Gratitude and Happiness

With Thanksgiving having just past and Christmas quickly approaching, my mind has been fixated on the importance of gratitude. Thanksgiving in particular is a time for us to reflect on what we are thankful for and to express our gratitude for it. This year I have a lot to be thankful for!

This was the first year that either my fiance or I have hosted a Thanksgiving and we enjoyed it immensely. Admittedly there are some finer points of hosting Thanksgiving we could get better at, but it was wonderful to have family over. One of the points I was particular proud of was that we could feed our family for several days. I can’t help but think that our being able to cook delicious and nutritious food (in most cases 😅) was a result of our new habit of batch cooking. After all, cooking for six isn’t much different than batch cooking for two.

It is funny how when you begin to do something good for yourself that you realize the most enjoyment comes from sharing it with those you love. I was surprised with how satisfying it was to get compliments from my family on our cooking. There is something truly satisfying about making food for people and watching them enjoy it.

In a lot of ways this is just a natural extension of my previous post about achieving happiness through batch cooking with my fiancé. What I didn’t immediately realize when I wrote that post was that by building the skills to cook delicious food for my fiancé and I is that I would have the opportunity to share my cooking with others I love and enjoy the happiness associated with sharing the experience with them as well.

Moving on from cooking, I have so much more to be grateful for this year. At the top of that list is getting engaged to the woman of my dreams. Not to mention that we will be getting married in a few short months. I must be the luckiest guy on the planet.

Another thing I have to be grateful for is finishing my MBA. Truly an achievement I couldn’t have imagined for myself when I graduated high school nearly a decade and a half ago. You could say I wasn’t the most academically inclined individual when I was a kid. During my MBA graduation I was surprised by being recognized with a Peer Professionalism Award. It’s funny how that award means more to me than my GPA or some of my other achievements. Being recognized by people I respect and care for really means the world to me.

I’m also grateful for my incredible friends. I have been able to stay in touch with many of the people I care so much about. What is more is I have had the opportunity to reconnect with some dear friends I haven’t seen in many years too. My stepdad always told me when I was growing up that if I had more friends than I could I could count on one hand then I was truly a lucky man. Too that point I say I am truly a lucky man. I look forward to many more good times with my dear friends.

Finally, I’m grateful for this new adventure I am on. I have had the opportunity to move to the Northeast region in the U.S. to pursue a career in the corporate world. This is a pretty dramatic change from what I was accustomed to in the military. Some of the challenges are familiar and some are totally new. One thing that is true no matter where I go is that I will make the most of it and find a way to thrive. The experiences I am having, while sometimes challenging, are truly educational in a way that I am sure is molding me into a better leader and business person.

With all I have to be grateful for this year I wonder what new adventures will come in the next year. I wonder what I will learn and how my life will change. No matter what happens, I am resolute that I will take the time to recognize all that I have to be grateful for. I hope that you do too.

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