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“The difference between privilege and entitlement is gratitude”  – Brene Brown

When I got up this morning, ready to greet the new year (Happy 2018, everyone!), I decided that today’s post had to be about gratitude. However, when I was searching for gratitude quotes, there were so many. 

A lot of them just felt so idealistic to me, you know? Like gratitude exercises were the easiest ones in the world.

 

Gratitude Is Difficult!

Yes, I said it!  As much as I know other blogs and Pinterest pins seem to make gratitude seem easy, I’ll admit it! It can be difficult!  In fact, I think you need to be really mindful to recognize everything you have, in order to be grateful for it.

That’s one of the reasons I chose Brene Brown’s quote today; it’s real.  Yes, we are all privileged to an extent. For example, living in the Western world (I know some of you readers are from different parts of the world, but I speak for myself), we are used to having access to technology,  education, resources that we often take for granted.

Maybe some are more privileged than others and have access to more opportunities, but we all have something great we take for granted. It’s so easy to be grumpy when you’re alone, for example, or feel frustrated or sad, instead of acknowledging everything good around you.  I know I’m guilty of this one!

 

A Gratitude “Karma” Example

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I love the idea that what makes it different from being entitled is gratitude and the attitude with which you choose to accept it.

Actually, that reminds me of a story one of my friends told me yesterday, about a vacation to Hawaii where her flight from Canada was cancelled and re-routed through several airports in the US due to an ice storm causing havoc.

Here’s what happened:

She told me about several couples she met that were enraged, in a terrible mood, and shocked at being out $200 for an overnight stay in Calgary  (as they were on their way to 3-week to 3 month long holidays in Hawaii, even as they were boarding the alternate first-class flights the airline put them on to make up for the disruption). Now, remember, $200 is not so much, considering the cost of the whole holiday in a place like Hawaii.

However, my friend decided to choose an attitude of gratitude. (I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been as calm as she was!). In fact, I readily admit I have trouble quieting my mind, and it’s on my goals list for 2018. She is one of my friends who meditates a lot; that’s on my list this year, too. To try to calm my mind and gently let thoughts pass, instead of feeling angry or wanting revenge when something goes wrong.

Karma definitely rewarded her, though.

Her expensive car rental in Hawaii, which automatically cancels itself within 24 hours of a no-show, would have been DOUBLE the (very expensive) price had she been late due to the flight.

She arrived with 5 minutes to spare. Then, she even got the rental agent to admit that had she been 5 minutes later, they wouldn’t have honoured her reservation at the same price.

I have a funny feeling that if she had been enraged and angry at the first $200 and airline delay that was weather-related and out of everyone’s control, she may have ended up being 5 minutes later and paying double for the car rental!

So, gratitude goes a long way.  Which is why I like this idea:

 

 

The Reverse Bucket List Idea

So, this idea is not my own! In fact, while I was searching for gratitude-related material, I found Boho Berry’s blog post from a couple years ago – and I love this idea!

She suggests making a reverse bucket list of everything you’ve done in the past that you should be really grateful for, to help you evaluate how great your life is already.  So, I decided to do this in conjunction with my “10 interesting facts” list for the Liebster Award I received yesterday.  (See below for more info!)

 

I Proudly Accept The Liebster Award!

Yesterday, on New Year’s Eve, I opened up my email to find that I’d been nominated for The Liebster Award! It’s a new award by bloggers, for bloggers, honouring new bloggers for their work.  I’d like to thank Tiffany from Joy In Teaching for nominating me. She runs an excellent blog on resiliency and retention in teaching, to help educators support one another.

If you are nominated for the award, and you choose to accept it:
  • You have to follow a few rules, which you can find laid out here.
  • Basically, you need thank the blogger who nominated you (Thanks again  Joy In Teaching!), display the award on your site, write 150 to 300 words about a blog you love, and list 10 interesting facts out yourself.  So, here goes!

First, I’d like to nominate the following 5 blogs for the Liebster Award:  Educational Hipsters, Life Education Travel, The Social Studies Whisperer, Corelaborate WA and LP Tutoring.  Great job on all of your blogs – I love reading them!

 

A Blog I Love: We Are Educators

Well, in true Liebster Award fashion, I’d like to write a few words about one of my favourite educational blogs, We Are Educators. Actually, it’s one of my goals in 2018 to have an article accepted for publication on their site. It’s an amazing resource written by a wonderful group of teachers, about everything you can imagine about teaching. In fact, I even took a quiz on their site about student slang – and passed, but just barely!  Guess I don’t have all the cool lingo teens use now!

What I love most about We Are Educators is that they provide giveaways, free printables and excellent, well-written blog posts without overwhelming you with advertisements. I know they say they get some sponsorship opportunities, but I really don’t know how they manage to do so well! I aspire to be like them one day and have The Teaching Cove flourish.

 

10 Interesting Facts: My Reverse Bucket List For Gratitude

Again, another (optional, but fun) part of being a recipient of the Liebster Award is to share 10 interesting facts about yourself. I’m doing this, as I mentioned above, in conjunction with my “reverse bucket list”.  So, here are the facts, and also the parts of my life that I’m most grateful for:

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1. I have a beautiful Labrador pup

Well, puppy is a bit of an exaggeration now, since she’s 8 years old. However, she still acts like a pup and I love her to pieces!

2.  I lived in Switzerland for 4 months when I was 19

Well, three and a half. I’m so grateful for this time as it changed the way I spoke French and fueled my interest in study abroad research, which is now the subject of my PhD.

3.  I worked in Singapore in 2006-2007 as a marketing intern
4.  My dream was always to move to England, which I did in 2012 to attend Oxford 
5. My first degree is actually in Business & Marketing, but my passions are teaching and writing 

I’m SO grateful for that degree I studied for way back in 2002-2007 though because it’s taught me so much. In fact, it’s part of the reason I was inspired to create this blog, and create my new course for English teachers, too.

6. When I was four, I decided I would write a novel. I’m still working on that goal!
7. I learned Spanish in 8 months 
8.  I’m a coffee fiend! 

Until I moved to Europe for the first time in 2004, I was obsessed with any kind of coffee. Then, I started to love European coffee, espressos and beautiful cappuccinos.  Now, that’s mostly what I drink – although I do love Irish Cream infused coffee beans. They are so hard to find outside of North America!

9. I got to Brown Stripe in MMA

Yup, I love kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts. Before I left Canada in 2012, I had just received my brown stripe (so close to brown belt, but not quite). I stopped martial arts after I broke my leg in a competition in 2013, but I hope to go back one day. I still train a LOT at the gym, go running, do yoga (less than before!) and have taken up swimming, but martial arts hasn’t made it back on my list yet.

On that note, I’m so, so grateful for my health, despite my body being super stubborn and struggling to get into the “fit” shape it should have, with all the training I do.

10. I want to be a full-time blogger one day 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to stop tutoring, teaching and editing, but I’d love to do that part-time, and “blog” and create resources full-time.

So, that’s my first post of 2018!  I hope you are all having a fun time setting your goals for the year, and practicing gratitude.

What are your “gratitude” moments or reverse-bucket list items? I’d love for you to share in the comments below! I read and respond to every comment 🙂

Have a lovely (and restful, since it’s a holiday!) Monday!

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P.S. The photo for today’s post is one I took at a photography meetup a couple years ago, here in Barcelona, of the winter lights.



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