52 Lists // Week 3 – Things You Should Be Proud Of

I was actually really excited about creating this week’s list for my 52 lists project because it’s another really positive topic: things you should be proud of. Sometimes I can be a little hard on myself and once in a while I think it’s important to reflect upon the positive things about ourselves, instead of always being negative. So this week in the 52 lists project I had to spend some time reflecting on who I am and what I’ve done in my life. I thought about things I’ve done that I consider successes or powerful lessons, not what others consider success.

  • I saved for, planned, and went on a 2 month backpacking trip around Europe all by myself the summer I graduated university.
  • I followed a lifelong dream of living abroad and moved to Spain in the fall following graduation.
  • I graduated university debt free.
  • I’m working hard to improve my level of Spanish.
  • Every day I wake up to go to a job I love.
  • Teaching children has taught me a new level of patience.
  • Though we don’t talk as much as we would like, I have a core group of very close friends who are always there for me.
  • I actually love spending time talking to my students.
  • As a teacher, my students are very important to me and I care for them as if they’re my family.

Being proud of the things you’ve accomplished doesn’t make you self-centered, I think it makes for happier people who push themselves to be better. Many times the things we’re proud of are also things that we have done to make the world around us a better place. So I say embrace the things you have done in your life, continue to do the things that make you feel good and in turn make you happy and appreciate the good things in life.

 

52 Lists // Week 2 List Your Greatest Comforts

I’m following up with the next installment in Moorea Seal’s great 52 lists project and I’m loving that she’s starting with positive themes to help us look on the bright side of life. Goodness knows we get caught up in the daily grind and small troubles and sometimes we forget to reflect on the things that make us happy. And what makes us happier than things that make us comfortable? I think this list of our greatest comforts is a wonderful follow up to last week’s list of words that touch your soul. It’s not quite fall and just one week until I’m back to work teaching English here in Madrid, but here’s to another week of enjoying all the comforts I can.

Your Greatest Comforts

  • Getting lost in a good novel
  • Listening to music by Pablo Alborán
  • Disney movies with best friends
  • Clean sheets on my bed
  • Fall weather
  • Harry Potter novels
  • Basking in the sun in Retiro park in Madrid
  • Hugs from my students
  • Macaroni & cheese (judgment free zone, ok?)
  • Traveling
  • Studying languages
  • Taking pictures
  • Visiting a new country or city
  • Solid advice from my parents
  • Knowing that I’m happy with that I’m doing in life right now

I love looking for the joy and comfort in the small things in life (this is why I love these 52 lists weekly projects to reflect), but I’m sometimes guilty of forgetting to enjoy my life around me and it’s nice to reflect on the small comforts. Many friends and family at home think I’m living a challenge-free life with few hassles or work, but that’s definitely not the case! Yes, I had a very extended summer to enjoy these few comforts, but a long summer holiday also meant no work, which means no money being earned. However, now that my job teaching English in Spain

 

52 Lists Project

Here’s to fresh starts and a new year to look forward to. Yes, I know it’s September and not January, but yesterday was a big day on the Jewish calendar (well technically Friday night to Saturday night). Yom Kippur is the day of atonement in the Jewish religion and it’s when we’re granted a clean slate to start a new year of being the best we can be.

So as a part of starting a new year, I’m going to be following the 52 Lists Project created by blogger Moorea Seal. She has posted to week 20 and I’ll be following each week and fingers crossed she will get back to updating the lists before I make it there. If not, (because she’s a very busy woman) I’ll make the effort to try to come up with my own list ideas!

To start off my new year and a new project I’ll start here with list number 1:

Words That Touch Your Soul

  • faith
  • courage
  • green
  • friendship
  • travel
  • ocean
  • mountains
  • foreign
  • truth
  • fair
  • hopeful
  • gravity
  • peace
  • niece
  • Spain
  • life
  • adventure
  • solo
  • unknown
  • freedom
  • learning
  • design
  • dream
  • forward

After making this first list I spent time looking at it, wondering if there was any common theme in the words that mean something to me, that touch my soul. I’m not really sure if there is a theme, or at the very least if there is just one.

Celebrating One Year in Spain

It’s a bit hard to believe I reached this milestone in my life. As much as moving abroad was always a dream of mine, I’m not sure I ever fully believed that I would ever have the chance to uproot myself from the place I called home for almost 23 years and move abroad. Yet, here I am, in my flat in Madrid exactly one year after I landed in this land of tapas and siestas.

I’ll admit I did a terrible job of documenting my first year here, at least in terms of describing it in words. Unless you count my numerous Facebook posts that is. This shall be my new attempt to share with the world my adventures abroad that will hopefully never end.

This past year has been a series of ups and downs, thrills and frustrations (I thank Spanish bureaucracy for most of those frustrations.) and new people, both good and bad.

Yet, in the end, this has been one of the best years of my life and it has changed me for good.

I have learned to relax almost as well as the Spanish, celebrate life daily, and how to love myself and others. Here in this beautiful city of Madrid I have found things to become passionate about. I have also been lucky enough to be working in a job that makes me genuinely, truly happy. While I haven’t quite decided if teaching English as a second language will be my long-term career goal, I do know that it is something that is making me very happy. Each day of work I enter with a smile on my face and leave with the same smile, only bigger.

So here I am on September 13, 2013 about to embark on my second year of living in Spain and though I don’t know what the future holds, I hope that I’m blessed in this coming year with many more memorable moments to share.