He chops the spring onion into a million tiny pieces, his lips turned upwards as he wipes the sweat from his forehead. She smiles; smiles as she sprinkles the chopped pork into the pancakes, passing them to the hungry people rushing to work. She asks him to pass her the salt, and as he does, he reaches out and tickles her under the chin. She peels off the green smidgeon of spring onion and flicks it back at him, laughing affectionately. And back and forth their morning goes.
I see them everyday and they always look happy.
It’s simple. They are grateful. Grateful to be alive, grateful to have a popular food stand in a bustling area, grateful to have each other (I can see it in their eyes), grateful to be making money in an honest way, grateful to be able to feed other people and to feed themselves after a hard day’s work. They really don’t ask for much. Just happiness.
Gratefulness = Happiness
Easy peasy. Even when things get really tough- when you have to scrape by to pay the rent or live off of rice for weeks on end- rather than sitting and complaining about how awful your life is (really, it isn’t, it could be much, much worse!), why not try being grateful for the things you do have. I’ve stopped thinking about all the things I think I need or things I want, and instead I am just focusing on the smaller things and being grateful for them every single day. Practicing daily gratitude is a sure fire way to inject you with happiness, I promise. And it can be really tiny things, things that are free, things that you might not notice because you always have your face glued to your phone or your head in the clouds…
Some of the little things I am grateful for are:
* Being able to spend Christmas with my amazing family this year at home in Scotland. The last time I did this was in 2008!
* That despite winter being very much a reality in the northern hemisphere right now, here in Shenzhen the sun is still shining its warm rays and the flowers continue to blossom.
* Blue sky days in China.
* My old and new friends dotted all around this beautiful world.
* The way the security guards at my apartment building smile and greet me every morning and night, no matter what.
* Smiles from strangers
* Being able to experience and immerse myself in the fascinating culture and language of China.
* Cups of matcha tea.
* Having a creative job.
* The opportunity to travel to lands I have always dreamed of visiting, even if it has resulted in me being completely poor (poor, but happy, very happy!).
* The thought of new adventures to be had, new friends to be made.
Life, with all its highs and lows. I love it and I am so grateful to be experiencing it right now.
What do you feel grateful for?