It is seven in the morning when I open my eyes. I am feeling the grogginess of yet another restless night. It has been weeks since I last brushed my hair or decided to put any effort into my appearance. I desperately need a shower to refresh myself. But what is the point? This is just another meaningless day where I get to realize even more how far I’ve hit rock bottom. Ugh. Coffee. Coffee will be the perfect bandaid to my sorrow this morning.
As I sit on my porch with my chemical-filled, cheaply-made coffee, a car shows up. It’s the mailman, or mailwoman, what is it even called these days? Yay. Here comes more letters from debt collectors or bills that are past due. I cannot help but wonder if I will ever get myself out of this mess of a life that I am living.
He walks up to me with a big, padded envelope and asks how I am doing. I tell him the usual,
“How about you?” I mumble.
He goes on about this amazing morning he has had. He somehow managed to win by playing a scratch off ticket from the local gas station. I tell him that it’s amazing, while secretly thinking to myself that those lucky incidents only happen to people like him. He has always got this naive, positive attitude about everything. How can he not see how miserable life really is? I mean, is he blind? He hands me the envelope with a huge smile on his face, and leaves to spread his nasty positivity somewhere else.
The envelope has no sender information, but is clearly addressed to me. Inside lays a little black book, that I know for a fact I did not order. I open it up to find instructions on how to catch a lucky streak and start living your best life.
“What is this nonsense?” I think to myself.
Simultaneously, I am quite intrigued by this mysterious little black book. The first sentence states “I know you will be skeptical at first, but you have nothing to lose by trying to change your life around”. That’s a valid point. The book further explains how I am to incorporate an attitude of gratitude, and magical occurrences will appear in my life.
“Attitude of Gratitude?” - I shrug my shoulders at this cheesy, new age propaganda.
“What do I even have to be grateful for? I hate my life” my inner voice tells me.
I throw the book in the trashcan and go on about my day as normal.
Except, I can’t shake the memory of this book. Where did it even come from? And could there be something to this? Could gratitude really change my life? I have to admit, at this point in my life I am pretty desperate to change things around. My love life is non-existent, as bills and debt takes up so much space. My workplace is stressful, passionless, and barely pays minimum wage. I have no education to help me make more money. I do not have time to ever really enjoy life. This all seems so meaningless and silly. Maybe I will try to follow this weird, little black book and see if it changes any single thing. As the book mentioned, I do not have anything to lose by trying.
The book tells me to write a gratitude list every single day. It can be anything from being grateful for the electricity that keeps my house functioning to friendly interaction with coworkers. The list can be big or small, as long as I do it everyday. I should also allow myself to dream about my future and what exactly that looks like, by writing it in the book. It seems so foolishly simple, but how wonderful it would be if it worked. I picture myself working under water. Exploring the mysterious ocean that surrounds a huge part of our planet. I wonder what it would feel like to meet a shark for the first time. Probably thrillingly exciting. A life worth living, for sure. Besides, I have always felt the happiest and most peaceful when I am in water. Oh, how I would love to spend my life like that. Other parts of my life would have greatly improved as well. The future me is able to provide more than well enough for my family, including my loving partner. I also have so much time to explore new things in life. I can finally go skydiving! Or travel to Peru. I could buy my mom a house so she would not have to worry about mortgage payments anymore. Maybe my life could be so abundant that anything is possible, and I could have the freedom to try out everything life has to offer. Or maybe it is just all wishful thinking and I will always be stuck in this rut. I wish I could just get a lump sum of money and start fresh. Pay off some debt and pursue my dreams, once and for all.
It is seven in the morning when I first open my eyes, but today I do not feel groggy or tired at all. I feel energized. It is like a new person stepped into my body and I can now see the world from a fresh, new perspective. The book states to ask for a specific sign, to show that this mind exercise program is working, and that magical things are actually on the way. Still not sure I believe in any of this fairytale stuff, but I wrote down that I wanted to see a dragonfly. Last time I saw one I was seven years old. So it would be a pretty clear sign if one arrived in front of my nose. Sitting out on the porch, I take a sip of my coffee and enjoy the views surrounding me. Lots of greenery, mountains and flowers that I have never really noticed before. After a few minutes I am shocked to hear what sounds like a swarm of insects nearby. I step off my porch and into the driveway to see this amazing swarm of… you guessed it. Dragonflies. Hundreds of dragonflies in my driveway. I’ve never seen anything like it. Is this it? Are the exercises in the book really working? Can I live my dream life by doing something so simple? Can I really just ask for a hundred dollars, and receive one thousand? This is crazy.
Moments later the mailman shows up, with a big grin on his face. He asks how I am doing and today I give him a completely different answer than normal.
“I’ve had the most amazing morning and life is great” I say with a big smile on my face.
He goes on to give me a smaller envelope this time, and I immediately open it up. It’s a check for $20,000, addressed to me.