God, the universe, happenstance, whatever you want to call it; it’s a mysterious thing. It’s just in those moments of “what am I thinking?!?” that inspiration comes knocking. For me, its often when I’m making my morning gratitude lists. Every morning in my head or sometimes on my chalkboard, I make a list of things I am thankful for and let that help guide my actions throughout the day. I find it keeps me inspired, gives me perspective, and keeps me stay focused.
This Good Friday of sorts and in celebration of Eid, I thought I’d share with you my gratitude list, and maybe inspire you to start living with an attitude of gratitude too. This is my gratitude wall. We use it to write messages of thanks to each other and as a reminder of what I am thankful for each day. We have a number of these chalkboards throughout the house for positive affirmations and artistic impressions.
2. I love my family! Without Eric to kill snakes, guard the house, and walk all over Mombasa everyday, I don’t know how we would live in Likoni. I am grateful for Phoenix, who always keeps me on my toes and shows me what true self confidence looks like, and for Terra and baby Alex, the softest part of my heart far far away in America.
3. I am eternally grateful for my team of coworkers and friends from around the world. Adella, my Tanzanian project assistant is a rock star and a model for other young women African engineers. My trustees and board are always supportive and know we have to stay faithful to our mission and goals. We have done amazing things with limited resources and we still have the will to carry on everyday and see this work to its completion. We are all in this together.
4. Our organization is made up of primarily unpaid labor and yet we survive! I am thankful for all the volunteers and interns we have had in the past, those who are there now, and those who will be coming in the near future. The mixing of great minds, different cultures, and unified purpose can do nothing but good in the world.
The “Out of Stock” 3D printing project is very near and dear to my heart, because based on my field experience in clinics with no tools, many did not even have a basic pain killers for women in labor, let alone the proper tools for antenatal care and birthing. There are so many things we can make using 3D printing that can save lives and we are only just beginning. I am grateful to have a life which is not only about me and the satisfaction that brings to me and others.
5. And now that we are back in Coastal Kenya, I am thankful that there have been no phone calls about elephants in the farm as the fence being knocked down is a persistent problem. Perhaps with the rains less wildlife is drawn to the small, bubbling spring that feeds our cattle. For reasons known only to them, the elephants have been peacefully in their sanctuary. We are ready to start growing food and trees. A dream come true for a road worn aid worker who has learned that the best sustainability is self sustainability.
I hope that by sharing with you what I am grateful for in my life you can start to see more things you are grateful for in yours. There are always 5 things I can list that I am grateful for on even the worst day if I look hard enough. I find it to be central to my health and happiness.
What are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments.
Let’s let this attitude of gratitude spread!