What are you grateful for?

I bumped into a random video of a guy on Instagram that claimed that to make a great positive impact on your life, you’d have to write down three things you’re grateful for every day. He rambled on about how it was better than any other thing, and then it all went blabla. But the message I took home from it I agree is a great thing to do. In fact, my wife and I made it a habit years ago to tell each other exactly that every day. Three things to be grateful for. It was a nice experience, and you really start noticing an attitude shift quite quickly. These days, we mostly talk diapers, and groceries we need, and the rest of our energy goes to the kids. (I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.) It’s not that we ran out of gratitude, but life keeps us busier than ever. The gratitude talk is now a rather rare event, but we may have to pick it up. It’s an easy and fun conversation subject!

Anyway! Here’s three things I’m grateful for today.

1) After several days of official contact quarantine, we started off today with a negative COVID-19 test for my little boy, which meant he was allowed back into daycare (for as long as it lasts). But it was helpful today! People that have had meetings with me over the past days have experienced live action toddler tantrums in the room next door. God this is hard. Daycare is such a blessing.

2) When I work at university, I usually get take away lunch at the Asian food vendor on campus. Today I had the pleasure of bumping into my wife Heike – who was taking a stroll with her friend and all the kiddos – on campus. Nothing is a better way to spend your break than being the goofy dad for fifteen minutes.

3) I have watched six excellent final group presentations in our biodiversity course this afternoon. Student groups were asked to present a paper of choice, which generated a diverse range of subjects. This exercise took me and the students from drivers of alpine plant diversity and fire as a driver of ecology and evolution to the effects of landscape configuration and composition, ecosystem services provided by aquatic insects, threats to species and the way forward in conservation, to end with the effects of the current pandemic on biodiversity. An interesting afternoon program with thought-provoking discussions, where I also learned a lot.

These days it’s easy to dwell in negativity. Social mediawis full of it. Let’s not let it cloud everything in our lives. There’s tons of stuff large or small to be grateful for.

What’s on your list today?

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

2 thoughts on “What are you grateful for?

  1. I like this idea! I’ve read about it several times already, so maybe I should start doing this as well. I did do a similar thing with Paola where at the end of the week we would write down the best thing that happened to us that week on a small note. We would then put that note in a jar and at the end of the year we would read everything we wrote down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a cool idea. Heike got us something like that for Advent. Where there would be a daily prompt – could be drawing, description, etc. – and you then could write up memories, grateful moments, cool things about each other. It was a bit cliche but also quite fun.


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