Today, I’m Grateful For…

Day 5 - Affogato Watercolor Illustration Coffee Glass - Doodlewash

Sometimes, a prompt arrives at just the right moment. Today, we have a prompt asking what we’re grateful for in this moment, and it happened to be the very day I received news that I’ll be owing some taxes this year. This was actually how I started my day, so I wasn’t very cheerful at the beginning. The day wore on and my mood failed to brighten. Later in the afternoon, however, while I was riding up in the elevator at work, the man next to me smiled broadly and remarked, “It’s finally bearable outside!” I was still cranky, but his overzealous enthusiasm and odd comment amused me and I said, “that’s hardly a high bar.” He simply shrugged as the door opened on his floor and almost winking said, “But it could be worse! Have a great one!” He then danced off the elevator, humming a tune I couldn’t quite recognize, and I was left alone. It was hardly a noteworthy interaction. Just a bit of chit chat really, but it was precisely what I needed to hear to clear my mind a bit. Yes, life doesn’t always work out exactly as we’d hoped, but indeed, more often than not, it’s always quite bearable. To celebrate a cold yet bearable day, I decided to treat myself to an affogato when I got home, which is a delightful scoop of ice cream buried in some espresso. And, I was suddenly feeling very grateful.

For the affogato, to be sure, but mostly for the unwitting friendly reminder the man on the elevator gave me. I just wasn’t sure how to sketch that. As optimistic as I can be, there are definitely days where I struggle with finding that light at the end of the tunnel. The speck of hope that might guide me out of a bummer of a day and turn it into something wonderful. Thankfully, I never rely on myself in times like these, but turn to literally everyone around me. Be they friends or strangers, they all have something wonderful to teach me. A happy outlook on life to share or their own bummer of a day that makes mine seem like nothing much at all. The best part about living in this crazy world is discovering that we’re never really alone. And each day has it’s own way of turning itself around if we let it. As I walked outside today in the still very cold weather, I stopped shivering long enough to stare up into the sky. It was a beautifully deep cerulean blue without a cloud to be found. How had I failed to notice it earlier? It was a gorgeous day where the light made everything sparkle just a bit more. The kind of day that would inspire poets to write words about its beauty.

Though my day started with bumps, I suddenly found myself smiling and enjoying each and every moment again. That child inside me beamed with happiness as I saw the world once more as he always sees it each and every day. A world ripe with possibilities where endless adventures await. Together, the two of us made a drink that only we two could ever make properly. A childish bit of ice cream combined with a decidedly adult caffeinated beverage. It was the perfect combination to end my day and signal the beauty of what’s coming next. Life doesn’t always seem to follow the path I dream it would follow. But, that’s never a sign to stop dreaming. It’s simply a sign to dream more and bigger dreams. The kind so fascinating that they would probably never come true. These are the dreams that I choose to chase in my life. Each day, I know that somewhere out there, in that impossibly blue sky, there’s a tiny hope that one just might come true. As dreams elude me, I must never give up. It’s bearable, after all. And when I sink into my chair and enjoy a little treat today, I’m excited for what’s coming next. Closing my eyes this evening in bed, I’ll give those nightly dreams a head start as I drift off to sleep by simply saying, “today, I’m grateful for…”

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. (My “Shiny” Trio! Click Here To Purchase It!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Affogato Watercolor Illustration Coffee Glass - Doodlewash

 

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
24 Comments
  1. Jodi 7 months ago

    Awww – we all have bad days, but glad you were able to turn it around – and oh how wonderful is that guy on the elevator??!!! <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Jodi! 😃💕I know, right?? That lovely guy on the elevator will never know just how wonderful he made my day. But it was awesome!

  2. hootiebirdsartjournal 7 months ago

    As the old saying goes….nothing is sure but death and taxes….but a smile is contagious.

  3. Mary Roff 7 months ago

    That affogato would put a smile in my day. Sometimes a complete stranger can get us back on course. Glad your day ended on a brighter note.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m always amazing by the unwitting kindness of strangers. They may never know the impact, but it’s always beautifully felt!

  4. mlaiuppa 7 months ago

    I don’t owe any taxes. The weather has been cold (for So. Cal), wet (for So. Cal) and I wasn’t feeling particularly cheerful or grateful today. I wasted a trip to my Doctor as they were out of the vaccine I had the appointment for and no one told me. It was pretty much another day.

    Then I read your post. You are my dancing guy on the elevator.

    Today, I am grateful for my new puppy and the foresight I had to get her so soon after the passing of my dog. She is 19 weeks this week and a handful, but getting better. I am so grateful I got her when I did. She is the perfect puppy and will grow into the perfect dog. Mainly because my parents’ dog passed away a few weeks ago, just 7 weeks after I got her. Had I not adopted her when I did, she wouldn’t have had a chance to interact with her big “sister” and my Dad wouldn’t have had a chance to bond with the puppy. Just last night I was over there and they had their time together, him taking his pills at the kitchen table and her obediently sitting by his side, eating morsels as he tells her to “sit.” I’m not sure what would have happened if I didn’t get her when I did. I think both he and my Mother look forward to the days when she visits, even if she still has the occasional accident, steals shoes and doesn’t always remember not to jump up.

    I haven’t tried to sketch her yet as she is all black and I don’t want to end up with just a big black blob.

    But reading your post today made me stop and think how grateful I am that I adopted this particular dog at that particular time. She has a lot on her plate and is completely oblivious to it. Her days are spent exploring and experiencing as all puppies do. And she already loves my Dad and my Mom. She is just what we all needed.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      That’s such a fantastic and amazing story! I love it!! 😃💕 Sound like that little pup arrived at precisely the right time. And this made me so happy reading it! And you should totally paint that pup… just use lots of colors for that “black”… the kind that reveal the personality there! As long as it’s darkish, it will look amazing! Paint that puppy!!

  5. smzang 7 months ago

    Charlie says, “Life doesn’t always seem to follow the path I dream it would follow. But, that’s never a sign to stop dreaming.”

    two thumbs!!

    another fine rendition of glass and its reflections! love it!! and the affogato (new word for me, thank you!!) looks delicious!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕hehe… you should totally try an affogato then! It’s wonderful. The bits of childhood and adult in one!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 7 months ago

    An affogato sounds delicious! Gratitude is definitely a pathway to happiness.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 So true… while affogato’s are indeed amazing, gratitude is always the real star in life!

  7. nerueru 7 months ago

    I’m in the frame of mind where I just can’t muster up the energy for words. I can say that this prompted a weary smile and I’m totally going to look for affogato now!! The very prospect of it replacing obligatory coffee! 😀 That quote about paths and life. I hope never to forget. Like that man’s cheerful chitchat, an unexpected but well needed uplift for me. Thankyou 🙂

    -Neru

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      So happy this managed to cheer you up a bit my friend! 😃💕 Yes, sometimes life can honestly suck at times, but it’s never the main event. Life is mostly filled with cheerful and happy moments, but sometimes, yeah, it takes a guy dancing on an elevator to remind us of that simple fact! 😉

  8. Susie M. 7 months ago

    Your affogato lools delicious! Life isn’t always easy and there are plenty of bumps, and likely more to come. But most of us have much to be grateful for. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susie! 😃💕Glad you liked the affogato! Yes, I think we all indeed always have something to be grateful for… and I’m always happy when someone reminds me of that fact!

  9. LoriCtoo 7 months ago

    I am grateful for my boss who “gets me”. She let’s me be me, as quirky as I am! Another wonderful glass! Keep reminding me and one of these days I will sketch one! 😉 As far as your taxes, they are done! I bet there’s a lot of people out there who haven’t started. That’s a big monkey off your back, even if the outcome isn’t what you were hoping for.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      It’s great to have a boss who just “gets you” isn’t it? I’ve been lucky throughout my career to always have just such a person. 😃💕 And yes… taxes are done at least… so that’s over! lol

  10. Lisa 7 months ago

    Ripe with possibilities! I love that because it reminds me of peaches and strawberries both of which are really only good when ripe. Every single day I get up and make myself a strong cup of coffee with classic hazelnut flavoring and a big glob of fresh whipped cream. It’s really not good for me I suppose, but it makes me happy. When I looked out the front window with coffee in hand, I counted 15 cardinals at the feeders. That makes me happy too. And I made this stuff for dinner called chicken crack. I thought it was too rich, but hubs licked his plate. That made me happy too. I put down a first wash of watercolor while the chicken was in the oven. I love the look of it so much that I don’t want to paint any further on it. Happy. Either I have a very low threshold of happiness, or I’ve learned a great secret that the rest of the world needs to be taught. It really doesn’t take much to spark joy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      I can’t, of course, speak well on the whipped cream front as you know I APPROVE!!!! 😃💕 lol But, I think doing things that make us happy is the most important thing in the world. And yep… learning to realize happy happens nearly all of the time is a great lesson indeed.

  11. Prior... 7 months ago

    I was right there on the elevator with you – that is how nicely you wrote all of this.
    😉
    Wonderful post with so much down to earth psychology and wisdom 🍦🍮

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much my friend! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoying this post!

  12. Sandra Strait 7 months ago

    Affogato – a new word! I love new words! Seriously. I’m a wordaholic. Taxes – now there is a word I wish would disappear from the lexicon (and I think this is the first time I’ve had the excuse to use that word). I knew we wouldn’t get a refund, but I was totally unprepared for how much we had to pay. On top of the bronchitis and hospital visit with my mother, I’ve been totally depressed this last week. But, the sun is out today, I slept without coughing and I’m getting caught up with the things I enjoy. Elevator man was right – it could be worse and that in itself means life is good!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yes!! We can all keep dancing because no matter how stupid taxes were this year, we aren’t dancing alone! 😉 And that makes everything rather perfect after all. But, yeah… if you like coffee and ice cream you have to try an affogato. If everything else fails… it definitely helps! hehe

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