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February 26, 2024

Surviving & Thriving: 5 Lessons in Gratitude as I enter the Next Year of my Healing Journey.

 

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I typically don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

It’s not because I think there’s something wrong or schmaltzy about making such cutesy lists. No, I’m just not that type of person.

But as I make my way into year four of life after my big tragedy in December 2020, after finishing the Hindu rituals of the third anniversary last month, I did want to take a second and acknowledge the journey I have taken over the last three years by sharing the five things I’m grateful for as I move into the next year of living my life without the two people most important to my very existence.

Despite navigating through feeling down and out many times over the past three years, the most predominant feeling I have now is that of gratitude. Immense gratitude—for a few people and a few things I’ve learned about myself and the world.

So, this is what I’m grateful for as I make my way into the next year of my healing journey:

1. I’m grateful for the people who came through for me during the past three years.

I’m insanely thankful to know who I can trust and place my faith in—and who I cannot. People I trusted and believed would be there after the tragedy didn’t just vanish, some of them actively went out of their way to hurt me. And then there were those of whom I had zero to no expectations who came through and became my rock.

They say tragedy teaches you who’s who and what’s what. And during the biggest tragedies of my life post-2020, I’m grateful for the lessons I learned regarding people.

2. I’m grateful I’m still here.

I am almost embarrassed about this one. Three years in, I look around the world and the real devastation that people are going through and know how lucky and privileged I am to still be here. They say that god or fate or that eternal power out there will never give you more than you can handle. While I dream of a Utopian heartache-free world for everyone, I know that is not a possibility.

While the road and journey have been tough, I know that I was able to handle the cards I was dealt in 2020. And three years later, I’m still here—and I’m functioning. I’m still grieving but I’m still here. Still hoping for a better world and smelling the roses and looking in awe at a rainbow and rejoicing at a child’s gummy grin. While my heart aches and breaks for those who are stuck in wars and have lost their family, children, and limbs, I know how lucky I am and how grateful I am that I. Am. Still. Here.

3. I’m grateful I have a job.

Given how awful the pandemic and post-pandemic world has been economically around the world, and how many lost their jobs and their incomes, I am so grateful that I still have a job. The past three years would have been much harder if I hadn’t had my work. While the job helped me financially (of course) it also gave me purpose. It gave me something else to focus my attention on. And for that, I am so intensely grateful.

4. I’m grateful for my routine.

Waking up every day and knowing how the rest of the day, how the rest of the week, will play out? Oh, I am so grateful for that. Knowing that I have classes all day on Mondays and Fridays, my content-writing work on the other three days of the week, and working on my creative writing over the weekends makes me so grateful for the routine.

Not to mention all of my household chores, including meal-prepping for the week, cleaning the house, doing laundry…every hour in my week is chalked out. It has to be or I won’t get things done. I rarely, if ever, veer from my routine. I can’t afford to and I don’t want to. And for that, I’m grateful.

5. And, finally, I’m grateful for my new hometown.

In August of 2023, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. I moved from a city I had called my home in India for over a decade to another city that I had only ever visited for holidays but allowed me to be closer to my extended family.

And I have never been more at peace with any decision I’ve made in a long time in my life.

I’m no longer sure about the concept of happiness, and I no longer care. The new city I have moved to is sunny and hot for 10 months of the year and wet for the remaining two. The heat is so intense that I get frequent headaches, sunstrokes, and migraines. I cannot go anywhere without an umbrella to protect me from the heat. I have the AC on almost 24/7. But in this new city, I have been more at peace with life than I have in a long time.

Given the strife in so many parts of the world as we navigate our lives this year, the fact that I’m privileged enough to be able to write a post about what I’m grateful for is something I’m also so grateful for.

And I don’t ever take it for granted.

What are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments section!

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