Every morning I go to Starbucks to get a tea and I always ask for no sleeve.  The other day I pulled up to the window and the barista said she had a surprise for me.  Before I tell you what the surprise was, I have to fill you in on another story that is relevant to this one.  Over a year ago, another barista and I had gotten on the topic of animals and I had mentioned that I love elephants.  
Fast forward to the other morning …  The barista handed me my drink and on it was a reusable sleeve; and can you guess what was on said sleeve???  You guessed it – AN ELEPHANT!! 
To say I was deeply touched by this very thoughtful gift would be an understatement.
And when I look back, my entire life has been filled with similar experiences.    Not because I’m lucky, but because I am quite often in a state of appreciation.  And when you live your life feeling grateful, you move through the world in a certain way. 
I don’t know why, but I’ve always been hyper aware of how fleeting time is.  How quickly things can change.  As a result, I do my best to be kind to people, to say what I want to say, to do what I want to do. And although it may seem like that puts me in a perpetual state of “it’s all going to go away”, that’s not it at all.  In fact, it’s more of a “I’m going to enjoy the shit out of it/him/her as much as I can” #noregrets.  I don’t take much for granted.  
I can appreciate that there are external factors that confront us and that there are internal factors that challenge us:

Health struggles
Breakups
Loss/grieving
Addiction
Financial struggles
Familial turmoil  
But our perception of it is ALWAYS our choice.  
And if you’re jumping in with a “yeah, but..”, know that you are CHOOSING to focus on your “yeah, but..” 
You can still feel gratitude in the midst of anger, loss, betrayal, grief, frustration.  You just have to be more intentional in choosing it. 
If you’re able to get out of bed unassisted – blessing.
If your organs function as they should – blessing.
If you can hear the silence or the sounds of your neighborhood – yup, that’s a blessing.
So is the clean water you get to drink and wash yourself with.
The clothes that adorn your body.The eyes with which you’re able to read this.
You get the picture.   
So I encourage you to choose one thing each day to feel grateful for. I don’t care if it’s the same thing 5 days in a row, as long as you’re feeling it.  And then pay attention to how you feel, the choices you make and how people respond to you.
 
Here’s to moving through the world differently *raises Starbucks cup*