Where When How — N/D 2017 - J/F 2018
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24 Days Of Gratitude

After experiencing the wrath of two major hurricanes, damage and loss to homes, businesses and schools, and weeks ‘without’ for many, I found myself reflecting daily on the important things in life. And while everyone has his or her own very unique list of these, we must have all experienced some sort of posthurricane, ‘attitude of gratitude’ for these important things in life. As they remain, existing, daily, even after a Category 5 hurricane.

So, while fighting the urge to feel sorry for myself, I picked up and carried on. While doing so, I challenged myself to 24 days of gratitude in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), to help remember why I call these islands my home, the reasons they inspire me, and how they bring so much depth to my soul.

Largely my gratitude is based around our strong and resilient community, also largely around the beauty of the ocean and elements of our ‘beautiful by nature’ TCI.

If you are in need of a little attitude adjustment, here are 24 inspirational suggestions to help strengthen your own feelings of gratitude… feel free to add and modify this list as you choose. I encourage everyone to select one of these every day, or create your own, and complete your very own 24 days of gratitude.

1 Rise and shine. Wake up with the sun and be the first one to take a walk along the beach.

2 Go for a paddle, either by kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP). (Always go for a paddle.)

3 Volunteer a day (or two, or three…) with a local organization or private group that helps people and is making a difference (Food for Thought, IGA, Hurricane Irma Relief Turks and Caicos (HIRTAC), TCSPCA and more…)

4 Design and run your own fundraiser. Be creative, involve and encourage the community as much as possible.

5 Visit our sister islands for a day and bring supplies (and smiles) to help those in need.

6 Go for a snorkel. Bring an ID guide and see how many fish and coral species you can count.

7 Take a boat ride to your favourite uninhabited island and enjoy the entire place to yourself.

8 Go for a swim in the ocean.

9 Listen to the sounds of the ocean.

10 Find some sea glass, sea shells, and recyclable things from the sea – and make a craft.

11 Visit Blue Hills. Stop to talk to the locals. Stop to buy a cold drink. Stop to smile and say hello.

12 Spend some time looking at the night sky. Look for shooting stars. (Try this on the beach for best results.)

13 Honk to the Fortis trucks, wave and say thank you to the team of workers who have helped us all.

14 Offer your assistance to your neighbours for an hour, or if you can, for a day.

15 Do a ‘fall clean’ and donate clothing, furniture, and other useful items to a charity or family of your choice. 16 Have dinner with family. Make sure to tell them how much you love and value them.

17 Have a cocktail by the sea, alone or with someone you love.

18 Slow down, and take it all in.

19 Bicycle to work.

20 Write a letter of thanks to someone you love or someone you think might need a hug, or is making a difference.

21 Listen to the rain. Think of the greenery and water it brings to the earth and people.

22 Take five minutes of your day, every day, to just meditate on the thought of gratitude.

23 Seek out flamingos across the pond areas in the TCI.

24 Write out a list of your life’s accomplishments – or the accomplishments you’ve achieved during the 24 days of gratitude. And be sure to give yourself a high five.

After my 24-day gratitude cleanse, I am now going to go back and start tomorrow with #1, and see how many new ways I can incorporate an attitude of gratitude into my every day existence.

– Morgan Luker

SURFside Ocean Academy