on Christmas Eve with Japanese udon soup and spiced veggies baked with attention, care and a sense of coziness

I was supposed to write this before NYE, but I finished work pass midnight, so I guess maybe now would be the right time to start writing this. There are so many things that I want to write about this year, but there’s one thing in particular that I have to talk about that relates to why I chose the title of this post. I got “Presently” on my phone just over a month ago, and yet, it has turned my life into a completely different page, a page that I can promise with certainty, will never get empty. “Presently” works quite like a short journal that allows me to log in my daily moments of gratitude and to write down what “I am grateful for” even when it comes from very simple things. “Presently” has taught me so many wonderful and gorgeous things about life that I never paid attention to before.

“Presently” has taught me to look at things from many perspectives and to be mindful of everything that happens around me. “Presently” has taught me to appreciate every single moment in life, even from the most mundane ones because they are usually the most extraordinary. “Presently” has also given me so many priceless lessons from the habit of sitting down by the end of the day, going through what happens during the day and writing down every possible moment of appreciation. “Presently” has given me a chance to learn so much about life and its wonders. Since I embarked on this journey, I’ve become more mindful of what I have instead of only focusing on what I don’t have, and it made me realize that what I have is always and will always be, in abundance.

Korean-styled pancake

Gratitude allows moments of joy to grow. Gratitude helps me realize how lucky I am to have everything I’ve already had, and a desire for more is going to push it away from my life. Gratitude is a soul friend, and just like every other great friend, I will always want to keep them close to me as they remind me of how precious life is despite all of those bad days, unfortunate years and unbearable suffering. Gratitude teaches me about mindfulness, meditation and minimalism. When I’m in pain, when I’m exhausted, or when my body needs me to take good care of it, I learn to take a deep breath, look around me and start appreciating the beauty of nature. Nature is a great teacher. Just by contemplating the resilience of nature in the midst of a major snowfall on the last day of the year, I came to realize how much nature could help us to heal after those crises that almost every human being experiences at some points towards the purpose of life and our own existence.

I promise myself to always bounce back from hardships and keep moving forward. I promise myself to always choose curiosity over ignorance because I believe in some ways, having a sense of curiosity will eventually take me to where I always want to be, maybe “somewhere only we know”. I know gratitude is a soul friend when it allows me silently to learn more about other people’s stories through the art of listening with caring, kindness and generosity. I know gratitude is a soul friend when it helps me build up authenticity with other people regardless of all differences.

Gratitude is a soul friend when language barriers, cultural, religious or personality differences no longer stand in the way of building long-lasting friendships. Gratitude is a soul friend when retelling a story of a difficult past experience is encountered with a sense of humor. And I know gratitude is a soul friend when happiness is no longer a journey to pursue. Everything I need is right here at this very moment, and will always stay the same even through time travelling, if it ever exists after a magic wand. With abundant wonders, I choose to feel grateful for everything.

Before January,

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