Happy weekend, everyone!  It’s a cloudy Saturday here in New York, and even though the temperatures have suddenly dropped in a way that doesn’t make me entirely happy, I’m kind of loving the way it is so perfectly marking the start of October.  This is a low-key weekend for us, stuck right in between a few weeks of traveling and weddings, so the bad weather is just an extra excuse to stay home and relax.  So far, we’ve been watching some bad movies (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising— I know, I have no one to blame but myself) and reading some good books (in my mission to re-read my way through Harry Potter AGAIN before I get around to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I recently started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and it’s bringing me endless joy even in all of Harry’s angst).

I’m starting something new with this post, and calling it Gratitude Diaries.  When I was growing up, my mom (you can check out her blog here) always encouraged me to regularly take time to jot down a few things for which I was thankful.  For the last twenty-or-so years, I’ve come in and out of this practice, but it’s always been one of my favorite tricks to keeping a journal, and has always been close to my heart.  Since I’m no personal development expert, and there’s a lot more to me than just learning to be my own boss, I’m kickstarting this series as a way to share other little bits of happiness and sunshine happening in my life.

Sooooo, here is my very first edition of Gratitude Diaries.  Here are a few everyday things I am currently feeling grateful for…

  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup.  This is the first thing that comes to mind, because we whipped it up for a quick late lunch today and it made my little fall-loving heart so happy!
  • J.K. Rowling’s imagination.  As I mentioned above, I am in the process of working my way through the entire Harry Potter series for the fourth or fifth time.  As I get older and come back again and again to these books, I am (a little) less amazed by the magic of Harry’s world, and a whole lot more amazed by the person who created it.  I am grateful to live in a time when these books have been available to me since I was a little girl, so I can appreciate them both as a reader and a writer.
  • The Brooklyn Brainery.  I checked this place out for the first time yesterday, and if you live in the NYC area, I would encourage you to do the same!  About a week after I quit my corporate job, a friend passed along information about a Freelance Writing Bootcamp hosted at the Brainery, and the timing was perfect.  I always get a little first-day-of-school-style anxiety in those situations, and I had never been to a “continuing education” class, but it was productive and inspiring.  The bootcamp, which lasted almost six hours yesterday afternoon, was a great opportunity to sit in a room surrounded by other people trying to navigate their way through this freelancing life.  I got a lot of great ideas and information, and feel like I’m not the only one figuring all of this out as I go!
  • Social media reconnections.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, but I just have to put it out there– how cool is it that, thanks to social media, we have the chance to get another shot at friendships with people from our past?  As my life has TOTALLY changed in the last few weeks, I’ve found myself reconnecting with several high school classmates who have been amazing resources and cheerleaders for me.  I’m grateful to have the chance to get to know them better now as an adult, when we are all so much more secure in who we are and have even more to offer each other.
  • New NYC work spaces.  In the second half of last week, I started venturing out of my home office to get a change of scenery and to force myself to focus in on writing work for a few hours at a time.  I took a little trip to a coffee shop near Astor Place on Wednesday, and met with my friend and former roommate for some co-working time at a restaurant around the corner from my apartment on Thursday.  It’s fun to have an excuse to check out new little spots, and I think I am going to learn a lot about tea as a writer trying to get out of my apartment!
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Wednesday morning’s office, with a perfect view for NYC people-watching.