Gratitude for things

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My bike is one of my favorite things these days
My bike is one of my favorite things these days.  This pictures is taken out on the Socorro single-track.

There are so many truly amazing things in this world and it’s powerful to take the time to be grateful for them.  Liking things, or admitting to liking things, can have a bad rap despite the materialism that permeates our society.  Practicing gratitude for the things we have can remind us how lucky we really are.

Words like ‘materialistic’ and ‘greedy’ can make us feel like enjoying things is a bad thing.  So can sayings like ‘You can’t buy happiness’ or ‘Love people.  Use things.’  There are valid points to these ideas that things or money don’t make you happy.  Yet I think the idea that things don’t contribute to happiness at least a little is false.

Putting an undue amount of value on things and the desire to obtain things isn’t healthy and doesn’t lead to happiness.  It’s certainly harmful to think that we can’t be happy until we have a certain thing.  There is nothing wrong with being truly grateful for things that we have and like.  Of course, there are more important things like the people in our lives.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t be thankful for the people AND the things.  (The post in the gratitude series prior to this one was actually gratitude for people.)

We are very fortunate to have the things we do.  And not just for the things, but for the comfort, enjoyment, experiences and opportunities that these things offer us.

It's not necessarily about the car but about where it will take you.
It’s not necessarily about the car but about where it will take you and what you’ll see along the way.

There is no shame to owning the pleasure you get from things, and it’s good to be grateful for the things that you wanted and worked to have.

I find that gratitude for things also inspires me to take good care of the things that I have.  I wrote about this same concept in gratitude for my home where taking time to be grateful makes me want to take better care of my house.

Things I’m grateful for

I am particularly grateful for the things that I use.  I like things that add to the quality and joy of my life.  My bicycle and camping gear fall into this category.  It’s not so much about the things, as about what I can do with them and how they add to my life.

tentI’m not really into things to show social status.  Although I am pretty into clothes that are comfortable and that I think make me look good.  🙂 I find that I am generally attracted to quality, well-built, designed-to-last sorts of things.

I am grateful for many quality things I have- my favorite hoodie, my cell phone that I still think is pretty amazing for all the things it does including taking gorgeous pictures of places I go, my car that takes me places in much greater comfort than my last car, and frequently little things like a cup of coffee.

I am insanely grateful for my computer.  I liked my old computer, but I am so crazy for my new Microsoft Surface.  Beyond that, I love a lot of things I can do on it- from reading books, to working on this site, to researching trips, playing around in Photoshop, having a job, and the list goes on and on.  I’m also grateful for my phone and a lot of technology-related things.

I wrote a post recently about my favorite travel items and I’m extremely grateful for all of those things too.  Traveling of any sort is one of the things that I feel really enriches my life and those things that I feel are important enough to take on trips make a big difference to the comfort of my travel

The last few months, I have gotten very into mountain biking.  I am grateful to have a bike and all of the gear that I really need.  OK, I occasionally do have thoughts about upgrades to these things, but I am still so thankful to have what I do.

I think Hoppy just looks too cute on his yoga mat.
I think Hoppy looks too cute on his yoga mat.

I’m also grateful for books,  my yoga mat (and Hoppy’s too!), my drums, my favorite cooking utensils and my favorite frying pan.  This month, I’m grateful for my miniature pumpkin that’s sitting on my windowsill, making me think of fall. And I’m grateful for open windows and the pleasant fall weather.  Hmm, weather might not be a thing, but gratitude just tends to grow and permeate more parts of our lives when we start thinking about it.

I am grateful that I am able to afford quality things.  While my funds aren’t unlimited, if there is something that I really want, I can buy it.  (Of course I’m careful not to start wanting really expensive things like luxury cars or this wouldn’t hold true.)

What are your favorite things?  What things are you grateful for?

If you liked this post, you’ll also enjoy The Power of Gratitude and Daily Gratitude.

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