Grateful Living- November 2016
So often we get stuck in the day-to-day hustle and forget to acknowledge what’s really important. If someone were to ask “What’s most important to you?” we would be quick to respond with things like family, friends, being a good person, and so on. Unfortunately, we allow ourselves to get sidetracked a lot and temporarily “forget” our priorities. Unanswered emails clamor for our attention, deadlines and “to-do” lists clutter up our minds and steal our attention. As a way to temporarily silence these outside distractions, I like to look back over the past month and remind myself what is beautiful in my life. I try to identify three things that have happened in the past few weeks that I am grateful for and recognize them. I remind myself that these are what make up my life and have value. And for them, I am grateful.
With Thanksgiving as the front and center holiday for November, I decided to do a little something different with my gratitude practice this month. Instead of the top three things I am grateful for, I decided to list one thing for each day. Being present and grateful daily can feel like a lot of work at first, but it’s truly…well, gratifying! When I’ve had a rough day, when I find something I’m grateful for it reminds me that there is so much more to life than whatever it is that had me stressed out or upset. Most days, it’s my family at the core of my blessings and gratefulness.
November’s Gratitude List- 30 Moments I’m Grateful For
1st– That October and end of month at work is over! It was so busy and stressful. The beginning of the month brought a sense of accomplishment as well as a slower pace. I can now focus on really learning and growing in my job instead of just pushing through the day to get everything done.
2nd– Wednesday night family dinners.
3rd– Tonight I’m grateful for coloring books. Visiting my grandmother in the hospital Zach was loud and running around. He’s not even 18 months yet, is teething, barely napped, and is super physical. He never sits still. After a half hour of chasing him and trying to hold him and keep him semi-quite in the intensive care wing, my dad found coloring books and crayons in the waiting room. Zach sat on Daddy’s lap and colored, quietly, for several minutes. It was the first time we were able to stop chasing him.
4th– Positive news about my grandma’s health. She was admitted to the hospital a few days ago. Today it seems like she might just need some therapy and some of the things the doctors have done have helped. Best news we could hope for at this point.
5th– A 65 degree day in Wisconsin in November. I don’t really need to explain why that’s a good thing, do I?
6th– Another nice day! Not as nice as yesterday, but still pretty great for November!
7th– My MRI results showed no reason for the pain I’m having in my arm, which was incredibly frustrating. But on the upside, nothing in my neck or shoulder seems to be really wrong, so that’s good news.
8th– I’m getting more comfortable in my routine at work. It’s starting to get a little easier and slightly less stressful.
9th– A quiet dinner out with Andy. He got a free birthday meal from HuHot so we dropped Zach off at grandma’s for a bit and went out for dinner.
10th– Loving baby hugs 🙂
11th– Last work day of the week. Now for a relaxing evening at home and a day off with my family!
12th– A safe carseat. We got rearended today, quite hard, and Zach not only didn’t even react, but he was actually laughing as we pulled into the gas station to get out traffic.
13th– Dickey’s BBQ. If you’ve never had it, I suggest you try it if you have one near you. It’s darn good.
14th– My baby’s adorable new mimicry-gremlin sounds. He does this super cute growling talk back at us if we do it.
15th– Andy’s willingness to listen to me vent when something is bothering me.
16th– O&H cakes. Yummy!
17th– My mother-in-law did a bunch of cleaning while she watched Zachary today! We appreciate that so much!
18th– Whooo, Friday! End of the work week, beginning of the weekend, and movie night with Andy.
19th– Hitting a couple of estate sales with the family. They weren’t great, but it’s nice to go check them out.
20th– A nice casual day with my family. I love days like this.
21st– Beginning of the work week, but it’s a three day week. So, it’s like today is Wednesday already. Yay for a week half over!
22nd– Grandma made enough progress to move back home from the nursing home.
23rd– Thanksgiving celebration number 1 with my family.
24th– Thanksgiving celebration number 2! Celebrating with the in-laws. And an extra day off of work.
25th– Black Friday shopping! Family tradition with my mom and sister. Such great deals and fun to be out and about shopping in the middle of the night.
26th– Thanksgiving celebration number 3 with my dad’s family. I’m so glad Zach has so much family that loves him!
27th– Dad’s birthday today. Spent some time with him and gave him his gift. One more year with healthy parents.
28th– Snuggling up at home and watching the newest Big Bang Theory DVD’s!
29th– Decorating the tree with Zachary for the first time!
30th– We made it all the way through November with no snow! Also, Zachary was dancing to Andy flickering the lights-like a little toddler rave. So adorable.
Too funny that you should post about gratitude. I’ve dedicated this week to the topic of gratitude on my FB page. Great minds think alike, right?
Gratitude is so powerful is changing your life. I have yet to master the skill. It is a work in progress. I plan on getting a gratitude journal started soon. Thanks for sharing your month of gratitude. Have you noticed any changes in your disposition, how you respond to adversity?
Good question about the changes in my disposition. I would say that I haven’t noticed any change in how I respond to adversity throughout the day. The problem is, I take time at the end of the day to consider what I’m most grateful for that day, rather than being grateful in the moment.
I intend to try to start a new meditation routine to respond better to difficult situations, however. I read a great book called 10% Happier by Dan Harris and it really got me thinking about how meditation might be the key to being more present in every moment and remaining calmer and happier. Definitely check it out if you’re interested in altering your daily disposition!
Thanks for the comment and good luck starting your gratitude journal.