parents outside, stopped them to ask how I was doing. One of them even mentioned the Christmas letter I used to write and include in the paper once a year. I am really touched that she appreciated them enough to remember them, even this many years later.

  • The opportunity to go to San Diego tomorrow! I'll probably only have a couple half-days to do any sightseeing, but it's a nice break to get out of the office and see another area of the country.

    And that, folks, is it! Hopefully I've become less grouchy in the past 21 days, and while I can guarantee that I'll never stop complaining completely, hopefully this exercise has helped me tone it down a bit and become a more pleasant, positive person.

  • Monday, April 16, 2012

    Eek! 3-Day Catch-up

    I was terribly lax over this past weekend, so here are Days 16, 17, and 18.

  • A casual birthday potluck! Met some new game-loving friends of friends, ate some delicious food (compliments of A___, who is a great cook and hostess), and spent a much more social Sunday night than usual.

  • Train travel. It's so much roomier and more pleasant than air or bus travel, and certainly more relaxing than driving. Why did we silly Americans ever do away with 90% of our railroads?

  • My haircut. Even though it's grown out a little since I got it cut, it is still at a great length: makes a small ponytail, dries fairly quickly, and doesn't take more than 30 minutes to blow-dry and straighten.

  • The chance to see M___ and L___ get married! It was a beautiful day for a beautiful wedding between two beautiful friends. And also . . .

  • An excuse to dress up. Because let's face it: after high school prom, how many dress-up events are there?

  • A boyfriend who likes to match my outfit. I would never require this, but it does look nice, so it's especially gratifying that he does this on his own!

  • R___'s mom. At the risk of sounding like a suck-up, I have to say that she's generous and kind, and this past weekend gladly answered my question about wedding gifts in (lieu of my parents, who were MIA). It's so nice to have another adult I can depend upon . . . plus she makes really scrumptious cookies.

  • The fact that my iPod hasn't died yet. I am pretty sure its life has exceeded 2 years now, which is more than I had hoped for, so hopefully my gratefulness won't jinx it.

  • Netflix! Whoever came up with the idea of a subscription movie/tv service is a genius (and probably being rewarded accordingly). It's hard to believe that I went so many years without television . . . until I try to actually watch cable TV. Those are the moments when gratitude for Netflix overwhelms me.
  • Friday, April 13, 2012

    Day 15, TGIF

    It's Friday the 13th, but Day 15 of my 3x thanks experiment.

  • Central Park in the spring is beautiful! And full of very interesting people to watch on a long run.

  • Swimming 400 yards in less than 5 minutes and 30 seconds. That means my 100 yard pace times were below 1:25!

  • My boyfriend's enormous 46" HD TV. I would never have admitted it a year ago, but it really does make watching television and movies a much nicer experience. My little Macbook just cannot compete.
  • Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Day 14, Simple Pleasures

    Sometimes I just wish this experiment was over! But I can't give up now. Only 7 days left after today (Day 14). . . .

  • When the subway shows up immediately after I arrive at my stop. Specifically, I am referring to the PATH train, which arrived almost immediately after I arrived at the station this morning, when I was heading to work. Then, when I transferred, that train arrived quickly too! A nice, smooth commute to work--just the way I like it.

  • Knowing people around the country, so that when I travel for work, I can visit them. Next week I get to visit two friends while attending a conference in DC, and although I don't know anyone in San Diego, I connected with a friend who moved to San Francisco, and she's giving me the "inside scoop" on what to check out when I visit that city in June! (Even better, she's a swimmer, so she can tell me where all the pools are located. Essential advice for a swimmer way from home!)

  • Photographs. I feel so sorry for people who lived before the age of photography. Not even digital photography, necessarily, but at the very least pictures to capture who you are and who you are with at a given time, in a given place. Looking at photographs is like looking backwards in time (a day, a month, a year), and looking at other people's photographs is like reading an intimate story of their lives. I am grateful that a friend shared his familiy vacation photos with me today!
  • Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Day 13, Quick and Easy

    Good things happened early today, so I have an easy Day 13 to write up.

  • Free biking gear! Compliments of my friend/coworker S___. She is a former Ironman triathlete, currently on hiatus from the sport, and after we talked the other day about how expensive of a sport biking is, she generously brought me some of her old gear!

  • A successful solo swim. Despite his lingering biking injuries, A___ came to the pool this morning to putter around in the water while I came up with a swim set that actually went better than I had anticipated, considering that there were 4 stubborn men in my lane who refuse to let other swimmers pass. (In case anyone is interested, the set was 5x100 yards on 1:35, 4x100 yards on 1:30, 3x100 yards on 1:25, and 2x100 yards on 1:20.)

  • A live-in hug. I don't think I express my gratitude often enough for the available and willing hugs I get from R___ when I go home. That was one of the hardest things about living alone in a new city: the lack of physical contact. Hugs communicate "I know you" and "I care about you" in a simple and intimate way that simply cannot be replicated in any other way. I value them, so I am thankful to have one ready and waiting for me when I walk in the door!
  • Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Day 12! (and up to 36 unique thankful thoughts posted)

    I've been as diligent as possible about not repeating things for which I give thanks, even if I am thankful for them more than once. If I can hold out through the end of this experiment, I'll have 3 x 21, or 63 thankful thoughts posted on this blog!

    Now, on to Day 12, or thankful numbers 34, 35, and 36.

  • The ease of volunteering as an alum. It is surprisingly difficult to volunteer time in NYC. The best (or at least most interesting to me) programs are either full, far away, or--my favorite--scheduled during the workday. (Apparently they only want retirees or millionaires volunteering for those.) However, as a UR alum, I am invited to not only give back to my school in a useful--and non-monetary--way, but I am also asked to volunteer for tasks. I don't have to chase after the chance to volunteer, or hunt for open opportunities as if I'm on a job search. They're emailed right to my inbox! Tomorrow I get to call students who were accepted and tell them the good news. Hooray for making people happy!

  • Engaging books, in this case, Blue Asylum specifically. I'm halfway through and still interested in finding out what happens to the characters! It's a welcome relief to look forward to reading my book, particularly after the recent string of books that have proven to be disappointingly dull. Of course, I could always go back and read the Hunger Games. Those were some enthralling books!

  • The safe return of my friend T___ from his family vacation aboard a cruise ship. He's my running and non-work-talk buddy (at work), so I was going a bit nuts without him! I am also especially thankful after watching Titanic 3D this past weekend. We all assume those cruises are safe, but you just never know!
  • Monday, April 9, 2012

    Day 11 - Officially Over 50% Done

    I probably shouldn't count down to the end of this experiment with such gusto, but I think my strong aversion to Mandatory Writing is rearing its head right about now. With any luck, I shall push through and keep writing even after the 21st day. So far, this is Day 11.

  • The duration of 30 Rock episodes. They last just long enough to keep my attention but are over quickly enough that I don't feel like I wasted my entire night watching television. Until I watch 3 more episodes.

  • Getting the last seat in the PATH train at 6:30 in the morning. The ride itself might cost $2, but the value of of those extra few minutes where you can shut your eyes and try not to . . . fall . . . asleep. . . . Priceless.

  • Bona fide, delicious Chinese food served less than four blocks from my apartment. My current favorite dish: sauteed pea shoots.
  • Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Day 10--Feeling the Stretch

    I'm running out of ways to introduce this. . . . So here's Day 10.

  • Walking into a clean bedroom. The key word in that phrase being "walking." R___ ever-so-nicely cleaned things off of the floor, so the key now will be keeping that space clutter-free!

  • Surviving hot yoga without sitting down during the poses more than once. That's a real accomplishment for me! Granted, it was only an hour-long class (rather than the traditional 90-minute class), but I'm still proud. I didn't take more than 2 sips of water during class, either. Yeah!

  • Discovering clothes I didn't know I had during a spring closet switch-out. It's so fun to have forgotten about certain items of clothing and then "rediscover" them when I change out my winter wardrobe for spring/summer.
  • Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Day 9, Inspired by TV, Movies, and Travel

    Made it to Day 9 with less than an hour in the day to go.

  • A boyfriend who likes Project Runway. I prefer not to watch TV alone, and somehow I ended up dating someone who likes watching most of the same stuff as me. What luck!

  • Encouragement to see Titanic 3D. I haven't watched that movie since I was about 12, but when I saw the preview at Hunger Games, A___ and I both got chills. We're seeing it tomorrow.

  • The chance to travel for work. As much as I love NYC, sometimes I just need a change of scenery. Better yet, this way I don't even have to pay for it!
  • Friday, April 6, 2012

    Day 8, Things are Great

    Day 8. Over one-third through my 21-day experiment!

  • My blog readers. Whether friends, family, or strangers, I dearly appreciate everyone who reads these posts! Like all stage performers, I seem to need an audience to make "performing" worthwhile. You are all my inspiration!

  • Sleep. More than I would have gotten if I had gone to work on time, anyway. Hooray for half-days!

  • Not wasting frequent flier miles. The fact that they expire is bad enough, never mind the fact that no average person travels enough to earn the 10 gazillion points required for a complimentary flight flight. Luckily, my recently about-to-expire points were redeemable for a variety of magazines. So now, once every few months, I get an onslaught of brainless-but-visually appealing reading material. Yay.
  • Comedy Club Delays Day 7

    Having missed yesterday's post (once again), I owe another double-dose of 3x thanks today. Here are my three belated thanks for Day 7:

  • Being included in R___'s birthday present! As a pre-birthday present, his sister K___ took us to Gotham Comedy Club last night to see Fortune Feimster perform. A great time was had by all.

  • Eyebrow threading. It makes my eyebrows look nicer than when I pluck them myself, and best of all, Indian ladies charge less for eyebrow threading than Asian ladies do for eyebrow waxing. True story.

  • Successful email attachments. I'd rather complain about the slow IT response time at work, but instead I'll just be grateful that when they finally responded to my "ticket request" about being unable to attach anything to my outgoing emails, they were able to fix it in all of five minutes. Again, it makes me wonder how anyone ever got work done before email. Well, I guess for one thing, they probably didn't spend 75% of their day answering email. . . !
  • Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    2nd Round of the Day

    It's now officially Day 6 set of of my 21 days of thankfulness!

  • Being tall. I spent most of my childhood hating my height, most of my high school years wishing I was taller, but I think I'm finally at the point where I'm grateful for being taller than average but not a giantess.

  • An early Easter package from my parents! They always know how to surprise me and brighten my day. Plus, they included the best easter candy ever: Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. (Well, maybe second-best. I do love Jellybelly jellybeans.... But Reese's are still amazing.)

  • A toilet that isn't clogging. That's right: I'm thankful for a working toilet. It's the small graces, you know?
  • Tardy Day 5!

    I am embarrassed to say that I did not take the time to write my 3x thanks yesterday, so I'll have to post twice today. Here are my three to make up for yesterday (Day 5):

  • Euchre Night! I love having 1 night a week set aside to hang out and play cards with three of my dear friends. What's even better: we all live within a 5-block radius!

  • Taco Tuesdays! Yesterday marked Week 3 of this new tradition, which is paired with "Euchre Night" (see above).

  • Sunshine and spring weather. My favorite running weather . . . and really just the best weather for anything. Except maybe open-water swimming.
  • Monday, April 2, 2012

    Work-Themed 3x Thanks

    Day 4, with a bit of a work theme to start off the week.

  • My coworkers have a sense of humor. Not too sure how else I'd get through a day full of "Sorry for the interruption, but an office that is not yours is having technical difficulties with a system you don't use," emails without tearing my hair out.

  • A Guide to Academia already has four 5-star reviews on For whatever reason, I've taken an unusually vested interest in promoting this book, so I really want to see it sell well.

  • My boss is very cool and doesn't have a problem letting me take vacation days on short notice. He also has a sleeve--so yes, he's pretty cool.
  • Sunday, April 1, 2012

    Safety First! 3x Thanks

    Day 3, the theme of which is: Physical Safety.

  • A___ emerged with life and limb from his bike race today. His bike may not be able to say the same, but as my parents always say, "Vehicles can be replaced. You can't."

  • R___ returned safely from his nighttime revelry last week. That makes me sound more like his mother than his girlfriend, but I was relieved!

  • I biked from Prospect Park to the World Trade Center without falling into a pothole, being sideswiped by a bus, or crashing into a pedestrian. Considering that the ride includes a sizable stretch of Flatbush Ave and winds through Chinatown, I always thank my lucky stars when I make it to the end in one piece. Today was no exception.