I’ve seen this idea floating around social media for a few years now, writing down something you are grateful for each day of November. I’ve loved the idea but sort of brushed it off–as in “I’m grateful for so much, but I know that,” or “I don’t want to be one of THOSE people,” or, “I’ll just tell myself each day what I’m grateful for.” Yea. Whatever.
I love challenging myself to dig deep and grow in my beliefs and appreciation for the world around me. It’s something I do. My husband calls me ‘deep’. I’m okay with that. So, when I decided I wanted to this 30 days thing, I made a decision that I’d make it about more than just “I’m thankful for my mom. I’m thankful for my baby. I’m thankful for my house.” Because while I am thankful for all those things, it felt superficial to me. And so, if I was going to commit to this task, I wanted to really think about what I was saying and mean it. In more than a sentence or two.
It’s been an interesting exercise so far–because while I thought it’d help me grow spiritually and emotional it’s really just sort of making me feel like crap! I write something, and it’s hard not to ‘hashtag’ “first world snob”. I mean, I don’t want to downplay my gratitude or thoughts–because they are real–but I am seriously overwhelmed by how ‘much’ I ‘have’. By just how lucky I am.
I challenge you to start doing this. We are halfway through the month–you’ve got 15 days left to tally–and it will be totally worth it. Challenge yourself to think beyond your daily routine and surface love and really dig deep. What makes you tick–what makes you you–and what can you be grateful for making you that way?
15 14 days so far (I started a day late), accompanied by, eh-hem, BEAUTIFUL instagram photos:
Nov: 2: I am beyond the moon and stars grateful that I get to be not only Tessa’s mother, but A mother. The greatest most gratifying thing that has ever happened to me and I know how lucky I am. I’m grateful I was taught how to be a mother by my mother, who taught me to love unconditionally, be patient, and be me. Beyond grateful for this little girl ^^^^^^
Nov. 3: Grateful for the opportunities life has given me and the people and things that have hurt me along the way. Grateful for the struggles that made me who I am today and taught me to create my own destiny. Grateful for where I’ve landed this far and that I’m able to work doing something I love (sometimes from my kitchen table with my baby pulling on my shirt to come play). If I never struggled, I’d never be right where I am today.
Nov. 4: Grateful I got to spend nap time painting the walls of this space to being creating a perfect play space for our kids. Grateful I can fully appreciate the frivolousness of chalkboard paint and fun design…grateful that goring up my mom taught me to be thrifty and craft and that when we didn’t have a lot of money we learned to be grateful for what we did have. Grateful that my parents taught us to seek not material things but the bigger things, like love, family, traditions, and giving to others to make us happy. Grateful a coat of paint on a wall can make me happier than any Gucci sunglasses or Coach handbag or receiving more than giving.
Nov. 5: Art. All forms, I’m grateful for it. It’s made me friendships, memories, and gotten me through my own rough patches and personal struggles. A fantastic release with merely instant gratification. A tangible form of emotion and a good friend of mine. Grateful I can enjoy it too. Grateful to have all my senses and the ability to enjoy it all.
Nov. 6: Grateful for the rain. Makes things beautiful and gives us reason for the occasional pajama day, curled up on the couch with your loves and a good movie. Not to mention, in some form, it gives us sustanance and health. Plus the irony that it brings is sometimes refreshing.
Nov. 7: Grateful for my husband. Grateful for his love language…I know he loves me because of the everyday things he does…like today. When without words he knew to take over everything when he got home because it’s been that kind of day…you know, the important things. And the crappy chores, like the dishes, and dinner. I love that he doesn’t waste money on flowers or jewelry and instead invests in me–with foot rubs, and laughter and time spent. I’m so lucky. And grateful….
Nov. 8: Thankful for the library and the playgroup today….not only because its free entertainment and makes Tess happy etc. …but especially today because it is keeping us from getting too sad about mom and dad not coming this weekend as planned. However, I’m grateful I will hopefully see them in two weeks instead. Grateful I have the opportunity to see my parents to often, and that my daughter will know them well.
Nov. 9: Grateful for this family. The family I’ve married into. It really sucks living in a different state than your own immediate family, but when you have an awesome second family it makes it a lot easier. They’ve always made me feel welcome and for the 9 years I’ve known them I’ve felt a part of them. If I can’t be home for important events or mom’s cooking’ at least I can be with them! Grateful for family.
Nov. 10: I am grateful for the food that we eat. That we can eat fresh and yummy food and feed our child healthy well balanced meals. That we don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from and we can enjoy a warm bowl of homemade soup on a cool Sunday evening as a family. Lucky. And grateful.
Nov. 11: I am grateful for the sacrifices all our military families make that I know I would not have the courage to do myself. Not only grateful for the people who fight for our freedoms and safety but for the people who are waiting for them at home, worrying about them, and loving them and their children even amidst the physical absence. for choosing to live the life that you do and doing so honorably. Thank you. (That’s my grandpa, isn’t he handsome 😉 )
Nov. 12: Grateful for my health and that of my family and friends. Grateful that a cold has been my biggest health scare this past year and I can say the same for my family and friends–and if there were other scares grateful things seem to be on the up and up. Grateful that while, battling a cold at the same time as the baby does suck, I know this too shall pass and we will be back to normal soon–which is more than so many people get to say. Grateful I live in a country where vaccinations are made accessible and science is on the forefront of breakthroughs to keep us healthy and our children safe. Grateful I have a freaking ‘snot sucker‘ (really!??!)..and tissues with location (seriously?!?!)…and grateful that when I had to run to the post office this morning to mail out client packages, putting a winter hat on my bed-head was an acceptable option (kind0f).
Nov. 13: Grateful for the opportunity I had to get a college education. For the ability to be a free thinker, and that I am a woman. Grateful for the opportunity to keep learning and to keep making my own decisions and creating my own opinions. Grateful I have a thirsty mind and a hungry heart. Grateful for the opportunities I have to learn, teach and enjoy.
Nov. 14: Grateful for the quiet moments. Grateful for the moments interspersed in our days that allow us to stop and take tally, or, smell the roses as they say. Grateful that I live in a country that this is a possibility. For the peace we live in on whole, and the rights we have to do so. Grateful that the battles I fight, and the worries I carry are out of personal vendetta and convictions and not forced upon me. That I can go to bed at night in the peace of my own home without worrying about what might be happening outside my window or if my loved ones will killed tonight. Thankful that violence is generally not the answer in the country where I live.
I’ll update the final days at the end of November. Until then–tell me, what are you grateful for?!?