Life @ U of T

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Gratitude: Sunset Photos and Keeping in Touch with Friends

Gratitude: Sunset Photos and Keeping in Touch with Friends

During a normal year I’m pretty terrible at texting back and keeping in touch with people, but I’ve noticed that this year especially–when there is no certainty about when I will see someone in person next–that I am prone to being radio silent for months. 

Sometimes a sudden moment will strike me about how much I miss people, and then I realize I haven’t even talked to (or texted) them in a while but am hesitant to do so because I know I will probably end up forgetting to reply again. 

A couple weeks ago, one of my friends from high school decided to send a message to everyone she knew asking for one photo of either a sunset or a sunrise. I was inspired by this because I realised it was a great way to keep in touch/check up on people. I also found that sending or receiving a sunset photo was a way to remember to feel grateful for these friendships. 

Grainy sunset photo of lake and fishermen (mostly blue and purple).
Photo from Lily

Receiving these photos–and being able to send my own prized sunset photograph to my high school friend–was a fun little activity that added to my day. 

Sunrise photo over lake (mostly purple and pink).
Photo from Abby

I used to keep a gratitude journal where I would write down five things that made me happy that day (for example: ate dinner with friends, or saw new buds on the tree outside!), but it ended up feeling like another thing I needed to check off my to-do list. That doesn’t mean, however, that gratitude is a chore. 

Sunset photo over pond, with pine trees (mostly orange).
Photo from Kaylea

I think people (aka me) often mistake gratitude as an attempt at being grateful for everything, but it’s okay to accept when things aren’t going to plan. Gratitude is more about trying to find a positive thought that will make you feel even just a tiny bit happier about your day. 

Sunset photo over frozen lake (mostly blue and orange).
Photo from my mum

Exchanging sunset and sunrise photos with my friends has reminded me to feel grateful for them, even though we are far apart, and to appreciate each day a little more. 

Sunset photo over pond with trees reflecting in the water (mostly pink).
My own best sunset pic

If you’re looking for a little piece of gratitude text a friend and ask them what their best sunset/sunrise photo is! 

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