The month of November is a great time to develop a gratitude practice. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, the spirit of the season seems to set the tone for gratitude.
This blog series, #30DaysofGratitude, hopes to share bits of gratitude and create an awareness of how gratitude can change our mindset.
Every day this month, I, along with other writers, teachers and friends, will post about all things gratitude. Come along for the ride and let me know what you are most grateful for every day – I know we can inspire one another.
Gratitude sometimes feels big and daunting. I look at my life and I’m literally grateful for
every aspect of it. I could be here for hours and hours trying to list every.single. thing that I’m thankful for and STILL MISS SOMETHING. See, it’s SO BIG and SO DAUNTING to be grateful (fine, maybe more so if you are the queen of Type A).
To avoid working myself up into a tizzy, I’m just going to go with 5 everyday things that make me grateful. I’m not going to jazz it up too much or pretend these things are anything more than what they are.
1. Calling my mom
It is a luxury that I don’t take for granted. I am both lucky to be very close with my mother, and that my mother is still here to offer me advice as I learn the ropes. While we don’t always see eye to eye, that little lady is the ying to my yang, and I don’t know how I would get through a day without her.
I’m not a great sleeper. I can always fall asleep but fail to stay that way. There are thoughts to be analyzed, situations to make more difficult, doubts to spread (or cast away) and dang it, books to be read. Thankfully, coffee keeps me going and downright perky (see what I did there?). I COULD live in a world without caffeine, but why would I want to?
3. My boys’ laughter
This IS one that I take for granted much too often. It seems that I’ve entered the “behave or else” portion of parenting. Babies and toddlers are just exploring their world. Even preschoolers have wiggle room for misbehavior. Having a child in elementary school apparently means that her or she should KNOW how to behave. I feel like I police behavior a lot, or at the very best, correct often. And, it’s not a job I love.
So, when they laugh, it is fantastic. I’ve got two boys; many, MANY things can elicit laughter. But the best kind is when they get each other rolling and can’t stop. I could listen to them all day. And a bonus is that laughter USUALLY means they aren’t beating the tar out of one another.
4. Getting to check my son’s backpack
I’ve pondered and written about my decision to leave my tenured teaching position to stay home with my children. I often miss my classroom and my old professional life, but I truly enjoy being home to talk with my boys about their days after school. My youngest is just starting preschool, but the delight on his face when he sings me a new song is perfection. And, I’ve kinda decided that digging through a Kindergarteners backpack to discover what they deem as daily treasure is intoxicating. Each piece of paper (and holy hell there are a lot of pieces of paper) brings about a story from his day or something new to discuss. I’m up to my ears in certificates (and paper cuts), but maaaaan, is it great.
5. My messy –ass living room
There’s really nothing better than sitting in my messy-ass living room watching tv with the boys. The pillows are always strew about wildly, there are at least two blanket covering the furniture (or the person sitting on the furniture, and nobody ever knows where the damn remote is, but our living room is great. It’s our space to unwind, to cuddle, and to breathe. Joanna Gaines might groan at the absolute absence of shiplap, but it’s lovely and it is ours.
I often times forget that I’m thankful, or neglect to see what my life would be like without these things. I’m lucky to have a friend like Neen to remind me now and then. Maybe you have a friend like Nina (or maybe YouKnowNeen too—see what I did there again?) or maybe you can take a few out of your day to think of the everyday things that make you feel grateful. Gratitude can start in small gestures and grow into something big.
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