Believe it or not, I spend a fair amount of time reminding myself how to stay grateful. This is somewhat embarrassing because if I really think about it or if I spend a minute looking at my life this shouldn’t be that hard for me. Yet it is hard. I’m cranky on occasion and by on occasion I mean once in awhile and by that I basically mean A SHIT TON. I get cranky. I’m tired. I feel the demands of motherhood heavily at times. I also find myself looking at others and wishing that my life were more like theirs. That I was smarter, or prettier, or more patient, or more grateful- you know then I’d be happy and grateful. Then I’d feel good about myself all the time. I’d be happy then if only.
Except that’s not true.
In my quest for world domination, err, personal fulfillment, I’m learning a lot about myself and one of the things I have learned is that at the end of the day the thing that makes me least happy and feel worst about myself is when I’m ungrateful and negative. When I feel like I’m wasting away the preciousness. Don’t get me wrong I’m not going to become Polyanna anytime soon, that’s not it at all, but I know that my life is filled with just as many blessings as frustrations (if not far more.) So I’m pledging on this Thanksgiving week when we’re all a little more mindful of our blessings to be more mindful daily.
Here’s some of the things I’ve found work…
I know a lot of people do this at night. It’s a great time to look back and think of your day and your giftedness right now in this present moment. I like to do it in the morning because I’m not a good night time ritual person mostly because once I sit I fall asleep…So there’s that. I also like doing this in the morning because I felt like I was in a bad habit of waking up and my first thoughts were negative. Ugh. I’m so tired or I have too much to do or it’s too early. So if I take a few minutes to write 2-3 things that I’m grateful for first thing in the morning then I’ve started my day with positive thoughts I can totally see a difference!
Negative Free Zone/ Challenge/ Time Frame
This is hard for me. But I’m going to try it. Personally it’s very easy for me to fall into speech patterns or habits that are negative. It’s easy for me to say …” I can’t” in a moment of frustration with my kids. Or this is so annoying and on and on. I say these things so often I don’t even notice most of the time. In order to kick this habit I think it’s necessary to set a challenge. I’m going to go a whole weekend or a day or start small between the hours of 7-9 in the morning I wont say anything negative, I have a sneaky suspicion this is going to have a major impact on my attitude.
Don’t Forget The Little Things
I think the advice not to sweat the small stuff is good. I think it’s fairly decent advice to live by. On the flip side though the “small stuff” not the same small stuff that could unnecessarily piss you off but the other stuff (that’s actually not that small but we take for granted so it seems small.) I’m talking about stuff like our health or the health of our children ( I mean that’s really really big stuff but we don’t even think of it much) I guess I should speak for myself here…clean air, clean water, you get my drift. The stuff that we so desperately need and that isn’t a given in everybody’s life. Whatever it may be. Remember it.
Remember Your Old “If Only’s”
And while you’re remembering things remember the things you used to say if only about. If only I met the person I’m supposed to be with, if only we had children, if only we could afford this or that. If only…. For me it’s easy to fall into this trap and then when I have exactly what it is I’ve always dreamed of I forget that the thing I’d dreamed of is mine, all mine. If that’s not something to be grateful for. I don’t know what it is.
Happy Thanksgiving Week. Here’s hoping you lots of gratitude!