Dr. Marry and Me,  Personal Writing

Some things I am grateful for

I woke up early this morning, but it was already a little bit light out. This is one of my very favorite things about springtime—the coming of longer days.

So I laid in bed for a minute and thought about all the little and big things I have come to be grateful for in this uncertain time:

  • A much slower pace. In the morning, for example, Dr Marry and I have time to enjoy a cup of tea because we’re not running out the door to spin class.
  • Multiple daily walks with Dr Marry and our pup Lilly through the neighborhood.
  • Bread baking.
  • Time to think about making lunch and supper and getting creative as I clean out the shelves before restocking.
  • The birds chirping, the return of the bunnies (I know they’re a pain, but they are so cute!) and the emerging buds on the trees and bushes.
  • Zoom calls with friends across the planet.
  • Often having no makeup to take off at night.
  • Having deeper conversations that come out of nowhere with Dr Marry because we are together all the time.
  • Appreciating even more Dr Marry’s sobriety. I keep thinking about how absolutely awful this time would be were he still drinking.
  • The time to think, often unconsciously, about my job. I’ve written before about how important it is for me to take significant mental breaks from work to really allow my mind to wander. That’s when my best pivoting happens, and this time has been no different. We’ve launched a number of new initiatives in these weeks that have been very successful. I’m working a lot, at least full time, but the pace is such that I have ample opportunity to let my thoughts meander or linger on a snippet of something I hear or read. And instead of having to set that curiosity aside because my schedule is jam packed, I have the luxury of time to explore it further. The Arts Partnership will be a better organization coming out of this because I’ve had the time to be unstructuredly creative, which allows me to be creatively strategic.
  • All the sidewalk chalk clearly created by families all over our neighborhood.
  • PBS Passport.
  • A Friday morning zoom coffee hour with people who were strangers but who are now becoming friends that I found because I took the AltMBA in January and got hooked up to an enormous and generous online community.

These are all predicated on the fact that we and our entire family are healthy, and we are both still employed. Those are not things I need to remind myself to be grateful for: they are present every day in thinking about my life’s blessings. But it’s actually these little things that are easy to forget to notice, and it’s these little things that I hope to keep incorporating into my life when things start moving back to “normal.”

Oh, and one more thing I read yesterday that I keep thinking about. Thanks to Kate Barr for posting this article on 20 things to ask people besides, “How are you?” Read it and see if you can’t incorporate some of them into your day to day life. We have a chance to have deeper conversations with people right now. I hope you take the time to do that, too.

What’s on your list of little things to be grateful for?

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.


  • Renee Mindt

    I am SO grateful that I am able to work everyday even though it is very stressful. I feel very blessed that I am able to go to work everyday. For years I wanted to get out of healthcare and after moving to Nashville I thought about quitting my job at the Senior Living Facility and working in a bar because of the music scene. I am SO glad that didn’t work out these days. I an grateful to wake up everyday and be able to live life the way that I choose. I am so blessed and feel grateful for everything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *