Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I’ve been thinking a lot about everything that’s happened so far in 2017, and all of the things I’ve been grateful for. I’m sure everyone’s feeling similar this time of year.
One of the best things any of my past startups has given me (aside from the cool perks and less-than-useful stock options) was a habit of being grateful at least once a week. We would gather around a small room every Friday morning and go in a circle, sharing what we’re most thankful for, in our personal and professional lives (aka our “gratitudes”).
I was only with them for 5 months before being laid off, but I’ve held onto that habit ever since. Instead of going around in a circle and sharing my gratitudes, I write them down in my weekly calendar.
Now that we’re ending a great, productive, and difficult year, I think it’s time to go through and see what made it into my moleskine the most:
At a whopping 50 mentions, I can safely say that I went with the stereotypical gratitude. So be it! I’m thankful for my relationship with my parents and grandparents more than almost anything these days, and that all of my sisters are healthy and doing amazing things. I’m thankful for being able to have dinner with my grandparents every week, and visit my parents every weekend. I’m thankful for the family traditions that we hold, even if they didn’t seem so valuable when I was growing up. These days, celebrating Passover or Thanksgiving feels like such a treat!
40 mentions have gone to different aspects of my career, whether the opportunity to work with such amazing people, or in some cases, the ability to leave a bad situation. I’ve had a solid year of opportunities to learn, grow, and advance. I’ve been able to hire 50+ great people while tackling projects that I would never have had an opportunity to work with, in any other situation.
I’ve also specifically mentioned two women from my last job, which made the position bearable and worthwhile, even when the owners didn’t… so, to you two amazing ladies, thank you – oh and get out of there!
My friends have made the list 28 times so far this year. Whether for helping me get back on my feet time and time again, being able to live together, or making the time to see me on my travels, I’m glad to have them in my life. My new roommate, in particular, has always been up for any ridiculous events, and I’m so thankful to live with her now. In fact, she’s made the list over a dozen times!
My god I am spoiled. 25 mentions to the fanciful lifestyle I find myself living, whether because of my short commute (and former ability to bike to work), ability to travel, or even just having tons of teas in the office. I’m thankful for each of these things, and how they really have enriched my life.
20 mentions of the apps, websites, and even air conditioning. I shit you not, Amazon Prime and Prime Now made this list 3 times. I’m thankful for WhatsApp because it connects me to my sisters who are halfway around the globe, and to Robinhood, Mint, and M1 for the access to financial health. I’m thankful for Redfin and Trulia for making my home search relatively easy. Way to go, internet!
This was such a huge part of my year, and Real Estate has earned itself 11 mentions, whether for the learning opportunity, the advice I’ve received during my search, or going through the closing process on my house. And I’m so glad I did it!
At 8 mentions, I’m apparently very thankful to my cat for making me the crazy cat lady I’ve always dreamt of being. Way to go, Kiddo!
7 mentions have gone to the surprising joy of having somewhere to share my goals, career hacks, finance hacks, and political rants. It’s surprisingly fulfilling and so exciting to be able to contribute and share my thoughts with anyone and everyone who reads them! Every time someone comments on a post, it genuinely makes me smile. When people email me, I’m thrilled to talk with them. And even just the act of writing these posts has become a very cathartic hobby.
Yes, this post is totally self-gratifying, but I hope it helps other people think about the things they’re grateful for as we near Thanksgiving weekend.
When I started this habit, it felt difficult to remember each one by the time I was sitting in on those Friday morning meetings. Now, I really feel rich in my life, thanks to each little thing that comes up.
And, if you haven’t done it before, it’s a great meditative habit to write down or share the things we’re thankful for each week.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, however you choose to celebrate!