November is here, and the air is buzzing with thankfulness. Personally, I love this time of year. I enjoy the cheerful status updates as people make a point to stop and be grateful each day. It’s a nice hiatus from the usual dirty laundry that pollutes my social media newsfeeds. But it also magnifies the fact that we all too often overlook the everyday blessings in our lives. Why do we need a special holiday or a popular hashtag to remind us that we have so much to be thankful for?
I could cry just thinking about the people, places, things, and experiences that I am thankful for. Actually, sometimes I do cry–little happy tears because I am overwhelmed with gratefulness. It must be a mom thing because last November I didn’t cry about my blessings, but now a gummy grin from my 3-month-old is almost guaranteed to send a tear down my cheek. It’s amazing.
But I feel guilty admitting that I still have days that I take it all for granted.
You know “those days.” You snoozed your alarm too many times because the baby had you up at all hours of the night. There’s no time for a shower so (naturally) you’ll have a bad hair day. Every single outfit that you try on makes you feel crappy. The kid(s) suddenly want to sleep all morning (although that’s never the case on the weekend). The bottles are all dirty, the bread you were going to toast for breakfast is molding, your coffee burns your mouth, the dog peed on the carpet and, of course, there’s a diaper explosion as you head out the door.
Sometimes “those days” are stressful, and they cause me to be short-tempered, lazy, or grumpy. “Those days” make me want to snap at my husband. “Those days” make me want to tune out any whining that I hear. Sometimes “those days” suck. I sometimes have to remind myself that in the big picture, “those days” are what it’s all about.
Those are my blessings in all their demanding glory!
So between the hectic mornings, demanding days, and sleepless nights, I’m making a vow to set aside more time to be thankful, and not just during the holiday season either. I’m on a mission to be more thankful every dang day. If I’ve learned anything in the three short months since I became a mother, it’s that time goes too fast. I swear, the more blessings you have in your life, the faster your time flies by.
Although all the moms in the world would shell out their life savings for a fully functional real-life pause button, it’s just not happening. So if we can’t push pause to take a breather on “those days,” then I guess we better learn to relish in all the hidden blessings. There are things that make “those days” worthwhile, there are things that make “those days” bearable, and there are even things that are complete luxuries that we take for granted on “those days”. Either way, let’s not downplay how lucky we are to have those things–those people, places, and experiences.
The gummy smiles, wagging dog tails, pizza delivery, 4G cell service… these little things will put a smile on our face if we just take the time to recognize them instead of overlooking them.
The good thing is that there’s no right or wrong way to do this. Post a status about what you’re thankful for, Instagram a picture of something you’re grateful for, write about the little things in your journal, say a prayer of thanks. It’s all good, and it just takes a little effort to override the natural negativity that comes with “those days”.
Maybe we should all consider taking the November challenge a little more seriously. Could we ban all ungrateful attitudes for good?! After all, moms have been known to do some pretty amazing things. We can certainly start by setting a good example and teaching our littles how important it is to be thankful. We can show our minis just how powerful a positive attitude can be, and dangit, we can kick “those days” in the butt! Who’s with me?!
Is there something, someone, or someplace that you often take for granted? What will you do to be more consciously thankful?