31 Days of Gratitude: Day 1, 2 & 3

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I decided that I would kick off December with a 31 days of gratitude exercise. Life has been crazy, and with the holidays upon us I thought it would be fun! Also, I did a gratitude exercise via Instagram a couple of years ago –  it was a lot of fun and gave me something specific and special to think about every day. And, while this was supposed to start on the 1st, life of course got crazy so I’m doing day 1, 2 and 3 in this post 🙂

Day 1: What smell are you grateful for today?

The smell of Christmas trees! As soon as Thanksgiving was over the Christmas trees in my office lobby at work went up, and I have to say there’s nothing quite like the smell! The first time my Mom ever suggested having an artificial tree I freaked out, and only because we wouldn’t have that amazing Christmas-tree-smell. It’s not the holidays without it!

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Day 2: What technology are you grateful for?

I know this will sound so 21st-century-millennial, but I am grateful for having my iPhone. Before you stop reading because this is such a typical answer, let me explain to you why.

I come from a VERY small percentage of millennials that know what it was like to not have a cell phone. I’m from the, “oh you turned 15, here’s a pager” era, not “oh you’re 14 here’s an iPhone.” SO, I appreciate all that my iPhone is capable of doing.

It keeps me connected when I can’t see friends and family. I can see what my crazy nieces are doing and up to if I haven’t seen them in a few days, and FB messenger keeps me connected to my friends who travel and live internationally. Those are things that I cherish and are only possible by being as connected as my iPhone enables me to be.

It is my sanity while I commute on BART every day – specifically the Spotify app that is on my iPhone.

It is my GPS. I distinctly remember as a child when I was going to a friend’s house how my Dad would have to call my friend’s Dad to get directions. Then, when I was old enough to drive myself around town, I had to print driving directions from map quest. Believe me, I do not miss that at all – therefore I am unbelievably grateful for my GPS.

It is the easy access to photos, and snapping shots of your life as it happens in realtime. At what other point in this lifetime have we been able to capture our lives as it is happening? And, then easily access it to share with friends and family?

It is having the ability to take a selfie (and I don’t mean of myself, but of a group of friends). It is priceless! In my early twenties us girls were pros at flipping that camera around to take our own selfies – before it was even a thing.

So, while it may seem like an obvious thing to be grateful for – I REALLY am grateful for everything my iPhone provides me on a daily basis.

Day 3: What color are you grateful for? 

The color I am grateful for is a color that only the skies at sunset can give you. With that said, I decided to look up some of the science behind why and how we get bright orange, pink and in some cases almost red sunsets.

Basically it’s like this, the colors of a sunset are a result of a phenomenon called scattering. Scattering is when molecules and small particles in the atmosphere change the direction of light rays which causes them to “scatter.” This phenomenon affects the color of light that comes from the sky, but how it specifically looks to us is determined by the wavelength of the light and the size of the particles. Scattering explains even further the colors of the sunrise and the sunset. Because the sun is low on the horizon, sunlight passes through more air at sunset and sunrise than during the day – when the sun is higher in the sky. So, more atmosphere means more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light we generally see during the day away from our eyes. If the path is long enough, all of the blue and violet light can actually scatter out of your line of sight, thus the other colors continue their way to your eyes. This is why sunsets are often yellow, orange and sometimes red.

I am grateful for every sunset I get to see. Not only is it beautiful, but it makes me stop and think about the other things in my life that I am grateful for. It’s a moment of reflection, even if it only lasts a few minutes. I also think it’s fascinating to see something so beautiful that will never be the same twice – there’s something magical in that.

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What are some of the scents, technology and colors you are grateful for?

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