Do you appreciate what you have?

Photo by Reinate El Pintor de Fuego

Today is Valentines Day and while most of the world is thinking hearts and flowers, I am thinking a little beyond today. I’ve been thinking that we don’t spend enough time appreciating what we have each day. Often we are looking forward and sometimes backward but not necessarily enjoying the moment.

I think I started thinking this way in the months before Teddy’s Last Day. It was almost a gift because I found myself spending extra time stopping to give him a hug or just talk to him.

It is so often that we push through our days, failing to appreciate what is around us, not seeing sunsets, or the beauty in snow flakes, or appreciating the little things people do for us every day. I’ve learned that those moments pass by far too quickly and we need to take the time to relish or delight in the moment.

I know I have tried to take time to say thank you a little more often lately for the things that people do for me. I have tried to spend a little more time encouraging those I encounter. Days seem to go by faster all the time.

Even if you are in the midst of a job search or struggling with a sudden job loss, there are things and people to appreciate if you take the time.

Appreciate daily wonders

  • Yesterday, it hit 50 degrees F (10C) here in Central Wisconsin. That’s a heat wave for us. I shoveled the large deck off my office while my son Dan and his friend, Lee, raked the roof to clear the melting snow. Dan even put his shorts on for the first time in months.
  • Lee brought Titan, his Newfoundland puppy, now 9 months and the size of a small horse, to visit and I spent time hugging and playing with Titan.
  • Later, my husband and two sons, Tim and Dan, celebrated with steaks on the grill, appreciating the gift of an early warm day after many days of subzero weather.

I plan to practice appreciating people and things around me much more. Perhaps you would like to practice too. Share some of the things or people you appreciate in the comments.


  1. gee backhouse on February 14, 2011 at 7:09 am

    I appreciate the breathtaking view of the Pyrenees with its snowcapped peaks which seem so close sometimes. They *are* close, but it’s as if I could reach out and touch them on a clear day. It’s a view that brings such a feeling of peace, no matter what. It’s a view that I can savour with only a short walk from home. It’s a view I can appreciate almost every day. Thanks for the reminder, Julie. Glad to hear you had a warm day, too!

    • Julie Walraven on February 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Good to hear, Gee! I love the idea of mountains so close as to see. Our ski hill is visible from my office window and it is fun watching them go from grassy hills to a complex maze of challenging skiing and snowboarding slopes. I definitely appreciate my hilltop view of the city.

  2. Jane C Woods on February 14, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Another nice post Julie!
    The older I get the more I learn to live in the moment. I sometimes just stand still and notice what is happening around me, and breath. We have banks of snowdrops appearing which are so beautiful.
    But always, that which I give most thanks for are my wonderful family and friends. It’s never having loads of money or lots of new contracts (although obviously I’m happy when those things happen.
    But I can live without those things because I am so rich in other ways.
    Love on Valentine’s Day!

    • Julie Walraven on February 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you, Jane. I wish you blessings of good health and the opportunities for work as it becomes available to you. I love your constant encouragement, not just to me, but to so many people.

  3. Ronnie Ann on February 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Julie…I appreciate the breathtaking (and breath-nourishing) photo and post. Such a simple thing…to stop and see the “small” that is so big all around us. Even the moment-in-time reminders like yours that make us stop and feel the joy of kindred spirits. Thank you for the lovely reminder.

    • Julie Walraven on February 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you, Ronnie Ann! I appreciate your kindness. Thanks for visiting.

  4. Melissa Cooley on February 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Stopping to focus on what we are grateful for is always time well spent. I appreciate you, Julie, for giving this necessary reminder! 🙂

    I appreciate the many blessings that family and friends bring into my life every day. I also appreciate the opportunities that can be found in adversity — it reminds me that it’s not a bad thing to have to dig a little!

    • Julie Walraven on February 15, 2011 at 5:41 am

      Thanks, Melissa. A great positive attitude! Sometimes I struggle with how much adversity… 🙂

  5. Brent Peterson on February 20, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Hi Julie,

    Great post. I’m thankful for the positive example you set for me and for others.

    Personally, I got to spend the entire day yesterday with my 4-yr old. What a beautiful view on the world she has!


    • Julie Walraven on February 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks Brent! Wisconsin is particularly gloomy now if you have caught the news so I am working on positivity myself.

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