Earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, I completed The Science of Well-Being on Coursera, taught by Yale Professor Laurie Santos. One of the several techniques she teaches is practicing gratitude. More specifically, she recommends keeping a daily gratitude journal.
My gratitude practices is pretty simple. Most evenings I spend 5 to 10 minutes reflecting on my day. And even if I think it’s been a lousy day when I sit down, taking a few minutes to think about the people who are there for me, who’ve made a my day even a little bit better, and to savour the best part of my day immediately boosts my mood. Dr. Santos recommends writing down five things for which you are grateful. I’ve opted to capture my thoughts in a Word file, but a paper journal would work well, too.
Here are five things I particularly appreciated this month:
1. Final Ride
We are fair weather cyclists, so most years we get our for our first ride in late May. And our cycling season usually wraps up by late October. This year the paths were bare of snow in early November, so we rode from Canmore through Banff to Vermillion Lakes and back (76 km/47 miles). I was especially grateful that Mr. GeoK bought us lobster gloves earlier in the year. They kept my hands nice and toasty warm! If you’d like to see more of this ride, Mr. GeoK put together a Relive video recap.
2. New Phone
I was kind of sad about relinquishing my 6 1/2 year-old Samsung Galaxy S5. But I am enjoying the snappy performance of my new phone – and the much better camera! And I was delighted to see one of my own blog posts show up in my news feed the first day I switched over. Coincidence, I know, but it still brought a smile to my face. Here’s the screen grab:
3. Sunrises and Sunsets
Most days this month, Mother Nature has treated us to a beautiful sunrise, a glorious sunset, or both! I am always grateful for a few moments of beauty to start or end the day. I took this photo with my new phone, walking early one morning towards the end of the month. One of the reasons this one is noteworthy is that this was the second wave of sunrise colour.
4. New Pizza Oven
Mr. GeoK was pretty sad when I vetoed the idea of buying a countertop pizza oven last Christmas. But after months of preparing every meal at home, I was quick to say yes when he brought it up again early this month. Neapolitan-style, margherita pizza has quickly become our new Sunday supper staple. And I don’t have to ask twice to have helpers in the kitchen!
This is an extra pic, but I really have to show the finished pizza!
5. Winter Hiking
With our youngest back in the nest and taking university classes online this fall and winter, we appreciate that there’s someone to shovel the driveway and pick-up the mail if we opt to head to the mountains for a day or two. So we’ve already done more winter hikes this year than we did all last year! Here’s Mr. GeoK as we head back down from Taylor Lake in mid-November.
We plan to exploring more low-avalanche-risk trails over the coming months. While we have a solid winter walking habit (Mr. GeoK got out every day last winter, no matter the temperature), planning a winter hike gives us something to look forward to over this pandemic winter.
Before wrapping this up, I want to thank host PJ over at A ‘lil HooHaa, for continuing to organize the monthly Photo Blogging Challenge. I tend to think of it as a low-stress photo assignment – an excuse to hone photography skills. For each month’s theme, share five photos taken with any camera. The amount of accompanying text is up to you. Please join in!