Every morning I wake up and remind myself how lucky I am. For no reason, just lucky to be healthy and happy. Such basics of life that are so easy to take for granted. To me, gratitude is a feeling and it should come naturally and meaningfully. Sometimes, however, we need to be redirected out of a funk and back onto a positive mindset. Expressing your gratitude can help with that.
I will also admit I’m not always in a grateful state of mind. I can take things for granted and have high expectations, which can drive me to behave inappropriately at certain times. In my experience, gratitude helps to drive out any resentment or annoyance.
On this day of giving thanks, I want to share the things I am most grateful for. I typically recite what I am thankful for in my head, so this was fun to write it out and elaborate on each one. Remember, the way you speak to yourself matters, and one thing you can do starting today is speaking kindly to yourself.
My Resilient Family
I am so fortunate to have a family like I do. We are women-powered and I wouldn’t be where I am at if it weren’t for the women in my life. My mom especially has shown me the value of hard work and being strong AF. And I am fortunate to have my sister with our unique sense of humor and how close she is from me..literally down the street!
The Chance to Slow Down
This is a subtle thing, but one thing I am grateful for during this crazy time of COVID has been the opportunity to slow down. What I mean by that is being rerouted in terms of where I spend my time and energy with everything that COVID has forced upon us. And being more thoughtful in my work and even who I interact with.
A Supportive Partner
This sounds so cliche but I am so thankful to have a partner like Pat. We have gotten even closer this year with staying and working from home and rarely have we gotten on each other’s nerves. I am thankful to have someone whom I can just hang out with in silence. That still means so much to me. Sometimes I think he knows me more than I know myself. This social isolation has been a test of some sorts that we are passing, as we are growing closer together every day.
A Healthy Body
On April 1st of this year, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It is amazing how resilient and strong a human body can be, especially to be able to grow what started off as a bunch of cells to currently this seven-pounder inside me. I also am grateful every day that I can get my daily walks in (more like daily waddles in now) and to enjoy that quiet time with my dog. I make sure to allow her her precious sniffs along the way.
Another “covid lining” to this year has been the opportunity to create this blog. As a natural creative at heart, I’ve always wanted an outlet to express myself. Waking up before the crack of down has given me the peace of dark quiet mornings to hang out with myself and reflect on what’s important to me. I feel very accomplished when I am in the flow of writing. Similar to reading, it’s that feeling of being immersed in another world. There is no sense of time and space. Things just flow and I love that.
My Mental Strength
So many of us are experiencing heightened anxiety, depression, and overall unease because we’ve been forced to adapt to this new way of life as naturally social humans. Whenever I have insights that help me cope, I feel grateful. I want to be there for those close to me who are still struggling. Even though that can be hard at times, I make an effort to just be present. You never know what that can mean to someone who needs it most at the right time.
It is crazy to think that a dog can teach you more than you know about yourself. She has taught me the value of patience, remaining calm, time management, and ultimately the foundation of motherhood. I feel prepared for motherhood thanks to her. I am forever grateful she came into my life eleven years ago. Back story: I adopted her from Brazos Animal Shelter in college back when I lived in an apartment with strict dog weight rules. I went in one day and wanted to take home a catahoula puppy but also didn’t want to get in trouble for having a dog that would grow to be 75+ lbs. I went back the next day and she had just arrived. Her kennel card said “I love water, tractors, and horses.” Needless to say, I turned that country dog into one spoiled city-living pup!
Grateful for being grateful? Absolutely! For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been so appreciative and thankful for everything that’s been given to me—when my mom would get me McDonald’s happy meal or when we would receive new school supplies or even groceries. My sister and I were no strangers to “Thank you’s.” I can’t wait to teach my daughter to express gratitude. Don’t force gratitude as a behavior though. It is a feeling after all.
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