Habits life

Perspective + Gratitude

July 8, 2021

You are the best readers.

Seriously, among other notes of gratitude that are clearly warranted after writing yesterday’s post, one is that I am so lucky to have such a smart, kind, and insightful community commenting on this blog.

So, thank you!

I wanted to provide additional info on a few of your suggestions there.

1- Excellent podcast rec. Greg McKeown‘s interview of Arthur Brooks was indeed a worthy listen. I love the idea of actively managing one’s wants to promote happiness. I had also never considered the downside of the “bucket list” idea. (Referring more to those lists comprising “lavish and high-reaching items to complete before death” than “a few fun summer activities”).

Screen shot of Greg McKeown's Podcast Icon
Link here to the specific episode, or you can find it on his site

2- Maintaining gratitude and perspective is really important. Not only do these help avoid the negative feelings that may have come through in yesterday’s post, but they are just R E A L I T Y. As Alyce insightfully noted, very VERY few people can actually afford the entire list shown. Those that can are probably literal royalty or from multiple generations of wealth. (Or, as many pointed out, they appear to be living the dream but in actuality are in debt and the appearance is more of an illusion of wealth).

3- Instagram (or certain environments — and truthfully, our current locale is much more down to earth than Miami Beach!) may be problematic in this way. Sigh. I keep waffling about where there is a role for this app in my life at all. Maybe the answer is actually just a simple . . . “no”.

In honor of the above, a short gratitude list for the day.

Just 3 things out of many many possibilities to be grateful for this morning:

1- G did well at the dentist! Even though I wasn’t there. And I got to FaceTime her afterwards. And she clearly was paying attention because when I got home she said “I didn’t eat for 30 minutes and I need to floss at night.” (30 minutes was after her fluoride)

first dentist visit! Apparently she was very mature and the staff was impressed.
Prize 🙂

2- I have a more flexible day today. Yesterday was a packed clinical day (though I had the honor of working with a fantastic new resident, which made it more fun) but today is more of a GET THINGS DONE day. Only 2 meetings scheduled.

3- Online workouts are really great. I still would like to eventually venture back to in-person yoga, but doing strength at home is so convenient. As soon as I hit publish I will be jumping into a 30 minute Strength for Runners.


  • Reply Gillian July 8, 2021 at 7:03 am

    I recently changed my Daily Page layout in my planner to prompt me to list 3 things I am grateful for each day. Yesterday’s list:
    1) The means to make my little house lovely (we are embarking on a MUCH needed reno of our 100 yo house)
    2) Happy Campers (I assume the sleep away campers are happy, but my two day campers are super happy!)
    3) Anticipating a trip that will actually happen (Tomorrow!)

  • Reply Kt July 8, 2021 at 9:18 am

    I am so happy for the thoughtful community here! I loved that podcast episode – I appreciate the recommendation.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns July 8, 2021 at 10:25 am

    I will have to check out that podcast. Sounds really insightful!

    Great job to G for handling the dentist so well. Paul has been twice and we have not been able to do a teeth cleaning. So the dentist has just taken a look at his teeth. He is an extremely cautious kid and struggles with new experiences so I am not surprised he hasn’t done well enough to get his teeth cleaned but hopefully in the next 6 months he’ll be calm enough to do that? We’ll see…

    If you want to keep IG, maybe you just need to REALLY curate who you are following? If any account gives you any sort of unpleasant or envious feeling, I’d unfollow. I find it odd that people are posting photos of the Tesla they bought? That just seems to show that it’s all about status-seeking and not about the appreciation of a really cool and well-made automobile. I would never post a photo of a new car we purchased… or anything I purchased really unless it’s something I wanted to make others aware of, like some sort of kids thing. I have posted about Green Toys on my blog and IG, but that’s because I think they are amazing (made from recycled plastic, extremely limited packaging, no batteries, encourages creative play). But they are like $15-50 so not a high ticket item!

    I’m grateful that I got to meet up with my 2nd time mama class for dinner on a patio last night and it was NOT CRAZY HOT! It was actually cool and I had to wear a light sweater. There is an organization here in the Twin Cities that has these mama classes that are so awesome. So we all met weekly with an instructor for 6 weeks starting in late December. Our 4 babies are all born within 4 weeks. I did the first time mama class when our oldest was born and also stayed in touch with that group as well. This 2nd time mama group was different, though, because our classes were on zoom and we couldn’t do in person meet-ups, aside from outdoor walks which were tough to plan during a Minnesota winter. So it was fabulous to see everyone in person without masks!!! Not being able to do things like that is really making me appreciate them in this post-covid world (I know covid is not ‘over’, especially in some areas, but our case rates are super low here in Minnesota since our vacation rates are so high so it feels kind of ‘over’ to some extent).

    • Reply nicoleandmaggie July 8, 2021 at 4:57 pm

      If I bought a Tesla I would totally post about it! I definitely don’t think that say, Cloud at Wandering-scientist.com is status seeking when she talks about their Tesla or their decision to buy a Tesla or their experiences (some bad, some good) finding charging stations on trips.

      I would like to have a Tesla, but not enough to actually get one. A low end Tesla doesn’t actually cost that much more than most mini-vans (less than some!) and Teslas have lower energy costs. (I don’t have a mini-van either!)

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 8, 2021 at 7:59 pm

        cloud is NOT in any status seeking category 🙂

        I actually see more Teslas in real life than online! And nothing against them whatsoever. They are quite ubiquitous here. Our close friends have 2. (If we ever got a car upgrade I’d rather get an electric Volvo because I am oddly attracted to them but honestly I think we will be okay with our Toyota hybrids for a while. At least until the Prius dies which could be years.)

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns July 9, 2021 at 9:26 am

        Ok, good point about it not necessarily being status-seeking to post about purchasing a Tesla. I’m not familiar w/ the account you are referencing. I can only think of one person I know who has posted about purchasing a Tesla on Facebook and it felt a little bit status-seeking. I’m not familiar w/ this Cloud person you are both referencing, though. Clearly there can be reasons to post about it that are not status-seeking, especially when you are discussing the pros and cons.

        • Reply Cloud July 10, 2021 at 5:47 pm

          I came to say hi after reading about this discussion at Nicoleandmaggie! And really it is “Hi again” to Sarah, because I think I commented more awhile back than I do now. I haven’t been as active on blogs lately I but do still listen to some episodes of the Best of Both Worlds and always appreciate your thoughts on things! I think some people do post/talk about Teslas for status-seeking but honestly if they are going to do that I’d rather they do it with an electric car than the latest big fancy SUV. Mostly when I post about our Tesla I’m talking about it in terms of our path towards electrifying everything. I’ll put the link to the post in which I explain about how we ended up with a Tesla in the website link below, but if you want an honest look at what I think is the one downside of an electric car – the limited charging infrastructure – here is a post I wrote on my travel blog about our hilariously bad decision making on our first long road trip with the Tesla: http://adjustedlatitudes.com/2019/12/21/our-first-tesla-roadtrip/

          We’re smarter about charging now and the infrastructure is better (there are now chargers in Tacna, which is ~40 miles from Yuma and would have prevented the hijinx in the post) but we have a long way to go.

          For the original topic… I think Instagram can really trigger our comparison instinct. I got on Instagram because my daughter wanted on it so I felt I needed to figure it out. But I mostly follow cute animal accounts so mainly I am envious of a woman in Australia who has two pet wombats. They are so cute and cuddly! (She is @brindabella_the_wombat if you also want cute wombats in your feed.)

          • Sarah Hart-Unger July 11, 2021 at 7:08 am

            Hi! I am a regular reader of your blog as well and really enjoy it (and I should comment more 🙂 ). And you are SO right about Instagram!

            I actually could see us eventually getting a (?used) Tesla but not until there is a true need for a new car and I am hoping that our 2011 Prius will last another bunch of years (our other is a 2017 Hybrid Highlander so I assume 10+ years or more for that one!).

    • Reply Vanessa July 9, 2021 at 1:13 am

      I found your post yesterday so refreshing! It helps to realize you’re not alone in feeling like that. I also need to rethink my IG use. I recently listened to and loved George Saunders’ Semplica Girl Diaries and it helped give me perspective on my tendency to compare. When I’m envious of my friends’ homes and lives, it helps me to think about my deepest desires: to grow as a person, to have strong relationships with my husband and kids, to live a rich life. As much as I want nice things, having more doesn’t necessarily contribute to those goals.

      Also, just wanted to say how inspiring your podcast and blog has been for me lately!

  • Reply YS July 8, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Are you seeing good muscle gains with the at-home workouts? Also, have you found a good way to store all your dumbbells? I have not yet.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 8, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      I did – but definitely not since I’ve been doing more running and not lifting as heavy or often. But that’s a trade off I was okay with bc I wanted to work on running and I truly can’t do both!

      I have a rack that stores them- up to 25lb dumbbells.

  • Reply Kersti July 8, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Have you read Alain De Botton’s Status Anxiety? It’s a fun read on the topic.

  • Reply Amanda G July 9, 2021 at 10:45 am

    I so appreciated the comments on your last post, and that you’ve taken the time to follow up here. I loved the podcast too, but I am struggling with “want management” with regards to bucket lists, especially when made up of activities and experiences vs things (I didn’t think bucket lists were generally material desires?). Especially since “healthy striving” is all wrapped up in life satisfaction too, isn’t it. Much to ponder heading into the weekend.

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