One of my former Rabbis once lectured that every day is a blessing, but within that day, there are hundreds more blessing to be thankful for. Often, we look for big things and overlook the small. He said that every day, we should be able to come up with at least 100 things that wow us. He challenged us to write a list of 100 wow’s–not just things we are thankful for, but things that really impress us. It is no secret that writers often pay attention to things that normal people tend to ignore, so I took this challenge thinking that I wouldn’t have much trouble. I got to about 25 before I slowed down and got to about 35 before I couldn’t think of any more.
These last couple years have been a spiritual, physical, and emotional journey for me. They haven’t always been good or easy, but they have certainly been educational. (Though don’t get me wrong–they’ve had their fun times, too.) I’m not sure what exactly made me remember this lecture–probably some reflection on recent events. Nonetheless, Rabbi Steve’s words entered my head earlier today and I have not been able to shake them. I want to again attempt his challenge and this time, share it with you. I also challenge you to see if you can do the same.
Below are my wows. Some may seem a bit shallow or wierd, but perhaps that’s why they’re generally overlooked. It’s fun to get excited about the little things. I can’t guarantee that I’ll get to 100 this time, but it’s at least a start…
1. The fact that I get to wake up and experience another day.
2. That I can make it through today’s world without a fancy phone.
3. I get to see the Rockies when I drive to work.
4. When my students outsmart me.
5. There are so many people who would love to go to school, but circumstances prevent it. Somehow, life worked out that I got to go.
6. My family supports the fact that I want to teach and write and travel for the rest of my life.
7. Despite these rough times and risky decisions, I have a roof over my head and I don’t miss a meal.
8. I don’t have health care, but I am young and healthy (so far)
9. I don’t drink and my friends are cool with it
10. Somehow, people think my nerdiness is interesting
11. I get to do what I love every day
12. I got to write my thesis on Harry Potter
13. Despite the odds being against us at times, my family is close
14. My ungranted wishes have turned into disguised blessings
15. I have at least two dollars in change for whatever I want to use it for
16. My car is paid off
17. I can afford car insurance
18. I just moved from a place where I had at least twenty friends I could call at any given hour if I wanted to hang out. I just moved to a place where I have two awesome friends I can call at any given hour if I want to hang out.
19. It snows here
20. No matter how many times I hear them, certain songs always make me sing along (Thank you LMFAO and Mumford and Sons)
21. I knew who the Muppets were before the most recent Muppet movie
22. I got to use Muppet Treasure Island as part of my lesson plan
23. My students think I’m cool
24. My siblings think I’m cool
25. Sometimes I manage to be a little cool
26. I have a bed to sleep in every night and heat to keep me warm
27. I have friends who have known me 10 years
28. My cooking skills are slightly impressive
29. My dogs sometimes outsmart me
30. I have infinite information available to me at the click of a mouse
31. I am able to share my thoughts instantly with millions of people
32. I’ve had Facebook for almost 7 years
33. When people speak German to me, I generally understand what they’re saying
34. My students parents continously bring me Legos
35. I get to teach using Legos
36. I’m only 24
37. I moved to Colorado on a whim and managed to find a job
38. My friends are constantly being awesome
39. I know people who, as far as I’m considered, are some of the most talented people in the world
40. When I encounter something I didn’t know before (so every day basically)
41. There’s still so much I have to do and see
42. When people smile at me
43. When people do something nice for no reason
44. It’s freezing outside, but the sun is bright and shining
45. The moon is bigger in the mountains
46. When I can see the stars
47. I have all my limbs
48. I can walk
49. I can breathe through my nose (this is something I’m always impressed with right after I get over a head cold)
50. Size 8 jeans now fit
51. When the tv is off and the computer is off and the phone is off and there is a wonderful silence
52. Every time I look at my books on my bookshelves and the stories they hold
53. I have enough clothes to last me a month (including underwear)
54. There is a black magic machine in our house that washes the dishes for us
55. And a couple that also wash and dry our clothes as well
56. The drawings my students have made that line my classroom walls
58. I have all my five senses
59. My hair grows long enough that I can give it away sometimes
60. There is a fancy program based off an ancient rock that can teach me Turkish
This is all the current wows I have for tonight, but I do have one last thing to share with you. Two years ago I was walking to work when I looked down and saw this drawing lying on the ground.
There was no child around and I had no idea who it belonged to; I couldn’t help but smile. It was such a simple picture and one of the best I’d ever seen. I thought of taking it home, but took a picture instead because it just wouldn’t be fair to not share it with other passers-by. Though it was still there when I walked home, it wasn’t there the next morning. It is to this day one of my favorite pictures and one of my favorite wows.