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Grateful in Every Bite: The Good Old Days

*Disclaimer - this post was supposed to go out a day later; sorry if you saw the incomplete version.

The new year has been a time of reflection and a lot of goals. Admittedly, my resolution to lose weight has been working in reverse, and it made me think about why it is that I overindulge. It goes with a concept I've been thinking about lately. Being grateful in every bite.

When I eat, I eat fast. I'm excited, so I devour and eat a lot in short time. Food is one of the best parts of life. But toward the end of last year and the start of this one, I started thinking about gratitude and what it implies. If someone gave me a cupcake they made, I would be showing gratitude not by scarfing it down in a couple seconds, but by enjoying every bite and eating it slowly. The side effect is that each bite would be better, last longer, and I wouldn't have to eat as much to be satisfied.

One of my favorite quotes is actually from Andy in The Office:

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

There's a joy that comes from gratitude for the better things around us, and I sum it with the quote above. We enjoy each day, and each thing in it we love, because we can be in the good old days at any moment. The good old days are the memories that warm our hearts and make us long to return to them, and if we see each moment for the joy it can be—and will be in our memories—we will be in them and enjoy them that much more before they slip from the present into our past.

If you're reading this, chances are you don't want for food. You probably have a heated home, electricity, and are surrounded by people who love you. You have hobbies and pastimes that bring you joy. We live at an amazing time where good moments can be just around the corner.

Yet, the good things in life can also be accompanied by a lot of stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of inadequacies, and much more. However, I believe that if we slow down to be grateful and find the joy in the moments of relief and laughter even in the trying times, they can still become the good old days, as hard and impossible as that can sometimes seem.

I look forward to this new year and the hope I have to make every day the good old days. Further, I hope you reading this, whoever you are, have a lot of joy ahead of you in 2018, no matter what goals you make, keep, or let drift by the wayside. Life is too short to worry about the things we don't achieve. Goals are great and can help us accomplish amazing things. But happiness, gratitude, and joy are even more important, and I hope you find them regardless of how the year goes.

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