Thursday, November 24, 2011

15 Questions To Prompt Your Gratitude

Going along with other wonderful bloggers' posts!

1. Who do I appreciate? My absolutely patient, sweet, and hard-working husband, Michael-- who couldn't be any more perfect for me. My mom--who I just appreciate more and more as the years go by. 
She has always and continues to think of my sister and I first, and does so much for us even though we're so far away from her.
2. How am I fortunate? I am SO fortunate to have A JOB, and a GOOD one!
I'm also fortunate to have the best in-laws who have always treated me like their own daughter even before I was married to Michael. They are a huge support for me and are my family in the U.S. 
3. What material possessions am I thankful for? I'm thankful for my laptop that allows me communicate with my mom in Japan, and watch Japanese shows that make me super happy! I'm also thankful for our keyboard (digital piano) that we bought this year. It was definitely a step up from my old one that didn't have the standard 88 keys or weighted keys. Last but not least, I'm thankful for my "new wedding ring". I lost my actual wedding ring just before our first anniversary, and was soooo depressed for a very long time... I still haven't gotten over it of course, and so I finally had to ask for a replacement ring, and Michael got it for me for my birthday. It's the exact same model as the 1st one. It has made me sort of forget that I lost my first one, and I smile when I look at it :)
4. What abilities do I have that I'm grateful for? I'm grateful for my piano/singing abilities (they must be decent enough because I get to teach them both right?) because that's how I pay the bills! ha. But of course, because they have always been and will always be my LIFE!
5. What about my surroundings (home/neighborhood/city/etc.) am I thankful for? Definitely thankful for our new guesthouse we moved in to this year! I can say it's probably the BIGGEST, most beautiful, and coziest guest house you'll ever set foot into! Both Michael and I can play/practise what ever instrument and not bother any one. What makes things even better is that the neighborhood is great, and so quiet. What a change it is from our old apartment! We're both super thankful for this.
6. What experiences have I had that I am grateful for? I solely organized and put together a big benefit concert in June for the Japan earthquake/tsunami relief. It was the first time I ever did something like this. It was a lot of work but it was SO worth it! I raised over US$1000 which I sent to the Japanese Red Cross Society.  I gained so much from it and if I may so my self, I am very proud that I did this.  
7. What happened today/yesterday/this week/this month/this year that I am grateful for? 
Every day, I'm thankful that I get to teach what I love doing, as my job..
I'm also grateful that I could do a piano/voice recital for my students for the first time this year. Their second one is coming up soon!
8. What opportunities do I have that I am thankful for? I'm thankful that I have tons of amazing musician friends who I can jam with/play with me :) How cool is it, that you can sing with a live band all the time?
9. What have others in my life done that I am thankful for? People that have put together benefit concerts/events, donated money, volunteered, and continued to support causes in however shape or form. Personally, this year I am especially thankful for those that have helped out with the Japan earthquake/tsunami relief.
10. What have others done that I am benefiting from in my life (even if I don't know who those people are)? This may sound silly but I actually want to thank Mr.President for making my health insurance a way better one. We don't get any health insurance as self-employed or contracted musicians/teachers so I have to buy my own expensive insurance.. It used to be not so great and now it's changed and I know he had a lot to do with it so thank you! hehe.
11. What relationships am I thankful for? I'm thankful for my relationship with Aya, who I've known since 9th grade. She has always been there for me and is the most trust-worthy, reliable and patient friend I could ever ask for. We have a true and unbreakable bond!
I'm also very thankful for my ex-host parents Henry & Laurel that took care of me my first week here in America.. actually.. they continue to look out for me! Without them I would have died of home-sickness. They have come to every single show that I have performed at. I can not thank them enough for their love and kindness.
12. What am I taking for granted that, if I stop to think about it, I am grateful for? 
MY HEALTH! I am grateful that I live pretty darn healthy each day (besides my nasal allergies, weird foot cramps, my belly that blows up after I eat etc..)
13. What is there about the challenges/difficulties I have experienced (or am currently experiencing) that I can be thankful for? (e.g., What have I learned? How have I grown?) 
The tragic earthquake/tsunami in Japan was so heartbraking... reading articles and watching clips of the event still make me cry and feel so devastated. I still find it hard to believe that it even happened. But there is something I've learned from all this. I've come to appreciate life even more. Watching and reading about the strong, resilient and positive people of my country, it's also apparent that I am even more proud that I am Japanese.
14. What is different today than it was a year ago that I'm thankful for?  
I've gotten more students... And another BEAUUUUTIFUL year of marriage has gone by :)
15. What insights have I gained that I am grateful for?
Staying positive... no matter what!!!

More happy things are ahead of us!


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