1. Lake Merritt in Oakland. This 140-acre body of fresh water positively radiates joy. I would argue it’s become my new Dolores Park since construction has taken over half of the San Francisco icon. There’s such a rich diversity of people jogging, salsa dancing, BBQ-ing, sunbathing, slack lining, and enjoying the–much sunnier than SF– weather. Kevin and I walked around the entire lake and just marveled at all the activity happening.
After listening to this Ted Talk by Shawn Achor: “The happy secret to better work,” I was so inspired I decided to start writing every day about three things I’m grateful for. Never mind the productivity boost at work (skip ahead to minute 8), happiness is just–pardon the corniness– a better way to live!
Life is constantly spinning around me so fast as I try to maximize career focus, learning new things/skills (Spanish, writing more), volunteer time, and still hanging out with my friends/family/boyfriend. Stopping to pause, reflect, be grateful, and put this down in writing sounds like an incomparable, fail-proof plan for increased happiness. And this isn’t some experiment to pull me out of the doldrums. Quite the contrary, I’m so incredibly grateful for many things and people in my life that I believe writing them down shall only increase my gratitude. So let’s get on with it!
2. Church’s fried chicken: Ohhh lordy, fried food is proof God loves us. Man, my family used to eat Church’s for dinner quite frequently, and then people started becoming interested in this thing called nutrition. Overrated if you ask me. But there’s a Church’s right down the street from Kevin’s apartment, and it has all the non-nutritious soul-satisfying comfort food you could want: fried chicken, fried shrimp, and biscuits.
3. Waking early on weekends: I don’t when this happened, but I’ve suddenly got to an age where I no longer feel the need to stay up super late on weekends. I went to bed at 10:30am (yes, I’ve become an old lady) and was able to get 10 hours of sleep and wake up at 8:30am. It was a glorious morning. And a bonus: I discovered an awesome un-pretentious brunch place (h/t Tim Molina) in Alamo Squre called Eddie’s Cafe. Don’t get me wrong, I love a pretentious, bougie (sp?) brunch just as much as the next uppity San Franciscan. But an $8 brunch of pancakes, sausage, eggs and hash browns beats a $16 eggs benedict any day.
Yeah, ok that was technically 4, but a little extra gratitude never hurt anybody.