Dolce with bear

The Gratitude Project, A Millennial’s Quest to Find Happiness: Day 2 – Coconut and a Chihuahua

Dolce with bear

By Maria Russo

Day 2

I love coffee but I only drink it on weekends when my husband is home or on the special occasion when my sister sleeps over. To me, coffee is a social drink, like good wine or a stiff martini. I hate drinking it alone because I don’t know what to do with it. I’ve tried leisurely imbibing it on the balcony during the quiet early morning hours after dropping my husband off at the train station, but the taste was different — flat and lifeless – no body or flavor, just some expensive fair trade, organic coffee sharing my cup with a few tablespoons of raw, grass-fed milk. The best ingredients in the world can’t replace company.

Most mornings I prepare granola with coconut milk or warm water, but recently I’ve been adding unsweetened coconut shreds and a heaping spoonful of almond butter to the mix and it becomes a dessert of sorts – a guilt-free pleasure I savor after a hot cup of ginger tea. What I am most grateful for (channeling Shawn Achor and his magical research) is the coconut shreds. I know it is selfish of me to love coconut so much being that it is shipped from Asia and other far away parts of the world, but it is something that I would truly miss should it disappear from the shelves of my favorite little market in Princeton. I use virgin, cold-pressed oil in most recipes, I make homemade coconut milk and use the cream that swims to the top in pancake and curry recipes — and the shreds — well I would throw those babies on a hot dog if it were not deemed disgusting.

Until this morning, I never really thought about the luxury of being able to buy good-quality coconut whenever I crave it. So I am grateful, Mr. Achor, for coconut.

My dog is four pounds. His personality is the size of a pregnant elephant. I love him, but sometimes I want to kick his little ass when he decides to piss on my beaming white area rug, or when his little body sprawls across the part of the bed where my feet would otherwise go, forcing me to contort my body into the shape of a full-on V so that he can rest comfortably. Sometimes while I’m working on the couch he marches right onto the keys of my laptop and licks my face as if to say, Oops did I just delete that paragraph you spent two-hours working on? Oh such a pity — well it’s on to me-time now. Normally at this point I would want to skewer and roast him, but today I embraced his loving sign of affection and actually took a moment to look into his big brown eyes. It was. actually. nice. Really nice. And I regretted all the moments he came to me looking for attention that I let slip between my fingers because I was too preoccupied with work.

So, Mr. Achor, I am grateful for my adorable, loving dog… he brings me genuine happiness.

I’m saving today’s third thought of gratitude for me. I’ll give you a hint: it has to do with you.

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