Thursday, November 1, 2012

Challenge accepted, Beth: Gratitude Day 1

My sweet friend, who was once more of a "that's-what-I-want-to-be-like-when-I-grow-up" figure (young mother and teacher at my mom's school), has a blog that I follow and love to read.  People tell me I'm a good writer.  HA!  BETH is a good writer.  I could read her blog all day long.  Doesn't matter the topic.  She always sucks me right in.  In fact, if she wrote a book about the most boring event in our nation's history, I would still read it because she'd written it.

Among her amazing posts was one I stumbled upon tonight, on my way to bed.  In it, Beth mentioned a simple little word called gratitude.  You can actually read the post here, if you'd like.  Trust me, you will not be sorry you did.

At the end of said post, she challenged her readers to write down 5 things they are grateful for each day during the month of November.  Now I've heard of the gratitude journal concept in a variety of forms, but unlike the others, who inspired but did not convince, Beth succeeded in all aspects, and I accepted her challenge.  My blogging efforts have been down right pathetic as of late, and ironically, part of the reason for that is because I have felt ungrateful, and naturally lacking a desire to write about it.  The ironic thing is that it's often in our darkest hour that we recognize what we have, when we make the effort to look.  And writing is a good way to do that.  Said Beth, "On one of the worst days of my life I could see the beauty in that day."  And it's because she chose to write down the 5 things she was grateful for, even though initially she couldn't imagine coming up with even one thing!  I want to be better about seeing the beauty.  Sometimes I do on my own, but other times I need a reminder to look for it.  I think this is a great start to getting back on track with blogging and also having a more positive perspective so that I better recognize the beauty in an ugly situation.

Since it's late and I'm exhausted, I'll make tonight's list a short one and simply mention the first 5 things I'm grateful for today that come to my mind.

1) Neil.  In all forms.  His common sense, positive attitude, hard-working nature, patience, and the fact that he loves me and tells me so every single day.

2) Halloween is over.  Don't get me wrong.  I like Halloween.  But I'm glad it's over.  I am finding that the older my kids get, the more is expected of me around the holidays.  Halloween this year was no exception.  I was up until 3am night before last punching gift tags, making endless batches of muddy buddies (okay, four) and dividing them between 50 cellophane baggies for the kids' classmates.  Then there's the rice krispie treats I signed up to bring to Ryan's preschool Halloween party (because all the other sugary crap they were given wasn't enough), not to mention the batch of homemade rolls I somehow took it upon myself to offer to bring to a Halloween party we attended that night.  Why do I over-commit myself?  I suppose I could blame it on sleep deprivation.  Anyway, the kids had their fun, ate their candy and junk, got to knock on lots of doors, and I'm grateful that we're done for another year.

3) My faith.  This is something I've relied heavily on these recent weeks as election season has heated the country.  I have many friends whose political views oppose my own, and it has been difficult to not allow this reality to discourage me.  My faith, however, has not only strengthened my beliefs, but it has offered comfort as well as a greater desire to spread love, even to those who aren't so loving right now.

4) Lay's Kettle Cooked Jalapeno chips and Pepsi.  My weakness.  And, sometimes, when I'm tired but have to finish edited photos for a patiently-awaiting client, my strength.

5) Chase Ian Fleming, who graced the earth with his presence for the first time seven years ago today.  Born to a loving mother (and father), who had wanted him for a VERY long time.  This mother I speak of happens to be my best friend, so it's safe to say I was just a tiny bit overjoyed when I received that phone call around 9:00am on November 1, 2005 announcing Chase had come, and was, as Wendy described, "beautiful."  Happy Birthday, Chase!  I am thankful for you.

It really doesn't take much digging to think of 5 things to be grateful for each day.  Hopefully I can stay on top of this during the month of November.  It's gonna be a busy one, between the kids' birthdays, Neil leaving the country for a week, Thanksgiving, and other holiday preparations.  But I certainly don't need to write a novel every night, so I think I'll be just fine.  Until tomorrow...  


mistyb said...

LOVE this!! I usually only do one thing but I think I'll try 5 also and add some pictures and get back on blogging better!! We can totally do this friend!
p.s. I'm totally grateful for you!

Wendy said...

What a great idea this is. I, too, have heard of and seen this concept many times over the years, but have never forced myself to participate. I probably should try it sometime. Your list was awesome, and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to see my son's name at the end of that. How sweet of you to include him, and reading that small paragraph made me tear up a little. Can't wait to check in on your list each night... :)