Health & Wellbeing, LGBTQ+, philosophy

Flexing the Gratitude Muscle: A Tempeh-Loving 90s Baby’s Exposé

Just a quick one from me today. I’m well aware of the gravity of my two previous posts. I think this calls for an explorative, gratitude-focused interruption of my doomsdayism journalling. Keeping it simple, I’ve decided to share an exhaustive list of current things I’m grateful for. Perhaps you could give one a go? While it may seem a clichéd and eye roll inducing task, there’s a reason it’s so conspicuously discussed in mental health conversations. It bloody helps.

You didn’t ask for this, but you’re getting it anyway. In no particular order, I’m thankful for…

  • my brain.
    It’s odd and it’s busy and it keeps me entertained.
  • Indo Tempeh House.
    All hail the tempeh lovers vegan meal.
  • my girlfriend finally replacing her toaster post-charcoal breakfast almost-burning-the-house-down Saturday morning.
  • my girlfriend, generally.
    Good person, intelligent af. She cares about me and I care about her. Goofing off and board games feuds are our mutual expertise. Extraordinarily clever, kind, and passionate. A person I can nerd out with about education, music, board games. I love hearing her explain scientific concepts to me. The most thoughtful human I know.
  • my weighted blanket and my egg chair – they are the cosiest.
  • my students.
    Delightfully themselves, clever, and always keeping me on my toes with their random contributions. They teach me how to be a better educator.
  • my sisters and my parents and my whānau as a whole.
    I love us. I love where I come from, and who my parents are as people. We’ve all got our weird family jokes and our holiday nostalgia and the same old bickering habits when under one roof – something that’s getting rarer and rarer as my sisters and I embrace young adulthood.
  • financial security.
    I’m not a poor student anymore. Gone are the days of wearing two pairs of socks, polyprops and a thick hoodie to bed while the heat leaks out gaps in windows and through uninsulated walls and flooring. Shivering in a damp, creaky, lopsided old flat. I’m trying not to forget how things were when I had to budget my food, live on borrowed money, and feeling guilty about any kind of minor splurge.
  • my upbringing.
    I’m privileged in so many ways – having grown up with parents who could afford to live comfortably, who modeled independence young, and instilled in me the reassurance that I had contributions I could make in the world. That I should follow my passions. It has informed all of me and lead me where I am now.
  • my friends.
    The ones I see often, the ones I never see and the ones I live with. They all have their quirks and interests and intricacies. I especially appreciate that we can just be stupid together.
  • being born in this era.
    While there are plenty of things that are hard about now, so many other things were hard for previous generations that I barely bat an eyelid about now. Rights for queer people, for one. (That said – it’s gobsmacking to remember that gay marriage was only legalised in 2013.) There’s always more to be done to improve the lives of marginalised people, and the fight far from over. Day to day though, I don’t have to feel unsafe as a lesbian in my own country – plenty of people worldwide could not say the same.
  • my education.
    I have been privileged enough to have been well served through my ECE, primary and high school years. Tens of teachers inspired me, believed in me, appreciated and identified my strengths as a learner. I was empowered to pursue higher education and to postgrad level. I have never really struggled to achieve in an academic sense, felt the weight of failure, parental pressure, or been made to pursue something I didn’t want to do. So many people have not benefited from these kinds of advantages that I have, instead facing all kinds of barriers to realising their potential.

I lied. I said this would be brief, but as it happens, I have too many things I am grateful for, and a wild fervour with which to rabbit on about the finer details. I admit, this kind of exercise conflicts with my New Zealand-esque need to not brag or be too proud of anything. The tall poppy syndrome crap we perpetuate. Honestly, that’s how it feels – hopefully it doesn’t read that way.

At last, I challenge you to journal your own list. Be as outlandish as you like. Keep it private or make it public, but do it with purpose and attentiveness.

random stock image of guy in business suit when I typed “wink” in search bar absolutely made my night, so here.


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