30 Days of Gratitude: Day 10

See the final results of my 30 Days of Gratitude challenge here: 30 Days of Gratitude: Final Reflections.

Last night, my mom forwarded me an article about a Twitter software engineer complaining about ‘making ends meet’ on $160k in San Francisco and asked if it was true, since I work at a big tech company in the San Francisco Bay Area. I told her I have coworkers who make more than that who are miserable. In the office the other day, I heard people lamenting that all they can afford is a “cardboard box”… when I routinely pass people sleeping on cardboard boxes on the way to the office. Yikes.

But honestly, I have no right to be judgy – I’m no stranger to feeling deprived in an environment where “$6k is chump change” (verbatim from some coworkers). It’s honestly hard to remind yourself to appreciate what you have when you work with people who complain about making twice as much as you do. It’s kind of why I started this blog – my first post was about dealing with the jealousy I felt when a friend won the startup lottery and I didn’t. First world problems, right?

I made $160k this year... but all I can afford is a cardboard box
Daily story at work: “I make $160k a year… but all I can afford is a cardboard box”

I don’t make $160k, or own any home period, but I still feel like I’m not grateful enough for the things I have. That’s why 30 Days of Gratitude exists. And while we’re only a third of the way to 30 days, I think it really does help. While it’s tempting to complain that “so and so got lucky and I didn’t”, it’s more productive to focus on the things you have instead of the things you don’t. Don’t let someone else’s luck diminish your feelings about your own.

So here are the 5 things I am grateful for:

  1. Healthcare. When my digestive system went haywire 6 years ago (irritable bowel syndrome), I spent tens of thousands of dollars to bring myself back to health. When I wasn’t satisfied with conventional treatment which was basically “painkillers and antidepressants”, I used up my savings to seek out alternate therapies. I tried acupuncture, colonics, weird diets – and eventually, through a regime of expensive supplements and expensive food, I got better. Today, I don’t have irritable bowel syndrome anymore. I can eat whatever I want. Not everyone can afford the alternate therapies – much less the conventional treatment.
  2. Dentistry. Seriously. Nobody can tell I broke my front tooth longboarding… and then again eating French bread (damn you crusty loaves!). My dentist has repeatedly told me, “Dentistry is for the rich.” And she’s 100% right – if you were a poor farmer in a third world country, and your tooth was hurting – they just pull it out. They don’t give you some fancy antibiotics, perform a root canal, give you fancy veneers… they just pull it out.
  3. Optometry. Ok, last healthcare related one for today – but I’d be screwed without optometry. I can’t see without my contacts/glasses. I’m pretty sure staring at the computer screen all day is part of the problem (I always put “24” in the field where they ask “how many hours per day are you staring at the computer), but my eyesight started declining when I was 6. Thank goodness for optometrists.
  4. My flexible work schedule. That’s why I can blog at 11am instead of sitting heads down, in a dimly-lit cubicle farm. It makes my life so much better to be able to work when I want, where I want. It also means I get to avoid traffic and enjoy the beautiful weather! Want to longboard down a recreational trail at 2pm? Sure, as long as you get your code done (which I do – just at like 1am at night).
  5. Memes. Ok, totally random. But first world problems girl? Hilarious. 🙂

What are you thankful for?

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