I decided not to do 30 days of thankfulness on my Facebook this year and I haven’t put up a gratitude post here either. It’s not that I don’t feel thankful or that I don’t want to share it. It’s just that I don’t really update my Facebook status much and it felt disingenuous to start doing it just for November. I didn’t want to feel bad if I forgot to update one day or if I forgot someone or something that I was really grateful for.
Last week the same yoga instructor whose blog post I shared before based her class on the idea of focusing on what we do have, rather than what we do not. Here’s her post on the subject. The basic idea is that the universe reflects back to you whatever you present, so if you are thinking only of what you don’t have, you will only get back more emptiness. During the class I wasn’t so keen on her premise. Why would the universe be so vindictive as to only give us back what we reflect? Clearly if you are depressed you are presenting that feeling to the universe and what if that was all that you got back? How would anyone dig themselves out of that hole? But somehow her words and ideas still stuck with me.
Yesterday morning I went out to get coffee for the husband and I after our coffee maker went all nutso with our daily brew. The kids and I had just been Facetiming on the phone with my sister and my niece. My little ball of joy is 9 months old now and she was having a great time waving to Brady when he waved and clapping when he clapped. I was lamenting the fact that I would be spending the day with my in-laws instead of my own family. I was sad that my niece is growing up so far away and that I’ve missed her sitting up and crawling and clapping and waving. The words of my instructor came back to me and I thought to myself, instead of thinking of what I’m missing I should think of how lucky I am.
So instead of focusing on the things I don’t have I decided to be grateful for the fact that we can Facetime. I can see my niece doing all those amazing things in real time. My mom and my sister can talk face-to-face with my boys several times a week. I decided to be thankful that I have a loving family to share the holiday with, even if it isn’t my family of origin. And it changed my whole outlook. The real meaning of the words became clear to me when I was faced with a real situation.
So today, the day after Thanksgiving, I decided to share the fact that I am blessed and I am grateful for it. I am thankful for so very many things that I could never list them all. My life is filled with amazing people. I am lucky to such an awesome family – a husband who is the best friend anyone could ask for and two bright, beautiful, amazing little boys. I am lucky to have a mother who is always, always there for me and who sets the bar so high for being a parent. I am blessed to have a sister with whom I have an amazing relationship and who has built an amazing family herself. I am thankful for my niece, whom I love with all my heart even thought she is far away. I am so lucky to have in-laws who love me as if I was always a part of their family. I have friends who are so loving and helpful and supportive and funny that I don’t know what I did to deserve them. And I’m grateful for everyone who reads this blog, it blows me away that people regularly read the words that I put down.
So, yes, I AM thankful, even if I don’t say it all the time. I hope that, even if I don’t share it in words, I am reflecting it in my actions everyday.
How could I not be grateful for these two?