Every night before I put Massimo to bed, I ask him to tell me what he’s grateful for. He usually says “Mama, Nana, Da, Buddy, Robin, etc.” Sometimes he leaves out a couple of people but it is always the people who he finds most important in his life. It is never a thing. It is always the people who he is grateful for.
Having just wrapped up Halloween (which by the way was super fun with a two year old–I’ll have to blog about that later), we are now preparing for Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. Importantly, it is the only holiday that Madison Ave has not quite figured out how to bastardize. It is also the best holiday because it is one that forces us all to consider what we are grateful for–instead of what we need or want.
A gratitude practice is good way to cultivate happiness. Many wellness experts suggest the use of gratitude journals. I find them very helpful. If I write down three things that I’m grateful for in the morning, I am better able to focus on my haves than my have nots that day. Prayer is also a good way develop a gratitude practice. Thanking God for your individual blessings is a another way to focus on what we have rather than what we perceive we are missing.
The past year and half of my life has been rather hard. I suffered a major professional disappointment and am quite sure that I was wronged. I then removed myself from that disappointing and unhealthy situation and ended up in an even more unhealthy environment. Now, I’m in a happy and healthy environment–for which I am very grateful. Although my current environment is not perfect, it could have been so much worse–I could be stuck in my last environment without an end in sight.
During this time of professional disappointment, my heart has overflowed with love for my little boy. Every time I look at him I am reminded of just how lucky I am. The stars aligned and God shined his grace right down on me the minute he decided to put this amazing child in my life. Focusing on the blessings of joy and love has (mostly) provided me the sanity to cope with the choppy professional waters I’ve been swimming in.
I do have to admit that sometimes its very hard. Sometimes I just feel like throwing my hands up in the air, crying, and giving up. But I know that the stars will again align and God will again bestow his grace on me in a way that will make all of this struggle worth it. In the meantime, I’m forever grateful for the people that I have in my life–particularly Massimo. Even a two year old can tell you that people are much more important than things or status or power.