Feb. 10 2021 02:00 PM

Now more than ever, I think it’s time we count our blessings.

There’s a trend going around on Instagram right now asking people to list eight blessings in their life. You type them out, post them, and then challenge three friends to do the same. I’ve been challenged about six times and have yet to respond. It’s just one of those things, you know? Almost like a chain letter; remember those? They circulate for a few days, or maybe weeks, and whether you respond depends on how superstitious you’re feeling. It’s not required, but it’s considered bad form not to participate. I won’t lie to you; I wasn’t going to do it. It just felt like another one of those silly things. I know what I have in my life and how blessed I am to have it. Why do I need to validate that to people on the internet? But this morning, as I was reading through three more, I realized I don’t need to write them out for anyone else; I need to do it for me.

We have so much working against us right now, too much. Why not take ten minutes to list eight things that I’m grateful for? No, not just list them. WRITE. THEM. DOWN. Make a note on my phone that I can look back at when I’m feeling particularly downtrodden. Or maybe write it on a piece of paper that I can carry in my pocket. No one has to know about it because it’s not about being trendy; it’s about focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t. So, putting my money where my mouth is, here are my eight blessings:

  1. My family. They love me in spite of ________ (fill in the blank). They let me be unapologetically me.
  2. Our farm. It gives me an outlet to be physical when I don’t want to think or creative when I need a challenge.
  3. My cows. They get me. I can’t explain it and I’m 98% sure it’s all in my head, but we have an understanding that I don’t share with many, if any, people.
  4. Yogurt. It’s so good.
  5. Netflix/Disney+. I know how sad that sounds, but when real life is dragging me down, I can forget it all and lose myself in a two-hour movie or a few episodes of a show.
  6. Spotify. Music drives me. Most of my time is spent listening to music. I put my headphones in, turn on a playlist, and everything else falls away.
  7. My imagination. Some days I don’t think this is a blessing, but today I do. I’ve come to learn that my mind works differently than most.
  8. Chocolate milk. Drank out of a shot glass. It gives it a little more class, don’t you think?

Tomorrow there could be eight completely new blessings. But for today, these will do. Now, I challenge you. You don’t have to post them publicly; just list them for you. Yes, as cliché as it sounds, I’m asking you to count your blessings.

Jessica Peters

The author dairies in partnership with her parents and brother at Spruce Row Farm in Pennsylvania. Jessica is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and since 2015, she has been active in promoting dairy in her local community. You can find her and her 250 Jersey cows on Facebook at Spruce Row Dairy or on Instagram at @seejessfarm.