Gratitude for the Small Things in Life… And Sometimes Those Small Things Come in the Form of 12-Foot Tee Pees
I’m sitting in a teepee on the roof of our office in the middle of Los Angeles with helicopters flying by and thousands of people around. It seems unreal how sitting here, all I can think about is how grateful I am for the little things.
It’s rare that I pause and think about the little things in life that are not only instrumental in my survival as a human being but that help each day to go by simpler and better. It’s easy for me to be grateful for family, friendships, science, and good weather- for things that really get me through when times are tough. But, it’s difficult for me to remember the little things in life that I take for granted regularly.
The 12-foot teepee I’m sitting in reminds me of my childhood. It makes me want to be a kid again- to go build a fort in my room with blankets and pillows and flashlights… but, because of the mess it will make that I won’t want to clean up, because of the other productive things that I should be doing instead, I most likely won’t go home and build a fort. But, even though I might not, it reminds me of the fact that I actually have pillows and blankets to build a fort with; that I actually have a bed to sleep in tonight, and a roof over my head to protect me. There are millions of people that don’t have these small luxuries that I take for granted.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have never felt so lucky that my grandma moved to America from China when she was 8. That she met my grandpa who worked so hard to go to school and to support his 5 children. That my mom moved to LA and met my dad, that my dad was adopted into a loving family and that my parents had my brother and I here, in this beautiful city. That, right there, is pure luck-of-the-draw that I would be silly not to appreciate and be ever grateful for.
I often complain about my poor money-management skills and about how, instead of saving up for a car, I keep spending money on cute clothes and shoes. That, my friends, is what we call a #firstworldproblem. I am sickened by the fact that I have to remind myself to be grateful for the fact that I even own more than one pair of shoes when there are too many people that don’t even have a single pair. There are millions of people in this world that have to walk barefoot or in tarnished rubber flip flops for miles several times a day just to get water.
I often complain about my back hurting because, well, I am well endowed in the upper body female-physiological aspect (boobies)… but, in reality, I am fortunate and grateful to be able to afford bras when there are so many women and girls all over the world that don’t have access to what is a simple necessity for me. For these girls and women, as soon as they reach puberty they become fair game for marriage even at extremely young ages.
When I’m not feeling well, I complain about having to go to school or work, when really I am blessed with such opportunities.
I never thought that sitting in this teepee would make me appreciate all of the simple things in life that to me aren’t even luxuries, but necessities. I couldn’t comprehend surviving without some of these things, but to many, they probably couldn’t begin to imagine what life would be like with them.
The fact that I have a job and was able to attend work this morning safely is a gift; It is a gift that my assignment today was to take a minute to pause, to return to my childhood and reflect on all of the things I am grateful for, something I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.
If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, like life isn’t happening in your favor, like you wish things were different- try practicing gratitude. If you were late to work because the bus you took broke down- try being thankful that you have access to transportation. If you can’t afford any other food than what’s on the dollar menu at McDonald’s, try taking a second to be grateful for the dollar menu. Just minutes, even seconds, even just a thought about all of the things, or even just one thing throughout the day that you probably took for granted- could change your perception and help you to be a more grateful person. It worked for me, so I don’t see why it can’t work for you too.