See the final results of my 30 Days of Gratitude challenge here: 30 Days of Gratitude: Final Reflections.
I had a rough morning today. I didn’t sleep much last night, but for some reason my body can’t sleep in past sunrise – so if I don’t go to bed on time, I wake up the next morning groggy but unable to return to bed…. The lack of sleep makes me irritable and prone to binge eating, which in turn makes me even more irritable – perhaps I need to embrace the feeling of fatigue and let it go.
That said, I promised I’d find 5 things I’m grateful for every morning. So here they are:
- I have a Fitbit Charge 2. I LOVE IT because it helps keep me more active. If I go a day without moving much (and trust me, I have seasonal affective disorder, so it happens quite a bit in the winter) Fitbit keeps me accountable. I’ve noticed that I’ve been a lot more active since getting it, and have even incorporated 2 mile walks into my daily routine. It’s also great for keeping track of my sleep habits – before, I would just get frustrated on why I’m so tired at times, and blame it on “I’m probably not eating enough” (which in many cases, is actually true – if I don’t eat for 6+ hours, I won’t get hungry… just sleepy and irritable). Now, I can see that I often don’t get enough sleep. For example, the last couple nights, I slept 5 hours per night on average.
- I found a seasonal affective disorder (SAD) light setup that works for me. I have 2 SAD lights – one at work and one at home, but I didn’t use the one at home much until recently. Last year’s winter was much more mild, so I didn’t really need it as much. However, this winter has been pretty gloomy – rain almost every day. I recently found the unused SAD light and put it on my nightstand. The difference has been PHENOMENAL. I now feel like I can work from home and be productive, while before I couldn’t due to the lack of light. In fact, I couldn’t fathom even writing this blog post before the light – I’m sitting right next to it now!
- Daylight savings time is coming in 2 weeks. I LOVE daylight savings time. I still remember last year, the first day after daylight savings time – and being shocked that I still had so much energy late into the evening. More hours of daylight is better than any coffee for my SAD. I’m so excited for it to come!
- Despite the current state of the US, companies are still working to eliminate racism, even when it hurts profits. I read an article this morning about Nextdoor, a platform that aims to connect people in neighborhoods. When they discovered that their platform was being used racially profile African Americans, they addressed it by working with activist groups and revising their platform to make it harder to post things like “a black guy mugged me” – even when fewer posts would cut profits. As a female minority software engineer, I’m regularly bombarded by horror stories from friends in the industry on how it’s tough to be a woman in tech, how you will be underpaid, harassed, discriminated against… so it’s encouraging to see that there are still people out there doing the right thing.
- I love my job. I really like what I do. I get to solve interesting problems all day, from the comfort of my home (or in the office, if I feel like going in). I also love building new things, and making things happen. A lot of people view work as something boring/painful/etc, and I think it is for many professions – but honestly, even if I had all the money in the world, I’d still code. I’d probably take more vacations (and code on those vacations!), but I feel very lucky to be well paid for something I enjoy doing.
The crazy thing is, when I started writing this entry I was tired and irritable – I didn’t even want to do it. Now, I’m energized and ready to start my day. Guess this gratitude thing really works!