5 Things: An Exercise in Gratitude

October 7, 2015

writing creativestay ocean california

Life is intense. It moves quickly, simultaneously flying past you and slipping through your fingers. There are moments that shine so bright you fall back laughing, and others where turning on the light feels like more effort than its worth. Something I’ve learned (pretty regularly) about myself over the past 23 years is that I feel things deeply. I’m an intense person, trying to do everything at once, caring about all of it, and the moments where I need to hit the brakes and take a breath are always a little too rocky and last minute.

Something else I’ve realized, and maybe you’ve felt this way too– a huge part of why I work so hard and care so much is because I am trying to do my best. My best at life, my best for those I love. I’m doing what I know to be true and can to be happy. CreativeStay at large plays an important part in that, as creativity and inspiration motivate me in nearly every other aspect of my life. But on a deeper level, my recurring 5 Things series reminds me more than anything to slow down, and appreciate what makes me smile. What actually makes me happy.

What I recently realized that I’ve never actually explained my personal reasons for sharing 5 Things every other week. And I’ve been told by a few readers that it’s their favorite feature, so I figured it was worth delving into, if only for a moment.

When + Where I started writing my 5 Things posts when this blog was the simplest thing it could be. I came up with the URL and penned my first entry in August, 2013– just over two years ago (!) And almost immediately, 5 Things became something I looked forward to writing. It re-energized me.

Why Gratitude is the most powerful anti-depressant I have ever known. Gratitude is strength, joy, and perspective, all rolled into one and personalized just for you. And for me, it’s a reminder to take in everything around me. The scent of the neighbor’s lavender, the clouds moving through the sky, seeing him smile. It forces me to slow down and take note of what makes me happy day in and day out, and the added bonus comes in expressing them here. Shaping my words with intent allows me to practice my skills as a writer, which I struggle to make time for elsewhere.

Who You. I hope you’re able to take a minute, here and now, and think of 5 things that made you deeply happy in the past seven days. Sometimes it takes a little digging– but they’re always there.




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1 Comment

  • Reply Azadeh Olia October 11, 2015 at 10:14 pm


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