Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Gratitude

Sometimes I get a bit down in the dumps.  I feel like I am losing my way with the boys, shouting, getting frustrated and impatient all the time. I feel like the house is always a mess and the boys seem to leave a trail of destruction in their wake.  I turn my back for what seems like 30 seconds and when I look again a whole roll of toilet paper has been unrolled, all the shoes have been taken off the rack, all the books off the bookshelf and there is a pile of sand on the living room floor!  Is this a habit particular to my children? Or maybe it's because they are boys?  Or maybe it's my fault for leaving a roll of toilet paper within reach?  Whatever the reason, it is easy to get bogged down with the frustrations of day to day life as a full time mama and forget to capture the beautiful and precious moments and the sparks of joy.  Sometimes I can't see the wood for the trees, everything seems like such an effort and a bother and there never seems to be enough time for anything, I am always chasing my tail trying to catch up.

I am the sort of person who does a lot of soul searching from time to time and I was having a moment recently, thinking about regrets and opportunities missed, not a good path to go down I know, but it got me thinking that one of the reasons I feel like I don't make the most of life at any given point is that I am always looking for the next thing, the next stage.  I am thinking "things will be better when..." or "when such-and-such happens, they I can be truly happy" or "I will be an amazing mum when...",  I never seem to be able to value just being here. 



But here is where I am, and now with the power of hindsight, the sadness and regret that comes with the memory of missed opportunities, I know that I need to grab here and live it and love it.  I only get here once and with the passage of time visible in front of me in the living and ever changing form of my children, I am even more acutely aware of how much I must appreciate there here and now.

I remember thinking years ago how much I wanted so badly to be a full time mum, that it was all I ever wanted, that life would be complete once I was one and that it was what I had always meant to do.  I read a quote or a phrase or something recently about how you already have the things you wished for yesterday (something to do with the law of attraction or something) and it hit me like a big piano dropping out of a third storey window.  I am living the dream I had all those years ago.  What an idiot I am for not even noticing and appreciating this fact!



A few days ago I read an article about a woman who was paralysed from the neck down after a skiing accident.  These sorts of stories don't usually affect me, I am a strong believer in all things being relative, but this time it really did affect me.  I just thought about how terrible it would be for me to not be able to move, to not be able to look after my children, the one thing that I have wanted my whole life.  It made me me realise that I need to stop whinging and woman up. Start appreciating the things I have and stop focusing on how hard everything is.

One habit that I am trying to pick in order to help me to be more appreciative of life is to express gratitude daily, I am currently using an app on my phone to record 15 things I am grateful for everyday (or when I remember).  This is helping me to appreciate the good things that I have in my life, from being thankful that I have all my limbs in working order to being thankful for big cups of tea, or that my son did a poo today.

Here is today's list:
Today I am thankful that:
1. It has been a beautiful sunny day,
2. None of us got a tic while we were at Forest School,
3. The boys didn't wake till 8am,
4. I had enough fuel to get to Forest School and back,
5. The tadpoles seem much happier in their new washing-up-bowl home,
6. There were vegan biscuits at Nursery Service,
7. I had lots of "I love you mummy, you're my best friend" from Boris,
8. We found a beautiful beetle,
9.I got to catch up with a friend today and that her worries about her health were unnecessary.
10. I received complements on my clothes,
11. The vegetables seem to be growing well,
12. I am feeling energised to keep the house clean and tidy,
13. The bean casserole I made for dinner was delicious,
14. The new blades for my Magic Bullet came today,
15. We can have a quieter day tomorrow.

My word of the year this year is ENJOY.  But I think I have been forgetting it because I haven't been enjoying life that much sometimes. By expressing gratitude for what I have, what I do, who I am etc, I will find more enjoyment it in and more enjoyment in life.  An enjoyable life is manifest because of the gratitude towards what is already here.



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