Sometimes it takes a bit of a shake-up for us to realize what we have. Maybe we just have to have our days not go quite as planned. Maybe we have to be in a funk. Who knows. What I do know is that my life has been turned on its ear lately. Normally this is the quiet time of year for us. About a month after school has started, students have settled in, the leaves start to turn, weather cools off, and we have yet to start the rush of the holiday season. But this year we just can't seem to catch a break. The stress is showing itself wherever it can-our health, our sleep patterns, our appetites, our stress levels, everything. I said the other day to my husband, "How can I even be expected to catch my breath when each time I try to something else comes barreling around the corner?!" At that point I didn't even have the energy for emotions any more.
Thankfully today I am a bit more rested, a bit more in good health, and working on moving forward. You see, last night and this morning one of the biggest joys of my life reminded me of a simple practice that keeps me from becoming bitter in the face of adversity-gratitude. After an evening of errands and dinner we arrived home and piled into bed-me, husband and son. And hour before bedtime filled with giggles, tackles, talking, and merriment. At one moment I sat back and took it all in-the messed up pillows, my perfect husband laying back on the headboard, our son dancing to his own tune, and this family that I love so dearly in a spot that we all seem to come to. I was filled to the brim and more with gratitude for them and for my infinite luck to have such a wonderful family. Then this morning as I was making my coffee I heard a creak of a door. Our son wandered into the kitchen and up (ooofff...he is 40 pounds now) into my arms. Moms, is there anything better than the soft, warm cheek of a just-woken child? I dropped him into bed with my husband and as I left was serenaded "I love yous" by the boys I love the best. Be still my grateful heart.
Yes, I am still feeling overwhelmed with our current crazy life. Yes, I am feeling quite a bit of stress. But I am going to continue with my daily practice of gratitude. And I encourage all of you to do the same. Remind yourself of all the things you have to be grateful for in your life. Whether it be a perfect family moment, a lovely pair of new shoes, the fact that you made a delicious grilled cheese today, or that you simply remembered to breathe in and out. We all have stress. But we all have blessings as well. Focus on those and you will find the knots in your shoulders melt away just a little. Happy Wednesday.