Tag Archives: gratitude

Three Hundred Fifty Five: Thanks

“In a stuck moment, it’s hard to see positive forces when obstacles are blaring and fears are looming. This is a good time to be grateful. Not grateful for what has us stuck, but appreciating what doesn’t. Gratitude helps us see our situation is a way that can lessen panic, and could open up our thinking to new solutions.”  – “Unstuck” author

Monday, December 22nd

Today the world starts to get a little brighter, one moment at a time. Solstice one eve behind me, I have been reflecting on change and renewal and it is all met a certain degree of fear and trepidation. Will I ever have what it takes to manifest the life that I’ve always wanted?

It’s a trick question, really. I have the life I’ve always wanted because I’m unbearably stuck on figuring it all out. I overanalyze. I dig. I’m terribly shy but I like to ask other people questions about what makes them tick. I make terrible mistakes and know that I’m feeling my way through this messy experience…and might just grow a bit more along the way.

Today, I was tired. Body, mind, and soul tired. My husband took the kids out for a hike for the afternoon. When they returned, the noise was so nerve-wracking that I ended up yelling at the kids, and making everyone feel miserable. I wasn’t exactly the “Mother of the Year” today. I like to feel sorry for myself in times like this. Isn’t it a pity that I don’t have a babysitter? Why must my husband question me about why I’m talking to the kids like this? Why must I have insomnia? Wouldn’t it be nice if they all could let me sleep again and wake up refreshed with it all figured out? 

I am the number one Devil’s Advocate and once in a blue moon, I turn that on myself for the powers of good to ask better questions. Isn’t it wonderful that we’ve chosen to limit our time out to when we can have family and close friends watch the kids so that they have trusted adults around that we trust implicitly to care for them when we can’t? Aren’t I blessed to have a partner who calls me on my bullshit behaviors that need to be addressed – now, not tomorrow? Don’t I appreciate all the stuff I can get done or silent reflection I can enjoy when I am not sleeping? Why would I doubt my husband and children who don’t just let me sleep the day away because they love me and want to be around me and that my boy calling me “bad mommy” is not a personal attack but the only way that my little 4-year-old son knows how to communicate his frustrations for not being able to play with playdough instead of eat his lunch?

I am thankful for my life. I am thankful for the people I’ve brought into it, whom I’ve kept around, and especially those I’ve created. Sometimes I just need to take those critical deep breaths, sit with my knee-jerk emotions for one extra moment, and find that gratitude when it is most needed so I can respond with something other than anger and frustration.

When could you use a gratitude adjustment the most during your day?

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Three Hundred Thirty Seven: Taking Stock of This Year

“There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge… observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.”  – Denis Diderot

Thursday, December 4th

Every time I write a post number on this blog I am reminded of how very close I am to wrapping up this year of turning 40. I’d like to spend New Year’s Eve doing something other than a countdown of the top moments from this year, so I’m going to start the reflections now. On the year, perhaps, and more so on this journey in its entirety.

So to start, a pros and cons list:

Pros:

  • Reflecting on the daily moments, the weeks passed, and the year in its entirety has brought a great sense of awareness of what I’ve done this year.
  • Amidst that, I’ve been more bold in my daily decisions.
  • More than just letting friends in, I think I’ve invited them into my life.

Cons:

  • I still battle procrastination and laziness, and there were times when I felt like I rehashed topics over and over again in this blog.
  • Sometimes I worry that I’ve been a little pious or idealistic in this blog. I don’t know if I really got down to examining some of the deepest character flaws I have.
  • Perhaps it was a brave examination of the life of a middle-aged mother at PTA meetings. Snore.

And now gratitudes…

  • I have reflected on every day this year. It is terribly difficult as a mother of two young children to put aside time to write while also maintaining a house, a social life, volunteer commitments, and intimacy with my husband.
  • Often the blog was a way for me to reflect on the gratitude I have for my friends and family, and privileged life.
  • I had the good fortune to go on a road trip to see so many people dear to me in my Canadian home province. It really was one of the best trips I’ve had, filled with love and beautiful sights. It was truly the best birthday present (for this milestone year) that my family could have given me.
  • Slowly, I shared this blog with a few others in my circles. I’m getting over the insecurities I have about my writing one word at a time.
  • I was able to put a lot of time and words into reflecting on my family – especially the relationship with my husband and children. I realize these are the relationships where I have the greatest potential for growth as well.
  • Many good things have come my way this year. All that my family needs and more.
  • I’m very grateful to live in a cohousing community. It has taught me so much about opening up to others and sharing my gifts while also dealing with my stuff that holds me back from sharing freely and openly.
  • To the gentle passings, the brave births, and the courageous fights for survival…I am very thankful for my health and that of my loved ones while we stand witness to the ebb and flow of life. Today is a gift and I am happy to be here.

How do you reflect on your days?

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Three Hundred Thirty: Thanks

“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.” – Frank Herbert

Thursday, November 27th

I have built an informal rule for myself that I shall write this blog chronologically from the first day of the year to the last…but today it feels right to stir a little chaos in order to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day itself. So in no particular order, I am thankful for…

  • Having family. Having a wonderfully-flawed nuclear family to grow up with and learn to accept for who they are yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Having an extended family of half-brothers who have knocked off the halfness in our relationship. Marrying into a quirky and loving family who have taken me in as their own and love me for me.
  • Having a beautiful friend who might very well be the only person who actually reads this blog accept that the long-winded thank you note for the 40th birthday care package is late-in-the-mail because it has been late-to-be-written…and know that she doesn’t hold this against me.
  • A roof over my head. And it happens to be a beautiful roof built with love by my neighbors’ hands that feels good to live and grow up in.
  • Reaching an age where I trust myself to feel through things with grace. It isn’t an awkward wobble through situations now that I’ve had some life experience under my belt.
  • My girlfriends. I feel like I’ve just broken through some pretty huge social barriers in the last couple years when it comes to bonding with people, and have drawn in some pretty radical new women into my circles. It gives me faith in humanity to befriend such interesting, vibrant, and sweet people. Equally satisfying is it to have women in my life that have known me since I moved to my city 12 years ago and who have nurtured my growth in ways I never imagined needing, that saw me through my wildly educational 20s and pulled me through the workday or the semester at uni, who loved me through all my failed adolescent attempts at nailing the perfect hairstyle/perfect pegged pants/the perfect hockey-haired crush, and even the one friend who built a paper machier volcano with me two days before it was due – who drew penguins on my going away card when I moved from Canada to California, who I’ve known since before I could read, and who knows me like the back of her hand. You are brave souls to be my sisters in life – thank you.
  • My soul mate. Sure, there could be many possible soul mates for me out in this world, but after trying a few on for size, it was He that fit best. Someone that I’ve been incredibly attracted to since day one, and for whom I still have a passion for. He who stirs my creativity. Who catches my little off-hand cultural references and was enchanted when I sang “We’re gonna have a tv party tonight…” at a record store when we agreed to stay home and watch crime dramas which we would eventually detox from because they’re too damn scary. He who didn’t jump into marriage, but waited until the right time. And who jumped in fully once we were married to start a family and build a home together. He who will kick my butt out of bed in six hours when we need to get ready for our kidless trip out of town together to celebrate the anniversary of those nuptials. Loving that man is the best education I’ve had in love, faith, and compromise.
  • Life. Every waking breath. Another chance to try harder. To make things better. To be more present, aware, and engaged with one another.

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One Hundred Sixty Eight: Teaching

“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”  – Thurgood Marshall

Tuesday, June 17th

I’ve always struggled with self-discipline. So I rely more heavily on teachers to keep me focused on my goals.  So when I see brilliant teachers around me, it warrants taking a moment out to thank them for their contributions. They are embodying the best of what we can be for one another – a message of hope.

Our teachers are everywhere. A neighbor. A tai chi sifu. A partner. A child. A friend. And less obvious, a grocery clerk or a garbageman or a librarian. We all have something to share.

Do you take the time to listen to the teachers around you?

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