The other day, I got on the I am a Triangle Facebook group through my nifty Groups App. It allows me to access groups without actually going on Facebook, which I love. The Triangle group always has interesting posts and inspiring messages. The mediators of the page do such a great job restricting and removing posts or comments that aren't productive, supportive or relevant to the expat-repat experience. It really is the best.

So, I'm scrolling along and I see a post about gratitude. A woman remarks that she found an old journal and was so amused to see a list of things she was grateful for back in Singapore, before she had repatriated. The list included things like running playlists, running shoes, Sauvignon blanc, the name of their cleaner, health and the opportunity to travel. She suggested that people comment with their own gratitude lists and without skipping a beat, I did. Without thinking or editing, I wrote,
I'm grateful for *Trader Joe's *Spotify lists *great speakers/sound system in our car *remote start (will it ever stop snowing?!) *the cute phase our kids are in *being healthy *the realization that even though I feel like I'm getting older, writing is always possible and something I can keep doing and get better at and deeper into *our fireplace!!! *that a really awful neighbor moved out and is gone. Thanks for the reminder!!
And then I read what I had written and felt so happy and lucky. It's weird how as we approach 40, life changes. Some of the things we thought we might do, or even would do someday become things that obviously we won't do, probably ever. That's so weird. Life feels at once more limiting and constrictive because of that, and yet more free and expansive because along with age and realizing we won't do all of those someday things, we get to know ourselves. We understand that we aren't missing out on those other things, we're simply not choosing them because they don't actually matter to us. How liberating is that?! In life, identifying our values, what drives us, what gives us joy, and what makes us feel alive is what it's all about.

And then, out of the blue, J played the above video for me and it made me smile and feel so glad. Each of us has to live according to our own spirit, to feed our own soul and to chase our own dreams. It makes me feel so free. Do you keep a gratitude journal? What makes you truly happy?


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