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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 17

Write down three things in your daily life that you are grateful for.

I’m grateful for the ParkMobile app that allowed us to pay for our parking while avoiding the line of people at the parking machines. There are quite a few places around the city that uses this app, and I’ve found that it saves me time not just in having to wait in lines (if any) but, in not having to rush back to defend a meter. It’s notifications also are really good at letting me know how much time I have left.

This is a weird one but, I’m grateful for our refrigerator. It holds a lot, works very efficiently, and has both ice and water dispensers (which was a must have for me). I thought about how much I take it for granted while it’s something that I use every single day, even depending on to not only store my food but to keep it safe.

I’m grateful for the AeroGarden and the tomatoes that we have gotten over the Summer. It provided a steady stream of cherry tomatoes for us to snack on. Each one tasted fresh, and had actually flavor unlike the ones that you sometimes buy from the store.


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.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 16

Three good things

I made great progress on this (school) term’s final project, today. The project is made up of a series of scripts, written in Python. I completed the first after working through a few iterations. For the most part, I knew the overall approach and methodology. The times I tripped was on formatting details and syntax.

While coding, I had the window open to let in both the sunlight and a very nice Fall breeze. There were some kids playing at the park across the street and, though the noise wasn’t unpleasant, it was distracting. Thankfully the noise-cancelling headphones worked well, blocking out the noise while allowing me to keep the window open, and keep focus.

Though not intended, I slept in this morning. It was refreshing to get in a good amount of sleep, with the best quality sleep coming over the last few morning hours. Refreshing, and much needed.


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.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 15

Do a scan of your body, making a note of any areas that feel tight or tense.

My neck. Specifically, where my neck mets my shoulders. My jaw. Specifically where my jaw hinges are connected to the rest of my skull.

Sometimes I think it’s psychological but, my head. It feels like there is a lot of pressure built up inside. Not in a way that signals an oncoming headache. It’s more like feeling that the inside of my head is like the inside of a pressure cooker, with the pressure building up at certain times during the day.

And I notice that the pressure builds when I get more anxious, or get harder on myself, forcing myself to feel guilty and bad about myself or something I’m doing (or not doing). That’s why I think it’s psychological. Though it could be physical. Most likely, it’s both.


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

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 14

Think back on a time when someone thanked you.

When I think back on times when I was thanked for something, the incidents that stand out the most are when I was thanked for “being there”, “being a good listener”, and “helping” when they needed it most.

These stand out to me because they usually come after an unselfish act. And that’s something I’m working on increasing: doing more unselfish things.


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

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 13

Take a mindful walk around the neighborhood.

I’m sorry to report that I did not do this, today. I let my day get away from me, at first getting wrapped up in work and then procrastinating on all of the other tasks that I wanted to complete this afternoon. It wasn’t the best of days.

I do plan to do this exercise tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it, not just to enjoy the walk but, it will also give me a chance to participate in the Project: Utata Thursday Walk #708.


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

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 12

What’s an aspect of your body or personality that you’re grateful for?

I have always been grateful for my height. I am 6 feet tall. Almost exactly, though to be exact we can add 1/4 inch to that.

It was probably my sophomore year of high school when I reached my peak height. I remember a lot of people would remark something along the lines of “you’re tall for an Asian”, which (I didn’t understand why at the time) felt like both a compliment and an insult.

I still appreciate being “tall” to this day, even though I feel like 6 feet isn’t “tall” anymore. I see a lot of taller people, male and female (and yes, even Asians) everywhere. I think I appreciate it most when amongst a group or people, where my height allows me to see over everyone.


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