An Ordinary Day with Gratitude

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Monday, November 14, 2022
By Victoria Carney-Paine, LCSW

It’s Monday morning. The alarm goes off. I stir, stretch out my limbs and take in a big, deep breath. I’m grateful for another day. For a few minutes, I snuggle into my soft, cozy sheets and take in the comfort of the bed I sleep in each night. I’m grateful I have a home to rest in.

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I get up and stroll over to the kitchen lazily. I fill up the kettle and turn it on. When it bubbles and clicks, I pour the boiling water into my favorite mug and let the tea bag steep. I then finish making the tea while a slice of toast cooks in the toaster. I slather the toast with salty butter. My breakfast is ready so I take my tea and toast, sink into the couch and enjoy. I’m grateful for the crunch of the bread and the sweetness of the sugary breakfast tea. I’m grateful I have food to eat.

Once I’m ready for work, I look in the mirror and nod at myself to “Have a good day.” A headache begins and my temples begin to throb. I’m hoping it’s not a migraine. I walk over to the medicine cabinet and take two Aleve with a big glass of water, hoping for relief. I’m grateful I have access to medicine.

I sit down at my desk and open my computer. I begin my therapy sessions. My clients are open, honest and vulnerable. We discuss, I listen and we problem solve. Half way through the day, a client no-shows. I catch myself thinking: I wish I would have known, so I could have used this time better. The next session is interrupted by internet issues: my client is upset that our connection keeps going in and out. I silently curse the internet company in my head. Eventually, it snaps back to normal. I remind myself: I’m so grateful I get to do work that I love.

Later on, my phone rings a few times while I’m in session. It’s my mom, calling me several times in a row even after I don’t answer. The urgency in the rings stresses me a bit. When it’s time to take a break I call her back. “Hi Mom, everything okay?” I ask eagerly. She replies “Yes, just wanted to talk and see how you were today.” I’m grateful I have family who cares about me enough to call several times in a row.

After a number of sessions and meetings, I start to get tired. The voice in my head starts chatting, uninvited. “You’re starting to get tired. You’re going to make a mistake. Don’t mess up!” I start to feel a wave of stress come over me, seemingly for no apparent reason. My heart starts beating quickly, my breathing gets shallow. I remind myself- it’s only a bout of stress. It happens. I’m grateful I’m alive and my heart is beating.

The day ends and I work on some documentation. A few minutes in, I lose focus. I grab a glass of water, swallow a few gulps and get back to it. I can’t stay focused, I won’t finish this today. I close my laptop. I’m grateful I have work I can do from home.

I decide to go for a walk after work. The weather is cold, the air has a bite. It’s dark and half way through my walk it begins to rain. I don’t have an umbrella. I get soaked and start to shiver. I speed walk home and warm up. I’m grateful for a body that allows me to walk.

When I slip into my bed later that evening I think: a normal day, nothing much new. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred. I’m so grateful for this day.