The meaning of being grateful when we already have so much

Published November 25, 2015   Posted in Having some fun How to Think

Hey everyone, Courtney here! Thanksgiving is here in the US (and already passed for our Canadian friends) and so I’m sure you’ve been flooded with articles about being Thankful and might think it’s all kinda corny.

Well, here’s another one of those articles ๐Ÿ˜‰

grateful-faceI think it is the perfect time to reflect on what I am grateful for because truthfully I don’t do it enough. We too often get caught up in the nitty-gritty business of daily life and it doesn’t leave us with much time to focus on the positive. And we should!

Don’t just take my word for it. Numerous studies have shown that “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships” That sounds pretty good to me.

So what am I grateful for?

I am grateful for me being me. WHA?? No, I’m serious. I get to be the person I truly am. There are so many people who have to hide their true selves for many different reasons. The fact that I can live the way I want, with whom I want, where I want, and how I want is amazing and something I am truly grateful for.

I’ve had great successes and equally awful failures but they are all mine, choices freely made. I am grateful for the freedoms I possess. This blog would not exist if not for the freedom that Steve and I have to decide what our dreams are, what we want our life to look like, and to follow through. Being free to do something doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it’s our challenge to conquer.


The family in Albuquerque, NM

I am grateful for my family, my husband and the relationship we have, my pups who make me so very happy, my parents who have given and continue to give me more than I can say, my siblings for being supportive, my friends for always being there, my colleagues for keeping me grounded and last but certainly not least for all of you in our FI community who provide inspiration and motivation each and everyday.

I am grateful for ALL the things. We have too much stuff and are slowly remedying that through yard sales, Good Will and our eventual crazy sale of almost everything we own so we can move into our Airstream. Most of the time I look at ourย stuff as a hassle, a time commitment, a mistake, or another to-do item. But I am still grateful for each and every thing we own.

I have someplace warm and safe for myself and my family to sleep every night, food to eat, clothes to wear, running water to wash with. Granted, I also have boxes of useless decor but I am grateful for the fact that buying or receiving it at some point gave me joy and I’m grateful again that I can now give it away to someone else who will enjoy it more.

I am grateful that Steve and I have broken free of the the ‘societal stuff trap’ and no longer want or need to surround ourselves with things in order to feel secure.

I am grateful for my continual learning and growing. I am learning new things daily and often changing the way I live my life to reflect what I’ve learned. My understanding of life, happiness, and love continues to expand. There are so many things that make me happy today that I probably wouldn’t have even noticed a couple of years ago.

By continually growing I’ve been able to sweat less of the small stuff, or in my husband’s words, give A LOT fewerย fucks (though he is still much better at this than me) about the little things that truly don’t matter – and my life is more content because of it.

I am grateful for the internet. A lot of negativity and hate can be spread through social channels on the internet but so can hope, and health, and new ideas, and old reminders, and joy, and peace, and friendship, and love.

I am grateful for my health and the health of my family. We have numerous semi-serious medical issues in our families but overall everyone is healthy. Steve and I prioritize our health. We are probably the most healthy fitness and diet wise than we have ever been in our entire lives, and we feel it. We get plenty of sleep, eat a diet rich in nutrients (yay plant based!) and exercise almost daily (more than daily for Steve). I’ve even begun tackling my migraine issues and actually I am grateful for them. My migraines have taught me how much control I have over how I feel. So many people pop pills for maladies that they are choosing to inflictย upon themselves.

This year, I have learned that dairy and gluten cause me a massive amount of inflammation which leads to my migraines. Alcohol and sugar too. I grateful for the knowledge of how to feel like my best self and the opportunity to continue learning so hopefully one day my diet makes me feel the very best I can.

There are so many other things I cam grateful for but I will end with Nature. I am grateful to be alive and to exist on this planet with sunrises, bird songs, tiny plant sprouts, massive trees, magnificent mountains, soothing rivers, crashing waves, blowing winds, echoing calls, silent snow falls, crackling fires, stunning sunsets, and glorious starry skies.

O and pie. Definitely grateful for pie.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We track our net worth using Personal Capital


24 responses to “The meaning of being grateful when we already have so much”

  1. I love this time of year because even though we should always show gratitude, Thanksgiving brings it out of people more.

    I for one am thankful for the PF blog community. Just knowing that there is a group of extremely supportive people that will bring you into their own lives and share their experiences is comforting. You will always have people to turn to that are willing to help out with problems or questions you might have.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    • Steve says:

      The PF blog community really is great, isn’t it? So many dedicated people with a goal of financial independence and many of us early retirement as well – looking for a happier and more fulfilling life outside of money. And we all get to feed off of each other’s motivation; it ends up helping us all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Freedom40 says:

    Great reflection and certainly lots to be thankful for. Also nice to hear from Steve’s better half ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you both have a great Thanksgiving!

    • Steve says:

      Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, Freedom40. Yup, my better half likes to write these articles, and she’s a little better at getting in touch with her emotions anyway, so I gladly let her take these blog posts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you and Steve have a wonderful holiday!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! Who isn’t thankful for pie???

    • Steve says:

      True. We had a killer cherry pie last night…turned out better than I had imagined because I helped stir the cherries. And when I have my hand in food preparation, you never really know how it’s gonna come out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. As I was thinking of all the things I am grateful for this year, I noticed none of them are really things money can buy. Your list looks very similar. What a beautiful reminder of what is truly important in life – family, love, health, memories – things that cannot be housed in a McMansion or bought with credit cards. And THAT’s what it is all about, 365 days a year. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

    • Steve says:

      I noticed that too with a lot of the gratitude articles, ID. So much of what we as people are grateful for really don’t have much to do with money. And truthfully, they shouldn’t. Money comes and goes.

      Thanks for the comment, and all the best to you and yours.

  6. Maggie says:

    Courtney – I am SOOO grateful for pie! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours

  7. Hi Courtney! It’s so nice to see a post from you ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m fairly new to the pf community and didn’t know you and Steve did the blog together. I love it! (Also, I love your emoji turkey, haha. That is great!)

    I love your list of gratitude and hope that you and your family have a wonderful long weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy (early) Thanksgiving to you and Steve!

    • Steve says:

      Ha! Yup, we are both partners in crime here on the blog, and she likes to do these kinds of articles every year. Weekend is going great so far.

      Hope all is well on your side and you ate well yesterday. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Thanks you so much for sharing this story. Personal reflection is so important and the holidays are the time to reflect. All of us in North America are so lucky just because of where we live. I always tell my kids that I won the birth lottery, because I was born in the USA.

    In my past life I traveled the world for business and I have seen extreme poverty. Today one of my passions is mentoring at risk youth. I bring along slideshows of my travels and tell stories of the people I’ve met and the extreme poverty I’ve seen in India, Africa, etc. American kids, even those living in poverty have no idea what real poverty is. We are blessed and this Thanksgiving I am thankful for where I was born and the opportunities I have that so many take for granted.

    • Steve says:

      Hi IH – yeah, we have a lot to be grateful for living in the United States – or any first world country. We don’t have to confront a lot of the world’s problems…many times we aren’t even aware of them, but when we do see the plight of many areas of our world, it’s always healthy to reflect on everything that we get to enjoy in this country.

      Thanks for commenting.

  9. Laura Beth says:

    This is wonderful Courtney. I think it’s so important to take stock in our blessings every now and then. Reading your list reminded me of some things I have been taking for granted.

    Enjoyed the post ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Happy Thanksgiving Courtney and Steve. We hope you enjoy the nice weather in Tuscon this weekend!

    We look forward to some excellent Mexican food with you next week in Carefree.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Bryan, we are looking forward to it as well. Loving the fall Arizona weather around here, that’s for sure. A little cool yesterday, but should hit the 70s again in a few days. Woohoo! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. […] who is thankful this time of year? Yup, we are. So is Claudia and her husband from Two Cup House, who wrote about being thankful for clean clothes […]

  12. Chris Muller says:

    Hey Courtney – I don’t have too much to add here other than to tell you this was excellent to read and very refreshing. I appreciate that you can find the little things to be grateful for. One problem I am starting to see is this “first world problems” thing. We complain about the dumbest crap. For example… people saying that their queen-sized bed is too small. Do we ever stop to think that there are some people who don’t even get to sleep on a bed? We complain about watching commercials, not getting enough food on our plates at restaurants, or not having a fully loaded SUV with leather and bluetooth. If we don’t stop to be grateful for the little things in life, we’ll lose sight of why we’re really here. Thanks for this post – I hope you guys had a nice Thanksgiving ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Nice to hear from you, Courtney! Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving!

    So awesome that you guys have broken free of stuff, and are in great health. Kudos to you for that! And we’re so with you on the Internet — yeah, there are some bummers and some trolls, but overall it’s such an amazing source of connections and inspiration! including *your blog*! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. […] you missed how much gratitude there is out there, check out this post, this post, this post and this post. ย If you’ve written a post on gratitude, I encourage you to share it in your […]

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