Gratitude is Everything

A month ago, I started a gratitude journal. I knew that as the holidays came around, there would be quotes and memes about being grateful for your blessings this time of year and I wanted to just have a real and honest conversation with myself instead of telling everyone else what I was thankful for. 

When I know no one else is going to read it and I'm not stressed about judgement or number of likes, what will I really be thankful for? I had to think about being completely honest and not try to say things just because I thought that's what people wanted to hear. What I found out about myself was really helpful- I am thankful for many tiny things, here and there. Somethings are so small and simple that if I didn't stop and think about it, I might not even notice the little joy it gave me. But a lot of little joys add up together to make you feel whole. Writing down these little joys as made a big difference.

But once I started writing, I couldn't stop because each day, I would challenge myself to really think about the tiny details of life that are actually pretty awesome... those small details often fall through the cracks because as an anxious person, sometimes the failures or not-so-perfect moments are the loudest, when really I should be listening to the whispers of positive moments more carefully. Because when you do stop and listen, they are always there.

After I decorated our house for Christmas and prepare for the holidays, I realized how much we all have to be thankful. I started writing little things in my journal,  like friends who will come rescue you because you accidentally brought home a giant tree from the Christmas tree farm and you have now idea how to decorate it. Or the mom friend who always knows just what to say when you can't handle how ornery your kids are acting. 

I am thankful for my grandpa, who dug out his old Christmas decorations from his attic that he used when I was little so that I could use them for my own kids' enjoyment. I am thankful for a huge group of coworkers who make me laugh so hard I could cry. I am thankful for people who aren't considered my friends but who take time out of their day to give me advice and humbling points of view so that I can be a better person. I am thankful for my sister's Facetimes, without which my life would be incomplete. I'm thankful for a fireplace, a blankie and a living room with lots of windows. 

I'm thankful for my family, this huge patchwork of awesomeness that I can't even begin to describe. 

I am thankful for peace, for adventure, for my couch and our giant Christmas Tree. I am thankful for blankets, funny Youtube videos, our lazy cat and our daughters' brilliant imaginations. I am thankful for Uno, Gin Rummy and Phase 10. 

I am thankful for books, especially when I have enough to make the Christmas tree I've always dreamed of: 

I am thankful for grace, forgiveness, patience and humor. 

No matter what, I am always thankful for what I have.  It takes a lot of hard work to be conscience of being a good mother, wife, friend and person. Sometimes I slay, as they say. And sometimes I fail. But I am grateful for the opportunity to wake up each day with a clean slate. 

This holiday season I just want to focus on being present and in the moment. I want to show patient, work on easing my RBF and anxiety and just let things roll. All from the comfort of our big living room couch with our kids lounging in cozy blankets and eating candy canes all around us.