Remember a million years ago when I got all ranty about not being able to find turkey plates and decided to take back my adored Thanksgiving, the lost holiday? Well, I’m considering myself a bit of a trendsetter because now this theme is everywhere. People on Facebook are writing what they’re grateful for every day. There are memes on twitter and I’m sure there is a Pin Board full of reasons to be thankful.
So, in typical Cristie fashion, I’m boycotting the movement. What? You forgot that I buck against anything that “everyone’s doing” even if I think I freaking started it? Yeah, I do that.
Let me be clear. I’m not, NOT being thankful. I’m just deciding not to shout it from the rooftops every day. It’s not just my counter-culture nature at work here though. It is actually because this gratitude thing has become a bit of the norm for me of late. It started a few years ago with those posts and it never really stopped.
Lest you think I’m trying to say I have some perfect Zen thing down, rest assured I still complain a lot, go a little crazy often and wish for more almost daily. That said, last January when I decided to focus on the every day wonders, something really happened with me. That focus effort to, every day, find something to be in awe of, became a habit and now I find myself stopping multiple times a day feeling the warm and fuzzies over something in my life. And on days when it doesn’t come naturally (which are more frequent now that my life has been turned on its side) I try my best to make it so, for at least a short minute. Sometimes, even in the midst of chaos, you can find me stopping, closing my eyes and thinking of the bright side of the chaos (hint, it usually involves healthy children).
I have no proof as I haven’t been to the doctor in a while, but I suspect there is a change in my blood pressure since I began this practice. Turns out forcing yourself to focus on the good is like exercise-good for the heart and soul.
I won’t be participating in 30 Days of Thanks this year. I won’t even really be writing about what I am thankful for on this blog. But I will be thinking about it, every day, even after the turkey is long gone and Facebook has moved on to something new.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.