I can’t say enough about the power of genuine gratitude. Not only is it great for others to know you appreciate who they are and what they do, but it is just a good feeling to feel gratitude.
When most people think of gratitude, they think of saying “Thank you” after getting something or and polite acknowledgement of something. I’m speaking of a feeling, something that lasts long after the words “thank you” exit your mouth. I’m talking about walking and living in a constant state of gratitude. There are so many wonderful things in this world that we take for granted. This blog post has the potential to reach people I would have otherwise had no opportunity to speak it to because of technology. That is something to be thankful for! The fact that I don’t have to hand write this post is a blessing (I have very difficult to read handwriting). I have a computer of my own to make this post. That is something to be thankful for.
Throughout the day, name at least 10 things you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be something grand or extravagant. Just see if you can feel gratitude in everything you come into contact with today. Think about what your life would be like if you didn’t have it and feel those feelings of gratitude.
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I recently lost a dear friend. He and I had just recently reconnected. We had communicated over social media, but hadn’t had any face time in a couple of years. Two weeks after that reconnection, he was gone. I won’t go into detail about the circumstances around his passing, but it has truly sparked in me a desire to connect with people on a level that may not be comfortable for me, but necessary.
This post is just to make people think about the world around them. Oftentimes we are so absorbed in our social media connections, playlists, books, daydreams, etc., that we don’t see what is going on around us. We don’t recognize when things are out of place or out of the ordinary. We have become too afraid to ask questions or simply reach out and have some actual contact or intimate interaction.
Not everyone is okay even if they look okay. Take the risk of offending someone or embarrassing yourself for the sake of another’s well-being. Put down your phone and observe your surroundings. Take the time to notice things and recognize when things are different.
I am writing this to say that we have become too accustomed to thinking of how things could go wrong if we were to take action. We have also learned to value our perceived intentions more than our actual intentions. Trust your instincts. You have them for a reason.
We moms can really do a number on ourselves. We pile on unrealistic expectations, sprinkle on a little comparison and competition, and then criticize ourselves when everything is not perfect. We also take ownership of things we have very little control over. As moms, we need to give ourselves a break.
My teenage son wears braces. He has been wearing them for almost a year now and I have been in a constant battle with him about his oral health. You must be extra vigilant with braces as bacteria and lurk around in those hard-to-reach places. I bought him a water pick, special mouthwash, special picks, and special floss. Each time I would take him to get his braces tightened, the orthodontist would tell him to work on his brushing. I would hear that and take that as a personal hit. I felt I should be doing a better job of making him floss, pick, swish, and brush. So each day after each tightening, he and I would go into the bathroom to practice flossing, picking, swishing, and brushing. Each time my son promised to do better, but at his next cleaning he was told the same thing by the hygienist. As she grabbed the mirror to show him the results of poor oral care I hung my head in shame. Although he had no cavities or any other tooth decay, there was visible bacteria buildup around his gum line. Then something else happened. The hygienist then told him that his mother was not responsible for making sure he brushes his teeth properly. Deep down I knew this, but it still did not stop me from feeling like a failure as she scraped away the ick from his teeth. I felt relieved that this nice hygienist took the time to say those words. It made me feel better having her let me off of the hook I had painfully placed myself on.
I intend to call back to let her know how much I appreciated her acknowledgment of something that I should be more conscious of. Certainly as mothers we will continue to attempt to pick up our children’s slack, but we must realize that we aren’t responsible for doing all the things they are capable of doing themselves.
We have all been planted. Some can bloom in their present situation. Some need to be uprooted and transported to an environment conducive to growth. Regardless of your situation, you owe it to yourself to blossom.
Sometimes change needs to happen. If your present situation is not to your liking, by all means, do something to improve it. Things could always be worse, but they could also be better. There is always a bright side. Don’t be afraid of the light. The grass is not always greener on the other side, but if there is no sunlight on your side of the fence, nothing will grow. Make a move! Go out and find the sunlight to fuel your growth.
We have all heard “Out with the old, in with the new.” It sounds so pleasant, but it can be very difficult. Sometimes it can happen abruptly and without warning.
If you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that I went through a season of unfortunate events. The first unfortunate event was the second accident in my minivan. I was on my way to the body shop to get an estimate for a rear end collision that caused some minor damage to my rear bumper. I had planned on doing some Christmas shopping as well. I had my mother and my two-year-old son in tow at the time when a pickup truck crossed the median, T-boned another truck which in turn hit me, pushing my van into oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the highway. The first truck went on to hit the car behind me. Fortunately, the oncoming traffic was far enough away not to hit me again. After the dust cleared, I checked to see if my mom and son were okay, snapped my dislocated thumb back in place (yeah, I’m tough like that), I realized all of my airbags had deployed which meant my van was surely a total loss. The drunk driver who hit us had destroyed my mommymobile and caused so much damage and injury to others as well. The last person hit was seriously, but not life-threateningly injured.
The paramedics came to take us to the hospital and as I could see that my mom and son were okay, I wondered what lingering aches and pains would follow us in the upcoming days, and possibly years to come. I hoped my thumb was not broken. It wasn’t, and my mom and son were fine (my mother and I needed several weeks of physical therapy, but on the whole, we were okay). After my family and I made it safely home from the hospital, I started to think about my mommymobile. I had purchased it when I was still working. Now as a full-time, stay-at-home mom, my family was living on just one salary. I wondered if we would be able to get another vehicle comparable to the one we had. I loved that van. Fortunately, we were able to get a used van identical to the one we had. This one even had all of the bells and whistles my base-model had not. Something I loved was replaced with something better.
I think of this story when I have challenging moments in my life. There are times when I need to make room for better things. I cannot get too attached to something that may be blocking the place of something better. Go with the flow. Allow things to be transient. Oftentimes we tend to hold on to things with the mindset of scarcity. The world is abundant. We have more than we need at our disposal and should never hold on so tightly to things with the belief they cannot be replaced.
I would like to challenge all of us to make room. Purge the old and tattered and make room for something new. We deserve it!
In many of my posts I mention how I am a work in progress. I am on a constant journey toward becoming the best and happiest person I can be. Part of that process is reconnecting with things that make me happy. Years ago I began restoring furniture. I would find an old ratty, damaged piece and make it look brand new again. Sometimes I would re-purpose it into something entirely different, or I would simply restore it. I had such pride in the finished product and looked forward to my next project. The whole process was invigorating. I would search antique markets, thrift stores, and yard sales for the perfect piece, then I would plan what I would do with it. I took pleasure in selecting my tools, paint, fixture, and various accouterments to make the piece complete. I really threw myself into it. I would spend hours making it just right and I loved every minute of it. Some of the items I would give away as gifts and some I would keep for myself. Nonetheless, I felt a sense of accomplishment with the finished product. It was not only the act of creating something, but the entire experience. I used my time for something that fed my soul.
As I have mentioned in other posts, I went through a very challenging period a few years ago. I really disconnected at that time. I disconnected from my passions, friends, and myself. I stopped doing many of the things that made me happy. I stopped communicating and spending time with my friends because I was embarrassed by who I had become. I had become overweight, sad, and just not a pleasant person to be around. I had lost all motivation to live. I was merely existing.
Thankfully, I made it through that challenging period and I am continuing to reconnect with the things and the people I love. Recently, I reconnected with a very good friend who shares my interest in restoring furniture. Just seeing some of the things he’s done made me want to get back into restoring furniture too. I had collected several pieces that were just quietly waiting in my shed in the hopes they would eventually see the light of day. A couple of weeks ago, I pulled out an old vanity that belonged to my great-great aunt. It was in okay condition, but required a lot of work. I gratefully welcomed the challenge. It wasn’t my best work as I have been out of practice for a while, but I was still very proud of it. There are a few more things I need to do to it, but I was so thrilled by the way it turned out I couldn’t wait to take a picture of the almost finished product.
Reconnecting with my hobby and my friend have had amazing results on my soul. Renewing the friendship has led me to reestablish other relationships and connect to the part of me that was truly living life.
I would like to challenge all of us to reconnect to some of the good people and things we may have disconnected from. As we reconnect, we may find even more food for our souls.
Becoming a professional author can require writers to do strange and unnatural things. These acts against nature can include, but are not limited to: stepping away from the computer screen, leaving…
Source: The Things We Do to Promote the Books We Write