State of Appreciation

July 27, 2020

Meghan Donovan at home

I’ve been feeling rather out of sorts of late. I tried to take some time off at the beginning of the month to rightsize the burnout, the frustration and the exhaustion I was feeling but sadly it didn’t seem to work.

Then came the reality of really, really needing to find a new apartment and I approached the whole search with persistence but also a real sense of loss and mourning. I love my current apartment. It’s been the best quality of living I’ve known during my nearly 10 years in New York so the thought of packing up and saying goodbye was leaving me bitter and angry. It felt unfair despite my knowing it was inevitable. Having to do so during a pandemic? Unimaginable.

Largely over the last few months I’ve been doing well. I found solace through writing and through my community (you guys!) and through my support system. Recently my  businesses seemed to (thankfully) rebound after inevitable setbacks in March and April and I had been blessed with several opportunities I was overjoyed with. I was sharing my feels like in this post, You are not Alone and in Things I’ll Remember from The Pandemic. I was taking care of my mental health and I was keeping busy.

And for those that know me well – and those that have followed here for a long time – you know that I’m generally a rather positive person.

But July hit me like a ton of bricks and the reality of several stressors in my personal life happening behind the scenes and my impending move had given me a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t want to move and I was so, so tired of moving…6 apartments in nearly 10 years.

I was annoyed by the costs of it all, of the piling up to-dos and the stress levels rising and the sleepless nights worrying about everything I needed to figure out. Bitter Betty status had been officially reached.

I felt unmotivated, annoyed…

Then last weekend I was finally returning to a book I’ve been somewhat slogging through since the Fall: Super Attractor. (I loved Gabby Bernstein’s book The Universe Has Your Back and read it quickly and while I have had a lot of great takeaways from Super Attractor for some reason it hasn’t been as much of a page turner).

As I curled up to make progress, nearing the end of the book, I landed on the chapter all about appreciation. The words that followed really hit me like a ton of bricks in a moment I needed the wake up call:

Appreciating what you have puts you in the right state of mind to receive better opportunities, and it makes you more receptive to creative solutions you otherwise might have missed. It clears space for you to pay attention to the kindness and support of others.

Gratitude practice is not new to me – I largely do it every day via my 5 Minute Journal. But I couldn’t have been further from any sort of gratitude practice when it came to my new apartment. Sure, I was happy I had found something that met a lot of my search criteria. But I was also allowing all my other emotions get the best of me. “I’m just not excited about this move” I said over and over again to friends and family members.


I had let my sour attitude outshine a lot of what I should have been appreciating in that moment. I found a seemingly nice place (you never know with NYC apartments until you’ve lived in them!), I was getting to stay in my beloved Brooklyn Heights, I had friends and family who were excited for me, I had a community that showed up and celebrated it for me (and even several followers who live in my neighborhood who DM’d me to offer to help me move!!), I had opportunities come knocking from designers, art agencies, paint companies, professional organizers and more that wanted to work with me to make it my own and make it feel special.

And, in an even bigger picture, I had my health and the means to make the move happen. In short, reading this chapter on appreciation was a welcomed kick in the pants to realize all I have instead of all I feel I am losing.

Sometimes we all need a perspective change. And sometimes we need a reminder of how good we have it when the outlook feels less than stellar or feels overwhelming. And this year has, in fact, been overwhelming.

I’m grateful that I had this light bulb moment to remember all I have in my life that I can and should be expressing gratitude for more regularly. And if you have something challenging you right now, I hope you’ll take a moment as you finish reading this blog post, to think of how you can use the sentiment of appreciation to change your perspective, too.

And one better? As soon as I decided to change my mindset, I landed on a vision for my new apartment that genuinely got me excited! I learned you can get a faux-Parisian inspired mantle and I decided to run with that as the centerpiece for my apartment vision board. I am now pursuing Operation: Create a Parisian apartment in Brooklyn! Truly goes to show that once you start to appreciate what you do have, new opportunities come to life.

p.s. my thoughts on turning 35 and easy ways to upgrade your every day.

[Self Portrait taken April 2020]

comments +

  1. Lisa says:

    I love this, and it was the perfect reminder that I needed to read this morning. July has been a harder month for me as well. I think it’s brave to be honest about how difficult this time can be. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Meghan says:

      Something in the water with July – or it’s just that we’ve all hit a breaking point with exhaustion from all this! Really appreciate the comment, Lisa – always nice to feel less alone in this sort of thing!

  2. Juyoung says:

    Love this, Meghan! I definitely have been trying to focus on things I’m grateful for recently.

    P.S. I’m very excited to see how you decorate your new space!!

  3. Melanie says:

    This spoke to me – this whole year has felt so sad and like a loss of time to me personally and where I am at in life. I have been doing a gratitude journal of sorts and trying to find small things to be grateful for, but sometimes life still feels overwhelming. I think things truly hit for me when I realize what a different set of circumstances I could be facing and how I can either be sad about it or I can make the best of it. I have to remind myself a lot because I am not as positive of a person by nature!

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