31 Days of Gratitude: Day 21

day-21

Day 21: What song are you most grateful for? Hands down, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. I was probably 22 or 23 and had seen Van Morrison live maybe 1 or 2 times previously, but nonetheless I was very excited to see him at the historic Greek Theatre in Berkeley. When I had mentioned to people that I was going to see him they would ask what my favorite song was, and as typical as it may have seemed I always smiled and said Brown Eyed Girl. Ironically enough, I am NOT a brown eyed girl but it’s still my favorite song, and how can that song not make you smile and want to get up and dance?!  Everyone’s response to me was, “He doesn’t play that song anymore.” I would say, “yeah, yeah I know – that’s what I’ve been told over and over.” I was still secretly hoping that he would play it though I knew that it was unlikely.

Van has key songs that he always plays for example Caravan, Moondance and Into the Mystic – but Brown Eyed Girl? Nope! Also, he always ends with Gloria (one of my least favorite songs haha). But nonetheless I had myself prepared to NOT hear Brown Eyed Girl.

So there I was at the concert, with my Mom (my usual concert buddy) and my Dad. We were sitting in that amphitheater listening to Van jam when he started to slide into a song that had a hint of Brown Eyed Girl. I didn’t want to get too excited but everyone around us was starting to get excited. And then, it happened. Van started singing Brown Eyed Girl, and this blue eyed girl actually started crying. Do you remember when Michael Jackson would be on tour and they would show these fans standing there singing and crying? Yup, that was mean – well kind of, I wasn’t like having a total meltdown but I was definitely a moment of “ah.”

We saw him again probably every year for the next handful of years and he played Brown Eyed Girl every time. It was like he decided to take the song out of retirement, but hearing it live for the first time is still a memory that I’m grateful for because I never thought I would hear one of my all time favorite songs live.

Did you know that Van still produces a new album every year or two? Back on Top from 2009 is one of my favorites and if you haven’t checked it out you definitely should. And, if you’ve never seen him live – please do! He stands up there and literally leads the band with his voice and his hands like a conductor. It’s quite impressive and he always puts on a flawless show.

If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll even play Brown Eyed Girl 🙂

Signature

31 Days of Gratitude: Day 20

day-20

Day 20: Who in your life are you grateful for? I am above and beyond grateful for my family and friends (obviously!). But I’m going to focus on my friends for this blog entry.

If you’re anything like me then you have multiple sets of friends – so I broke them down for you below:

The friends you made as a kiddo – I have the friends I made as a kid (high school) who I call my ride or dies. They are ALWAYS there for me and literally are just as supportive as family. This is the group of friends that I know I could call on at any day or time and they would be there for me, and for that I am grateful. Just recently I ran into an ex-boyfriend I hadn’t seen in 10 plus years, and I was so flummoxed by the encounter that I had to share it with someone. I was with a friend, but her and I weren’t that close when I had been dating this guy, but I knew who I could text and she would get it. Jamie was there to join with me in the craziness that was running into my ex – and for that little moment I was so happy that I still had someone who went that far back (and even further actually), and could relate to how I was feeling about running into this person. Check out those crazy gals below (plus one hubby hehe)

The friends you made when you were making very bad decisions (college friends) – Hahah! I titled this group of friends like this because, well let’s be honest these people were the friends that I worked really hard in college with and subsequently blew off a lot of steam with on the weekends. These are the people that would literally sneak away with you during your 30 minute break to grab McDonald’s chicken mcnuggets because you were both nursing the same hangover from the night before. One or two of these people are still in my life – and I am forever grateful for that because they remind me of a snapshot in life when we were all just trying to figure out what the heck we were doing, what were we going to do after we graduated, and – was this all really worth it? My best friend from college and I made sure that we got to sit next to each other during commencement, and I literally cannot remember anything leading up to them calling our names, but I do remember waiting for her to meet me at the bottom of steps after we received our diplomas and giving each other the biggest hug of our lifetimes, and screaming we did it! You only get to share those moments with remarkable people, and if you can’t be grateful for that and appreciate it for everything in the world then you’re just plain crazy! Those are moments and memories that literally last a lifetime. (love you Jenny)

nikki-jenny

The friends you made at work – OK so this in itself is like a 3-part category. So, I’m going to break it down like so: Part 1: The friends you made at work while you were in college, Part 2: The friends you made at your first job out of college, and Part 3: The friends you made at work – today.

Part 1: The friends you made at work while you were in college – so work for me in college was a little different. I had been working at a swim and tennis club in my early college days but then made the move to a full-time(ish) nanny gig for a family who should actually go under the “family” section. The Larsen family are a part of me and will be forever. I will never forget the first time I met Shea. He was nine months old, had this big round moon face and huge blue eyes. He smiled at me and that was it – I fell in love with that kid. When I was asked to start watching him one day a week I was beyond excited. Then a couple of years later they were expecting a second baby (Jack), and him and I had a different connection since I was around from the beginning. I worked for the Larsen family for 5 years and I wouldn’t trade that time and experience for anything. To this day they are like family to me, and though I don’t see them as often as I’d like to (it’s amazing how busy children get nowadays!) I did get to spend an extended weekend with the boys while their mom and dad were in Chicago. It was quite a different experience this time around – with one being in high school and all – but there was also something so unbelievably nostalgic about the entire thing. They have truly turned into the sweetest, most considerate, and respectful young men I’ve ever met. I’m proud to have been able to be apart of their lives and share that time with all of them.

Part 2: The friends you made at your first job out of college – these were very important and very influencing folks. These were the friends I made when I first got out of college. Picture this, I’m 24 and I’ve been going to college and nannying when I wasn’t in school. I was able to wear flip flops, jeans and hoodie to work on a regular basis. I now had to wear slacks and a button-up shirt to work, be in San Francisco by 8 a.m. every morning, AND work until 5 p.m. every night. Talk about take me out of my comfort zone! But there are a few people in particular I connected with at this job, and I still see most of them at least once a year for lunch or drinks. I’ve attended their weddings and consider them to be great friends to this day (8 years later!). They were my first real grown-up connections post-college for me, and I will forever be grateful for those folks.

daily-journal-friends

Part 3: The friends you made at work – today – these people are a different breed of friends because they are the folks I spend the most time with outside of work today. I ran my first half marathon with these people, have had travel adventures with these people, I’m traveling to Italy for the first time with some of these folks, and they are the people I can really openly vent to about work – and they totally get it! They are also the people that I can cry to no matter how insignificant or silly my issues may seem. They get me – and they’ve been patient with me while I’ve grown and changed over the past 6 1/2 years (break-ups, job changes, family health issues) you name, they’ve tolerated it 🙂 And even within this group I have little sub-groups which diversifies me and who I am even further. Love you ladies!

This blog post was particularly fun. I love being able to tell the people in my life how much they mean to me. I love you all – and wish you all a Merry Christmas (if I don’t see you before then)

Signature

31 Days of Gratitude: Days 7 – 19

today-only

Holy moly! I don’t know where the time has gone, other than to say that a big IT project my team is working goes live on January 9th so needless to say tempers are high and the work is insane! However, that is NO excuse to neglect my 31 days of gratitude- because let’s be honest though I’m grateful, I need to make this a priority! With that said, here are days 7-19.

Day 7: What place are you most grateful for? I think I am most grateful for Disneyland. This may surprise people, but I have very fond memories of visiting Disneyland as a child, one of my best friends got engaged while we were all in Disneyland, I’ve celebrated birthdays and bachelorette weekends in Disneyland, and it’s been my escape a time or two to mend a broken heart. It literally is the happiest place on earth. If you don’t smile when you walk through those gates then you probably didn’t have a magical childhood like I did, and I can’t wait to do that with my kids someday!

Day 8: What memory are you grateful for? There are so many days I am grateful for, the day my Dad had his heart transplant surgery, the two days my beautiful nieces were born, the list can go on and on. However, I am going to go with a very memorable day…the day I passed my graduate oral exam. This was an interesting time for me because I had just broken up with my ex of 5 years, my parents were not living in California (they were in Nevada), and it was the middle of the day. I remember getting up that morning and trying very hard to not throw up because I was so nervous. I put on a nice sweater and a pair of black slacks. I took one last look at myself in the mirror and headed out to the college. I was going to be meeting with three professors who knew me very well (they had also been my professors while I was in school for my bachelor’s degree). I got there on time, sat down on one side of the long intimidating table and the three professors walked in, and sat down across from me. I had submitted a ridiculously long exam that I had written pages upon pages of answers for – which I was not going to be interrogated about. It lasted about 2 hours and when it was complete they asked me to step outside and wait while they basically sat there and decided whether I had passed. Literally, 3 1/2 years of work, the stress, the tears, the worry had all come down to a 30 minute deliberation between 3 of my professors.

They called me back in and before I could sit down one of my professors said “congratulations.” I barely heard him, and I just kind of stared at him dumbly. Then he said, “Nikki, did you hear me? I said congratulations, you passed.” I said, “Oh!” And everyone started laughing. The funny thing is that I don’t know what I expected, maybe balloons? A procession? No, that was it. Just a simple congratulations. So, that was it. I now needed to walk back to my car and do something. Anything? I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I walked out, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, it was a really nice day, and I had just passed my master’s oral exam. Naturally, I called my mom to tell her – and I can’t really even remember what that conversation consisted of. But, getting into my car and taking a deep breath, I began to cry. There was a lot behind those tears, and that day was the most anticlimactic day of my life, but also the most satisfying. I will never forget that day, and that day was 100% mine – and I didn’t experience that with anyone else by myself today, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Day 9: What book are you most grateful for? This is a hard one for me because I love to read, and have read more books than I can count, but I found a love for art history books my first year in community college. My bookcase today is full of art books and I cherish them and would never, ever, not in a million years get rid of them. My love for these books started when I was in community college. I had told my counselor in high school to sign me up for an art class. What I had meant was like a drawing class or something (my family, and myself at times included, is very artistic). She placed me in an “Art 1” class – cool with me. When I went to pick up my text books my art class had a book! I was slightly excited because I just love books in general, but when I saw it I was VERY confused. It looked like a history book.

Turns out it was Art 1 – history of art. Like, literally starting from the beginning of time art work. I LOVED it! I fell in love with the topic, and I fell in love with my professor – figuratively that is. I have always held my fantastic and passionate teachers on a pedestal. They inspire me and motivate me which I find admirable. And Professor Zuliani did just that. I had never met a professor who was as passionate about art history as she was. She inspired me to take all of her art history classes, and at times toyed with the idea of exploring a career in the area. Alas, I didn’t because my options were small – either teach it or curate it – but nonetheless Professor Zuliani ignited something in me that made me love and appreciate art, learn it’s importance in our world history, and how indicative art is of what is socially and politically happening in our lives at the time. So, having these art history books that remind me of that passion I discovered and still have is something I will always be grateful for.

Day 10: What taste are you grateful for today? Coffee – especially on the weekends. I LOVE coffee, but may no means am I a coffee snob. However, coffee on the weekends is one of my favorite things (and Ruby’s too). Ruby knows that if I get up and don’t hit the shower first, that means my next stop is coffee and then either climbing back into bed to snuggle up with Ruby, or to plop on the couch, watch HGTV, snuggle up with Ruby and my cup of coffee. Coffee is also one of those things that brings people together, or keeps people’s connections alive. Coffee – the taste of waking up, staring your day, and these days with uber cold weather – helping me keep warm!

Day 11: What holiday are you grateful for? My birthday (no, I am not being selfish – read the next line), and my mom’s birthday. I realize these are two holidays, BUT they are very important to me because I believe it is one of the things that connects my mom and I the most. I am born on July 11th and my mom is born on July 13th. Some might think, oh no what a nightmare, two cancers under the same roof? Well, yeah sometimes that’s it, but most of the time it just means that we say the same things at the same times and like the same stuff. To have a mom that I’m not just genetically connected to, but also emotionally and spiritually is something I am grateful for and I’m happy that we celebrate that connection every year when we celebrate our birthdays that are so close to each other.

Day 12: What texture are you grateful for? Anything soft and fuzzy – not only does it make your brain relax a tiny bit upon touching it, but it reminds me the fuzzy scruffy thing I call my pup – Ruby Sue.

Day 13: What abilities are you grateful for? The ability to write. I have always had a passion for words. I was the kid that would be up until 1am reading instead of sleeping. But when I discovered that I also loved to write, and that I actually wasn’t half bad at it, it became something I am grateful for. It is the thing that made me a good student and the thing that has given me a successful career thus far. I get complete joy from writing and it’s something that happily relaxes me.

Day 14: What season are you grateful for? The holiday season. It encompasses Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Fall/Winter. Thanksgiving is all about eating all day – who doesn’t love that? Christmas is about magic – and is just that much more fun now that my nieces are here and Fall and Winter just seem a little more relaxing, and the excuse to sit on the couch cozied up with blankets – watching holiday movies!

Day 15: What sight are you grateful for today? The sight I’m most grateful for was one I saw/created that was the pile of Christmas gifts I just wrapped up. I’m grateful for this because I am capable of giving gifts to my friends and family this year, and I’m grateful to be showing the people I love how much I appreciate them.

Day 16: What about your body are you grateful for? My legs. These legs have run a handful of 5Ks, one 10K and 3 half marathons (13.1 miles). I admit that I don’t use them as I should for 30 minutes every day 😉 But I am definitely grateful for what they have been capable of doing in the past, and what I know they are still capable of doing in the future. Full marathon someday? Hmmm…I’ll have to come back to that one.

Day 17: What knowledge are you grateful for? One of the key pieces of knowledge I took away from college (and ironically enough, not academic) was to always have my resume updated and ready to go – no matter how secure in your job you feel you are. The professor who shared this with the class I used to think was completely insane, paranoid, crazy tree hugger (mind you, I am and Independent, middle-of-the-road type of person), but he was a extreme liberal. He also said that I should always have my passport up to date and handy. I have since consistently strived to do both (despite how crazy he sounded when he said it). For that piece of advice though, I’m grateful.

Day 18: What piece of art are you grateful for? Oh boy – this one is hard. I can’t choose just one, but as someone who once wanted to major in art history  I feel like I appreciate art on many levels. For example, I am very grateful for an original piece of art that my brother made for me. My brother Dustin’s style of artwork is unique and so beautiful. I will forever cherish the painting of my pup Ruby Sue that my brother created for me and gave to me for Christmas last year. Best present ever!

Day 19: What touch are you grateful for today? Puppy kisses. Ruby doesn’t give a lot of kisses, but when she does it’s the best – love that pup to the moon and back.

31 Days of Gratitude: Day 6

What in nature are you grateful for?

The beach! The beach holds a special place in my heart because it’s my Mom’s FAVORITE place to go, and in turn it has become one of my fondest memories of my childhood, and also my favorite place to visit.

When we were younger (myself and my two younger brothers), we would often take day trips with my parents to Santa Cruz. We would spend the day at the beach, maybe hang out on the boardwalk until the sun went down! I was so little when we would do this, and don’t remember specifics of those trips, but I have that nostalgic feeling of having spent a lot of time there when I think about it now as an adult. Ironically enough, it is still one of my favorite day trips to take – and I know that my brother who now has two little girls does the same with his family. I think back on those times and they just seem so much simpler then. Dad wasn’t sick yet, mom was there to wipe our tears and give us the hugs we needed to make everything all better (and it actually DID make everything all better), and a day at the beach was just that. A day to hang out, run wild through the water and just be a kid.

Another instance of my life when the beach played a significant role was while I was in junior high school. On Wednesdays all of the kids got out of school a couple of hours earlier than the rest of the week, so my mom would pack up our 1989 Suburban and pick us all up to head out to Half Moon Bay to Redondo Beach. I mean, who had a mom as cool as mine back then? Absolutely no one! We would listen to the Beatles, or Counting Crows, sometimes even Blues Traveler and cruise over the San Mateo Bridge, and then through the mountains and dip into Half Moon Bay, with a couple of hours of daylight to spare. Our wiener/dachshund mix pup Cleo would run across my brothers’ laps back and forth with complete delight as soon as the truck hit the gravel road that led to our regular beach. She would get so excited, needed the windows down so she could smell the salt air, and she would be whining with excitement. Makes me smile just thinking about it. Cleo was also the first to take the hike down to the beach where she would diligently wait for us all to join her.

Once we were settled on the beach mom would head out on the hunt for sea glass. I would sit on the blanket and do my homework (probably not shocking to some of you), and the boys would dig in the sand or play in the water – we would occasionally join mom in searching for those little gems in the sand – and if any of us were in the water (and by “in the water” I mean maybe up to our knees) Cleo would run up and down the beach barking her head off. She was a little protective to say the least.

Once the sun was beginning to set we would pack up, clean ourselves up (sand everywhere!) and stop at Burger King before heading back through the mountain and into the East Bay. I can’t remember exactly how long we did these weekly jaunts to Half Moon Bay, but it is a great childhood memory that’s for sure!

While these are happy child hood memories, it’s also been a comforting place for me when times weren’t all that great. I know we all find ourselves in situations or relationships that aren’t right for us, and sometimes we let ourselves marinate in that bad situation for just a little too long. A handful of years ago I found myself in that exact situation. The beach was often my place to hide out when I needed to get away. Not only was the drive therapeutic, but so was physically being there. It helped me clear my mind and almost reset my feelings and emotions. The beach was also the place where I decided that the turmoil I was going through in that relationship would end. I wouldn’t give it one more chance, or time for him to change. That was it and I couldn’t keep letting myself be emotionally and verbally abused. I made a promise to myself on the beach one day, by myself that I was going to put an end to the chaos. A couple of short weeks later I had ended my relationship and moved out of the place I shared with my boyfriend of 5 years. If I hadn’t had that time to sit quietly and reflect, I don’t know when I would have made the smartest and bravest decision I’ve made ever in my life.

The beach helps you reset your thoughts. It brings life down to what it is really about – we are the sand, the waves are life and sometimes those waves hit us a little harder than others, sometimes the tide is out and life is boring, and sometimes the storm is raging and you can barely take a breath. Either way, this the one thing in nature that I have most gratitude for. It truly is nature’s gift. Now, who is coming with me to the beach!? 🙂

31 Days of Gratitude: Day 5

31-days-of-gratitude

What sound are you grateful or today?

Today I am grateful for the sound of applause. I had to sit through a 2 hour town hall meeting at work today, and while the meeting was long and not all of the content was very uplifting, my VP kicks every meeting off by sharing an acknowledgment. It is generally a thank-you to someone within our organization who goes and above and beyond. When my VP first became the “VP” I was in his chief of staff office handling his talking points, power points etc., and one of the things he was adamant  about implementing was that he kick off each large organizational-wide meeting with a thank you/acknowledgment. He is a different leader in that he’s more off the cuff, he doesn’t necessarily accept all social norms, and he genuinely cares about the work we all do (not to say that other’s at my company do not, but it is a well-known, shared feeling that he cares).

So, the reason I’m grateful for the sound of applause is because today when he kicked off his town hall with a thank you it was immediately followed with an applause, which is different from any other applause because it’s not just a “thanks for talking at us for 30 minutes now get off the stage,” applause; it’s an applause with gratitude and appreciation. If you ask me, that is different from the norm. The interesting part of this afternoon is that I didn’t think about how nice that was until I sat down to write today’s gratitude blog. My VP wasn’t even acknowledging me in the kick-off of his meeting, but I still recognized how nice it is (now from the audience perspective and not from the writing-his-talking-points-perspective) to have a meeting start on a high note of appreciation and acknowledgment of a job well-done.

We live in a world today where a lot of things are not a cause for applause, so when it’s time to put our hands together for someone who is really doing fantastic work, I appreciate that and feel it in an uplifting way. Let’s think about this, we clap our hands for babies all the time. It makes them smile, and gets them excited. That’s what true applause should do – and I felt that this afternoon, and for that I’m grateful. However, I was also grateful for the final applause because it meant my two hour town hall meeting was over – but that’s neither here nor there 🙂

This is short and sweet today but hope you enjoyed it anyway!

What sound are you grateful for today?

31 Days of Gratitude: Day 4

31-days-of-gratitude-3

What food are you most grateful for?

This one is a hard choice to make. I love a lot of different food – and if it’s fried or has cheese on it I’ll probably love it! BUT, there is a particular food that my world revolved around for a number of years while I was a teenager. That food is pizza. I worked at Bronco Billy’s Pizza Palace which was the local pizza hang out in my neighborhood. I worked there for a couple of years during my teenage years, and to this day I still say that it was my absolute favorite place to work.

This pivotal part of my life, the part of your life when you BECOME a true teenager, when you meet some of the best friends you’ll have for life, and when you fall in love for the first time, all evolved from Bronco Billy’s. It started the summer I turned 15 when I was working at a day camp. A majority of the counselors, as well as the director of the camp (all in their late teens and early to mid-twenties) worked at camp during the summer days and then worked at the pizza place in the evenings. It was my second year as a junior counselor, and I was well on my way to becoming a counselor in training the following year – it was everything I had strived for and I was loving it. The director was also a manager at Bronco Billy’s and asked if I would be interested in working a couple of nights a week at the pizza place. Heck yes! I was SO excited. I went in to fill out the application, met Tito the crazy Armenian guy who ran the place, and I was immediately put on the schedule. To say I was psyched and over the moon all wrapped into one is an understatement.

What I didn’t realize was how much that job was going to define that time in my life. I learned the worth of a dollar, how to support myself, how to budget my money, how to prioritize important things – I was working and in high school at the same time, and I made relationships that have spanned almost 20 years. I met a group of guys I can easily say are still like the older brothers I never had and I met and dated the first guy I ever loved during that time period (though he didn’t work at the pizza place). Not only was this pizza place impactful on my life as a teenager, but as a child we spent a lot of time there as well.

Behind the counter we would laugh and sing, and throw stuff at each other. Someone once threw a pepperoni at me and hit me smack in the middle of my forehead – a week before my Senior Prom. I freaked out and had to wash my face immediately. And, if anyone thinks I have really good slip reflexes, it’s because that floor at the pizza place could get unbelievably slippery. I laugh as I write this thinking about how may people fell and/or slipped. You may think it’s wrong to find this funny, but no one ever actually got hurt – and we all thought it was hysterical – it was a comedic break at a place that was slammed on Friday and Saturday nights, and since it is so close to Cal State East Bay, it was also a popular place on Monday nights after the fraternity’s and sorority’s had their weekly meetings.

I grew up while working at Bronco Billy’s and it helped shape who I am and who I have in my life, and because of that I am forever grateful for pizza! (As a matter of fact, that’s where I had dinner tonight) 😉

31 Days of Gratitude: Day 1, 2 & 3

31-days-of-gratitude_-days-1-2-3

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!

untitled-design

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.

12339589_10153698762588815_8534328229299580536_o

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