On gratitude and pumpkin spice.


I really need to work on noticing and actively appreciating all the wonderful little things that happen in my life from day to day – happy moments, spontaneous adventures, funny interludes, whatever. It’s such a necessary and impactful mindset shift for me – flipping from the stressed, harried getting-by of a day into this silver-lined, rose-colored glass-half-full perspective is always a good thing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the kindness of others since my adventure with the hydrangeas at Safeway, and today brought another random act of kindness my way. It’s year-end at work, and it’s been a frantic, rushed and demanding few weeks for me. One of the perks of year-end, however, is team coffee…we take turns collecting everyone’s orders, running to the closest Starbucks, and bringing back much-needed caffeine (and warmth – our office is glacial).

Today, my order accidentally got skipped in the ordering process, and I was crushed on the inside – the mid-day jolt has come to be something I look forward to all morning. Not one to make a big deal out of things like this, I went into a meeting in the one conference room in our building that is notorious for hovering around 62 degrees. An hour later I emerged, so cold my fingernails had turned that gross gray-blue color, to find a piping-hot grande skim no-whip pumpkin spice latte sitting next to my keyboard, courtesy of one of my coworkers. She had gone back to the Starbucks and picked one up for me, timing it to return right before my meeting ended so it would be waiting hot when I was done.

So here I sit, sipping a PSL and warmed all the way through with coffee and gratitude – for people who are willing to do such kind things for me, for the little good fortunes the universe chooses to sprinkle through my life – and I can’t help but be a little bit overwhelmed. I don’t really know how I’ve lucked into a life with such an abundance of riches in it, but I truly am surrounded by so much goodness and kindness and consideration.

I like to think that doing those sorts of things attracts goodness back in turn – I have a long memory (for better or worse), and it takes so very little to earn my perpetual goodwill. It’s too easy, though, to slip into a self-centered mindset where I not only don’t do kind things for others, but don’t always notice and appreciate the patience and kindness others extend to me. So here’s a baby list of things/people/actions for which I am grateful right here, right now:

-          My mama bear for listening with such patience to my regular rants about very technical and ridiculous work scenarios

-          Dave for keeping me fed (healthily, to boot!) and handling the lion’s share of cleaning/chores this week as I’ve entered a monogamous relationship with my laptop

-          My oldest team member, who has taught me a plethora of new tasks with extreme detail and meticulousness in the last few weeks

-          My sister, for always talking Broadway and boys and Bachelor with me despite the hour or randomness

-          Tessa, for teaching me how to text with Friendmojis (Google it, it’s so hilarious!)

-          The random couple at Alpha Acid who let me actually sit down on the floor of the brewery and play with their dog for a solid five minutes

-          My papa bear, for links to libraries of the world, a sense of humor that is the epitome of “dad-ish” and a new set of baby blue luggage for our Italy trip

And here’s how I’m going to pay it forward in the immediate future:

-          Sending snail mail to a few friends with whom a conversation is ridiculously overdue

-          In similar vein, passing a new book along to Wade for the next installment of our Transcontinental Book Club

-          Cleaning our apartment til it sparkles over the weekend

-          Asking and truly listening to how my roommates’ days were, with complete focus and attention

-          Sharing the last few Starbucks Graham K-cups with Dave, who doesn’t know I’ve been hoarding a secret box in the corner of our pantry

-          And, generally, and most importantly, having an overall better attitude, more patience, and a little more kindness toward everyone I come across these days.