I’m experiencing some growing pains, trying to figure out this journey from stay at home mom to work at home mom. It’s easy to focus on the pain points and complain; to overlook all the goodness that is happening and all the ways we are improving day by day.
I had a blog post well underway this morning, when I got really stuck. I’m still working on finding my voice for the Marriage Startup blog, and I knew what I’d written was wrong. It was accurate in every way, but it wasn’t worth sharing. The tone was not something I want to perpetuate in my life, or in our listeners’ ears.
So I stopped. I asked for Guidance. I got re-centered. And the answer is Gratitude.
Leslie has begun a new ritual with the kids (mostly Sophia), based on the Five Minute Journal (which we’re doing a Living Review on in season 2 – stay tuned). One aspect of their morning journal routine focuses on Daily Gratitude. Since this journaling occurs before breakfast, Sophia almost always lists “Food!” as something she is profoundly thankful for. I love her prescient gratitude: she’s thankful for that which has not yet occurred, but which she has faith will be provided. Her gratitude opens the door for abundance.
Today, I want to share my gratitude list, with the understanding that things don’t have to be perfect before we can be thankful. That’s grace right there, isn’t it?
- I am thankful that Leslie texted me this morning when I was putting Ethan down for his nap and told me to plan on leaving as soon as the boy was asleep. I so needed that permission to just GO, with no strings attached.
- I am thankful for the blue skies and relatively warmer weather we are due to have all week.
- I am thankful for our neighborhood cafe, Jackson’s Corner, and this bar table at the window, the sill of which is a perfect foot rest while I write.
- I am thankful for the big changes we are making in 2015. We have some Big Hairy Audacious Goals, and we are working together to bring them to fruition.
- I am thankful for my friend who offers affordable day care out of her house, so that I can take the two littles to someone I trust for a few hours during the week.
- I am thankful that I have a true and willing partner in my husband. That I get to grow and change with him, and that we’re stronger together that way.
- I’m thankful for my chiropractor who has a plan for mending my weird, dislocating ankle, and that it’s already feeling better after one super-focused appointment.
- I’m so, so thankful for this podcast. It has been life-changing. I very much doubt that we would be where we are now, in our relationship, if we hadn’t begun this 6 months ago.
- I’m thankful for my growing sense of autonomy and independence from the sole identity of “Mommy.”
I find that with gratitude comes a sense of expansiveness. I see my world with a bigger lens. I gain perspective. I’m happier about my life when I’m focusing on the positive instead of the negative.
The magic of gratitude extends to my relationships, too. If I am focusing on the good parts of my marriage, the things I love best about my husband, the strengths (and not the weaknesses) of my children, I relate to them with a greater sense of delight and appreciation. And they respond by increasing those attributes upon which I place emphasis.
None of this is new. We hear this all the time: The Greatness of Gratitude; Thankfulness is your Best Business Strategy; How to Harness the Power of Gratitude and Make Millions! Blah, blah, blah.
It’s really easy to roll your eyes at the “marketese” and ignore the truth hidden under it: Gratitude is offering a perspective shift. What you focus on, you build. What you invest in, grows.
It reminds me of the two questions that Krayna suggested Leslie might ask himself when he’s feeling defeated.
Asking these two questions is an invitation toward Gratitude, and a reminder that choosing thankfulness is a discipline – it is not always easy to look for the good in every situation. It’s not always easy to summon the faith to hope for the things unseen – even something as simple as a good breakfast coming your way.
It is sometimes very hard to choose Gratitude. But it is always worth it. We are stretching ourselves this year to begin our days by focusing on the good. Will you join us?