Tech To Be Grateful For

We often talk about how technology both complicates our lives and makes it easier. Entire books have been written on this subject, and presumably by people much wiser or better informed than me. ┬áIt seems that most of us have a somewhat conflicted relationship with technology. It’s made so many things possible that we never even considered before. At the same time, it’s brought new threats like identity theft, and new challenges like finding quiet in an increasingly noisy world.

I work in IT so this dichotomy probably seems even more pronounced to me. After spending my days making computer systems work (or as in my current role, breaking them as a tester), all I want at the end of the day is a break from it all. I don’t want my cell phone in my pocket, and I don’t want to spend my time looking at a computer screen. I am, in a word, saturated.

What I want instead seems to be tactile experiences, interaction with the real world, discussions with real people (and not by text message). A contrast, if you will, to how I spend my days. That said, there are many things that technology brings me that I’m grateful for, and that is the topic of today’s post.

I’m grateful for:

  • Craftsy classes that bring talented instructors into my living room to teach me things that I could not or would not go to a classroom for, and at a fraction of what a college course with these instructors would cost.
  • The Fitbit on my wrist that keeps me focused on taking care of myself, by showing me my progress (or lack thereof).
  • The online tools such as Facebook that keep me connected with friends and family across the globe. (And yes, Facebook definitely has its annoyances, but this post is about gratitude). One of my favorite new uses of Facebook is to find photos by local Colorado photographers that I can use as inspiration to draw and paint.
  • Online shopping that puts the very best yarn, art supplies, knitting tools, and other conveniences literally in the palm of my hand.
  • Podcasts that keep me informed and entertained during what can sometimes be very long work days.

So, there’s what I’m grateful for today. How about you?

Gratitude

I had one of those funny moments this morning that I was sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee and a Westie on my lap, and I was suddenly struck with this feeling of gratitude for how fortunate I am and how much I love my life.

Life has brought so much to me, in terms of the friends and family that I have, the creativity I get to enjoy, and the love of my husband and children. It’s easy to lose sight of that during the little annoyances of life. (Starbucks coffee cup scandal, just saying. These people need some perspective).

I think it’s valuable sometimes to just step back and look at what’s right in your life. Our lizard brains are always so busy finding the negative, looking for the risk, focusing on what could harm us. That may have kept us alive when we were living in the bush, but as modern humans, it’s not necessarily all that helpful because it prevents us from being content with what we have.

So, here’s to all the things to be grateful for. For big things, like friends and family (and friends who end up being family because you love them that much). For little things, like good cups of coffee and a warm dog on your lap. For health. For simply being alive. For the fact that even if I mess up today, tomorrow I get to try again. And today, for central heating (it was 24 degrees out when I got up this morning). And for you, dear readers.

30 Days of Thanks

So, here it is November 3 already and I completely forgot about 30 Days of Thanks until I looked out my window this morning and saw the beautiful autumn colors in the bright sunlight. (I had a moment of deep gratitude for this annual riot of color in nature). I try to always celebrate 30 Days of Thanks here on the blog, as I think it’s a good way to keep myself focused on the good things and how fortunate I am.

As a person who never adapts well to Daylight Savings Time, I always heave a big sigh of relief when it ends and the clock on my wall matches my internal body clock. (Although some folks on my team are not so happy about the fact that it’s dark out by the time we get off work).

I got up this morning and walked my dogs. I had planned a run but they were having so much fun walking and sniffing that I decided to just let them enjoy it. They’re now happily crashed out in their beds, and I’m working while looking at the lovely orange, brown and gold leaves on my neighbor’s tree.

So, whether I faithfully post every day or not (let’s face it, it’s not likely that I will), I hope you’ll join me in experiencing gratitude every day in November. In many ways, it’s my favorite month, beginning with a chocolate hangover and memories of the ceremonial watching of the the Charlie Brown Halloween special, and ending with one of my favorite holidays – family and friends gathered around the table enjoying each other’s company and some incredible eats.

Welcome to November, my friends. Let’s all be grateful together.