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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 28

Ask someone else what they’re grateful for.

This was a good prompt in that it started a good conversation, with my wife, over Thanksgiving Day dinner. Through this, we realized how many of the same things we were grateful for, and how many of the same things we want to try to work for, to improve upon, and to accomplish in the coming year.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 27

Compliment a stranger.

I scheduled a late grocery delivery because our Thanksgiving Day plans had changed (last minute). Grocery shopping isn’t my favorite thing to do, and the though of going to the store was terrifying considering how busy they would be the day before Thanksgiving.

If the store is out of something, someone will usually call to check to see what (if any) substitutions you might want for that item. I got the call about an hour after I placed the order, with someone letting me know they were out of one product but could sub it with something very similar.

After agreeing, I thanked the person for working that day, acknowledging how busy they were and letting them know I was grateful for what they were doing.

Admittedly, it was an awkward exchange. Partly because it’s something I don’t normally do so I imagine my delivery was awkward, and partly because the person on the other end of the line probably didn’t expect that. Nevertheless, it felt good to at least try.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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Photoblog

Taqueria Tuesday

taqueria tuesday

Sometimes, it’s the simple and familiar sights that bring comfort to me. Like, when you sit down at a table and you’re given the chips and salsa basket, letting you know that good things are coming soon. So sit back and relax.

taqueria tuesday
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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 26

What’s one thing that would make you happy today? If you can, do it.

I went for a drive, today. It’s been a while since I drove around for the sake of driving around. This was a good, relaxing experience as I got to roam around the streets and neighborhoods of Sacramento while listening to music as my phone (played through my car) shuffled through my music library.

It’s a chance to explore some new areas and make mental notes of places that I want to learn more about, even planning to visit them in the near future. It’s also an excuse to roam around side streets and make random turns into places that you wouldn’t normally see when traveling from one point to another.

And it was good to just let the music play, even rediscovering some songs that are in my library but that I haven’t heard in a while.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 25

Write about something that happened in your day that left you feeling satisfied.

After work, I started work on some code (part of my final project for a class). The plan was just to get some lines and a basic outline written so that I could come back to it later this week, when I felt like I had more time concentrate on it.

Before I knew it, a couple hours had passed and I found myself with a completed (working) application. Most of my time was spent debugging existing code and trying to find ways to make it all more efficient.

It felt good to finish what I had planned to take most of the week (before the holiday). I don’t have to open any code for the remainder of this week, unless I want to get ahead for next week.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 24

Do something nice for someone else today.

I didn’t leave the house nor interact with anyone, today. There were times when I thought “I need to go out” but couldn’t come up with anything specific to do. It was a nice, relaxing weekend and I was selfishly enjoying it. In retrospect, I kind of regret not going somewhere. I have been thinking a lot about random acts of kindness and, it would have been nice to go out and practice this.

I spent a little time on social media, catching up on blogs and timelines and photo streams. With today’s prompt in mind, I did make sure to comment and reply with positive and supportive comments. There’s way too much negativity out there so, I hope my comments made at least a little difference.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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Random

I’ll take your discarded-too-soon cameras

I’ll preface this by saying that I have no issue with people who upgrade their equipment on a regular basis. Nor do I have any judgement on how frequently people may choose to do so. Every person has different needs, choices, circumstances, and reasons; it’s important that we respect that and them.

I tinker with my camera equipment kit(s), frequently. I feel that I usually upgrade and change things out more frequently, with very weak reasoning, than I should. And this is something that I have been working on; slowing down the focus on equipment and repurposing that energy on photography itself.

I’m comfortable with the equipment that I have. I have enough to create kits from different combinations of my equipment depending on different scenarios. I have an everyday setup, a setup for travel, and a setup for when I want to do more “serious” photography projects.

It feels good to have this flexibility. And I feel grateful for having the means and privelage to have gotten to this point. Photography is an expensive hobby.

Through my “process” in getting tho this point, in thinking more intentionally about what I use and what I should purchase, I started to really see how many cameras and lenses were being added back to the market by people doing something similar. Whether upgrading, changing camera systems (brands), or something else, it’s resulted in a “robust” used equipment market.

I see plenty of used cameras and lenses, some just barely a year old (from their initial release). This is strange to say but, I feel bad seeing so much used gear out there. Environmental and financial waste aside, I hate seeing cameras (and lenses) that haven’t been put through their paces.

So, this is a weird thing. It’s a new feeling for me, something that I only recently became aware of through my own process of my own equipment evaluation. And it’s very weird to feed bad for equipment. For non-living objects.

Part of me wants to buy as much of this used gear as possible, giving it all a new home with the promise of being used. As if it’s the same as seeing adoptable dogs and cats at the local shelter. I just want to take them all home.

And I’m not quite sure what to make of all of this. At least, not yet.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 23

Three good things

I am grateful for the grocery delivery service that we decided to go back to using, and grateful that we have the means to do so. Neither of us like grocery shopping, and the delivery allows us to add our weekly staples and have them delivered at a time that works in our day. It’s very convenient, saving us time and making sure that we have what we need for the coming week.

I am grateful for long, lazy, restful Saturdays. After sleeping in an hour more than our usual wake-up time, we spent the day lazily lounging around the house. We knocked a few chores off the list but, today’s primary focus was rest and rejuvenation. Much needed.

I am grateful for the platter of veggies, hummus, cheese, and salami that we had for lunch. It was so simple, yet filling and healthy. Sometimes we overthink what our meals should be, of even look like, and in reality, simple is usually always better.


This prompt will repeat several times throughout this challenge.

The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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Random

Who can use

I love the resource that Who Can Use provides for web, user-interface, and user-experience designers. I find myself becoming increasingly passionate abut making the web (internet) a more inclusive experience, and learning how to do that. It makes me happy to see people putting together resources to help others do the same.

Hat tip to Laura Olin, and her email newsletter, who pointed out the Who Can Use site.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 22

Practice pausing.

Instructions: Today, whenever you’re waiting for something, resist the urge to pull out your phone to fill the time. Instead, practice pausing: take several deep, mindful breaths, allowing yourself to feel what it’s like to fully inhale.

I had a cleaning appointment, at the dentist, today. I arrived a little early and sat down in the lobby after checking in. My immediate instinct was to spend the time on my phone yet, I resisted.

The mindful breaths helped ease some of the anxiety I had around spending the next hour while a stranger (new dentist and hygienist) poked their fingers and primitive looking tools around my mouth. It also helped me relax in preparation for the weekend, as even though I didn’t have any specific tasks hanging over me, I was still thinking about all of the things that “need to be done”.

Those things will be there on Monday. For now, in this moment, I just breathed.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 21

What are you grateful for today?

I am grateful for having worked really hard at the beginning of the week, making today a very light work and school day. I had some meetings (conference calls), and some of those resulted in some actions to take but, using some of the momentum from the beginning of the week, I knocked those tasks off of the list pretty quickly and easily. It feels good to have nothing hanging over my shoulders at the end of the day.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 20

Write — and deliver — a gratitude letter.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go through with this exercise. I did draft the letter but i don’t have means to deliver (send) the better. I cannot find the teacher online, on any social media platforms. I did consider calling the school to see if they can be any help but, hesitated…

And while my hesitation is personal, and could be perceived as a “weak” excuse, it’s my decision. And I’m comfortable with that. I do want to send this letter. Just not now.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 19

Do just one thing at a time.

I had a productive morning and found myself ahead on work and school fronts so, I opted to unwind playing some Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Usually, when I play video games, I have a podcast playing or the TV on in the background. This session was “distraction free”; just me sitting on the couch with the Nintendo Switch.

It was nice, concentrating fully on the game. I even had the volume on higher than normal, allowing more of the game music and sound effects to fill the room. I finished the game. Not necessarily because of my “distraction free” gaming session — I was already pretty far into the game — but, the added ability to focus did help me push through the last few final boss battles.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.

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30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 18

Think about where your food comes from.

I’m fortunate in that 1) I live in California and, 2) I live in the Sacramento Valley, which means that it’s very easy for me to get fresh, local produce. There are sections in our grocery store, in the produce section, for different farms in the area and small paragraphs about the farms. There are also usually signs that show which produce came from where, for those items not already located in those sections.

This, amongst other things, has helped me become more aware of where my food comes from. Not everything is local. And trying to buy and eat “local” is a complicated, nuanced, challenge due to many many factors. The first being, defining “local”.

While my location, and economic status, allows me to consume the majority of my fruits and vegetables from farms 100 miles (or less) away, this doesn’t work for everything. Breads, rice, beans, cooking oils, meats, fish… you name it, and it all comes from sources sometimes difficult to trace.

Sometimes, food sourced from far away is much cheaper than local varieties. Avocados are a good example, with avocados sourced from Mexico often sold much cheaper than avocados from a farm not 50 miles away.

While it’s easy to get wrapped up in it all, I think it is extremely helpful for people to begin educating themselves. At least a little understanding of food and sources is better than no understanding, or worse, taking it for grated.


The “30 Days of Gratitude challenge” prompts are from Screen/Life Balance and author Catherine Price.