Thanksgiving is fast approaching on Oct. 14 this year and unfortunately it seems like the calm before the storm when I take a peep at my schedule. The weeks that follow Thanksgiving look like the start of academic peril seeping out of midterms, assignments, readings, and club commitments. In order to make myself feel a little better, I decided to come up with this list.
Instead of listing out the obvious (friends, family, etc.), I decided to identify the little cuts of my life that make me thankful.
9. When there are no cats following me or staring at me from inside the windows as I walk from my bus stop to my house.
I know this is the Internet and I’m probably rallying up the anger of cat lovers all around the world, but I hate cats. Kittens are no exception. I am slightly terrified of them and I try to avoid them if possible. Their eyes freak me out the most. I personally think they are evil and capable of higher intelligence. I believe that if you love cats or think they are adorable, you have already fallen too deep into their trap.
8. When I line up to bus home from school and I manage to get a seat.
I was too accustomed to the near-empty buses during summer semester. I was surprised to find myself actually not being able to get on the bus after lining up. Now with more schoolwork and more students, an open seat is not something to be taken for granted.
7. When you ask someone to do something, and they do it… way before the given deadline.
I am a pretty strict person when it comes to deadlines. Whether it is my colleague who gives me information too late and expects me to pull some last-minute magic, or my friend who still has not confirmed whether we are hanging out, I do not share much sympathy. I understand that everybody has their own lives and own stuff going on so it’s not easy to organize your time effectively. But when someone follows through on something days before a given deadline, I feel very thankful. It just shows that you care about what you are doing and you respect other peoples’ deadlines as well.
6. When I open my schedule and it looks busy.
I like being busy. For me, it’s an indication that I have stuff I want to do and I do it. I am grateful for the opportunities I currently take on or have yet to.
5. When I stress out over something, and a friend who is going through the exact same situation as me, understands and stresses with me.
This doesn’t sound like a good time for both parties, but I cannot deny that split feeling of happiness when a friend and I freak out over the same things. It makes me feel reassured that I am not freaking out over something that doesn’t matter. And even if it doesn’t matter that much, I am thankful that there is someone who is going through the exact situation because they are going through the same emotions as I am. It’s like not being able to solve a math problem. Those who aren’t taking math and are not stuck on the same question aren’t of much help, even if they understand how frustrated you are.
4. When I come home from having a bad day and my parents pamper me like a baby.
If I have a bad day it probably means I’m overwhelmed. It’s always negative feelings that pile up over a period of time and then ignite over the smallest events. Being treated like a baby makes me feel like life will get better and everything will be taken care of. And it does, I know it does. But a bad day has this special ability to make you feel like you have a bad life. It’s important to not be blinded to all the good days and love you have.
3. When you crawl out of your warm bed, open your closet, ignore your jeans, and put on some leggings… fleece-lined leggings!
They are so warm.
2. When I see improvements in the students I tutor.
I’ve never been tutored. And I had never really intended for tutoring to be such a big chunk of my income these past few years, but it is a type of experience that I find myself enjoying the more I do it. When I first started tutoring, I worried a lot about whether or not my teaching style would be effective. I’m not one of those people who help others for the sake of helping others. And a common factor I see in all the students I currently tutor is that there is a drive to learn in all of them. This I am really thankful for.
Many of them are ESL or International students from China who really have the desire to be fluent in English. As a previous ESL student myself, I understand that helplessness of not being able to express what you want to express. Tutoring would be the absolute pits if my students didn’t care about learning and were just forced by their parents. When I see improvements, I see effort. I see that the things I say resonate with them, and I see reasons why I want to help them. In a lot of ways, I begin to understand why there are so many people who choose to go into education or teaching, when there are a lot more jobs that seem to offer more.
1. When I look up or outside, and it looks beautiful.
These kinds of moments always cheer me up. Nowadays, this happens a lot when I’m walking around campus or I am by myself. As a first-year, I mostly just went back and forth between class and home. Or I was always too distracted with other people or just all this ‘stuff’. I think in this recent year, I’ve really come to appreciate my surroundings. It is a nice feeling to slow down sometimes.
Nine is my favorite number, just in case anyone was wondering.
What are some of your thankful moments this Fall?
P.S. Follow @sincerelyloewe on Instagram for more snapshots of what I see every day