Friday, 17 April 2020

Weekend Wellness: The Act of Gratitude




I hadn't shared my word for 2020 here or any social media platform, for no particular reason, I just never felt I needed to, or maybe I knew a time would eventually come when it felt like right.  My chosen word for 2020 was GRATITUDE, although most recently I feel like the word chose me rather than me choosing it.   I purchased a gratitude journal for myself and the girls for Christmas and had high hopes of instilling the practice of daily reflection not only for myself but also for the children.  This was a fail.   We talk about gratitude and we often highlight good things in our day at the dinner table, but the journaling  I just didn't push in the end.  While I failed with my girls in the journaling department,  I am happy to report I've been doing it myself.  Not daily but every few days, I steal moments of early mornings to reflect and jot down my thoughts.  It helps to have a beautiful little journal that's on my nightstand and also a special pretty pen just for this purpose.  It sounds silly but haven't a special extra something just adds to the ritual. 





Why did I choose GRATITUDE?


If I am being honest, it has  been an overwhelming  school year.  With a new job, that I enjoy and am grateful for, comes long hours and a steep learning curve.  I was having a difficult time managing all the responsibilities, the long hours, the tasks I was bringing home after being at the school until 6 p.m. and then still working yet another hour or two in the evenings.  I was finding my energy depleted to keep up with my own family, the activities, the cooking, cleaning, shopping, blogging, seeing friends, reading, etc.  It all felt like a lot and although I knew I loved all of those things, I found myself also resenting them at times or feeling "I have to...." rather than "I get to..." I tried to reflect and decide what I needed to let go of,  but that only made me more resentful because I didn't want to cut anything out.  Thus, came the exploration and research into the practice of gratitude.  I felt like I needed to change my internal dialogue and my outlook on my current lifestyle.




Resources?


I am a huge fan of podcasts and listen to them while I get ready in the morning.   So here are a few different episodes that really had me thinking about gratitude and practices surrounding it. 


The Mom Hour:  The Thank You Project with Nancy Davis
This really made me think about all the people I had in my life that I was so thankful for and that I wanted to have strong bonds with.  Although I loved the idea of writing letters to each individual, I knew I just wasn't up to that task.  Instead in my head I choose some people that I wanted to do something nice and special for throughout the year to let them know I was thinking of them.  I made time to go for lunch with my grandmother, and I remember feeling torn between going into the school to do work and sticking to my plan of spending time with my grandmother.   You know what?!?  I had the best time ever with my grandma, chatting, enjoying a lovely meal and my heart felt so full afterwards, that it kept me going through another busy work week.  Also, I've picked up little bunches of flowers to drop off at a friends doorstep, just because.  Take the time to think about the people in my life that inspire, empower and support me, is just the greatest way to put life into perspectives.


                                  



Live on Purpose:  The 3 Keys to Morning & Evening Routines
This had be really just reassess the importance around a ritual for taking time to reflect and write.  My journal is simple so it only takes a few minutes.  Although I enjoyed writing in the evening, I found that it was hard to find true stillness and I was often too tired.  So now, on the days that I don't wake up to go and exercise, I sit to reflect and write in the quietness of my home, with the coffee brewing and before I do my blogging.   This girl is having a session today on her IG stories, so go check her out.





The Science Behind Gratitude (and How It Can Change Your Life) by Derrick Carpenter


Final Thoughts


During this uncertain time in our lives, this practice is evolving and truly making me deeply reflect on our busy lives, mentioned above.  What I couldn't do before, deeply exploring and reflecting on our lifestyle and choices, I am starting to see more clearly during this time of solitude, slower pace of life, and I feel like I may be having a turning point coming to the surface.  I hope to share what this journey has led me to in another post in the near future.  It's not yet complete and I have not yet reached the surface quite yet. 


I would really love to get a necklace with the word Gratitude on it.  

Anyone have a recommendation where I might be able to find something like that? 



Remember to follow along on IG and have a lovely weekend.






14 comments:

  1. I was just gifted that same journal and the timing could not have been better. It's so important right now to reflect on the little things we are grateful for. I love the idea of the thankful project! I'm glad you got to spend time with your grandmother!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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    1. How wonderful! Timing is everything, isn't it. What a thoughtful gift someone gave you.

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  2. Keep this coming pls!

    xoxo
    Lovely

    http://mynameislovely.com

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  3. It sounds like a good routine to have and there are a lot of benefits to writing down what we are grateful for each day! I think something like that will help keep perspective in the current crazy world we live in!

    Hope that you are having a nice weekend :) It's a rainy day here - perfect for continuing to isolate at home!

    Away From Blue

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    1. That's exactly right. My perspective for the most part has been very positive and although I am not going on any trips that we had planned, I feel okay.

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  4. I feel the same way... As much as I hate how life is sort of on 'hold' right now with this virus... it has also been an eye opener to me on just how busy or day to day was... I can actually enjoy cooking dinner now, without juggling several other things at once while trying to get the kids changed and out the door for their activities, I've been getting outside more and we've had a lot more family time. Empty weekends have been new to us, too and I've been tackling one big house organization/cleaning task a weekend, which has been great. However, I do miss normal and all the end of the school things that come in May (esp for my 8th grader). Just wondering what the new normal will be after we all get past this first phase of the pandemic. Journaling is so great I've heard. I seem to have a good morning routine down, but we've been sleeping in a bit later and I need to start getting back up when I used to, to get my workout and quiet time in before everyone wakes up. I really need that before I start my day!! Have a good weekend.

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Everything you said rings true for me!!! I am finding that I am also sleeping in more these days but this week I have been trying to wake up at 6 a.m. so I can get either a run, walk or some blogging done in the morning after my reflections. I am wondering how I am ever going to go back to the busy reality and waking up at 5:30 a.m. and then having nothing left for the family in the evenings.

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  5. That is a lovely journal! I have been thinking about doing a gratitude journal or even a gratitude jar. I always thought it would be fun to re-read the entries on New Years eve! -Meranda@Fairytalesnfit

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    1. That's brilliant!!!! I never thought about re-reading them, but that's a lovely idea.

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  6. What a great journal. Not only do I love the message, I love the cover design too. It would inspire me to write in it daily!

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  7. Sweet Carrie gave me my first gratitude journal. I am forever grateful! Have a tab open to check out Live on Purpose. Struggling to figure out my morning routine these days. There is no routine!!

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    1. I found the first weeks I was sleeping in, not really getting going or getting dressed, but now that I am back at work, I find that I am getting up and getting ready to tackle the day once more, which makes me more productive.

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