Hello Sweet November! I don’t know too many people who don’t like November, but I feel especially for us in Arizona, November feels like that bonus check you finally get after putting in way too many hours at work on a project that was way too long and way too hard. Our summers are brutal and November is this wonderful breath of fresh sweet cooler air accompanied with pumpkins and flannels and sweaters (still to be ripped off in the afternoon, but still), stores that smell like cinnamon and the promise of upcoming holidays. We know the actuality of the Christmas rush is far more panic than precious, but we still walk into it all with hopes of a better way of doing things this time around.
I tend to reflect on things I am grateful for in November. I have on several occasions done a social media challenge called Thankful November and post daily of things I am thankful for. It’s a fun challenge for me, and yes I said challenge because as great of a life we have, I, unfortunately, have a knee jerk reaction to being a little negative and often. I have the perspective to see the silver lining, but I tend to often see the situation at hand as negative when I know better. Being forced to change that attitude really helps me keep a clearer head.
An attitude of gratitude according to Lewis Howes (author of The School of Greatness) means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike.
I’ve learned a few things from adapting this attitude and I love the way it changes my perspective. It is easy to get out of this thinking and takes deliberate action to make it a habit and something I am continuing to want to work towards.
Writing in my journal daily is a great practice for this habit. Recently I was struggling with my husband’s work schedule. He is an EMS worker and works nights and sleeps during the day. For 3-4 days a week, he is unavailable and we all miss him. I got myself in a rut with these negative thoughts. I was feeling sorry for myself and not focusing on any positives. So I took this issue at hand and made it my focus in my journal. If I were having the worst night of my life and had to take the ambulance I would sure love to see a man like my husband there to comfort me with his kind eyes and easy smile. I know he brings a sense of peace to others experiencing panic. I am thankful to be married to someone who measures success, not by money in the bank, but how he lives his life. I am thankful to be married to someone with a good heart that cares for others.
Another stress in my life is well, kids. We have a lot of them and all ages and all stages.
Some Most days I am overwhelmed. I am home with 2 preschoolers while I try to work from home. Right there I had to adjust my thinking, I am home with our babies while able to earn an income home with them. Yes, it is hard, but something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I know far too well with 2 daughters in high school how quickly it all goes and I don’t want to take these days for granted. Putting in my journal about the hilarious thing my son said or the way our daughter painted a picture that I was able to witness helps me remember the gift life really is.
This November and continuing on I want to develop this attitude of gratitude. I want to write and remember the days that seem boring, monotonous or even a bad day, actually, especially a bad day. I want to write down the parts that I saw something I am thankful for. From a friendly smile from a stranger, a cool breeze at the right moment, watching our daughter make the winning point, our son making me laugh until my face hurts, our special needs daughter having a seizure-free day, our little ones sharing and being kind to each other all day long (a mom can dream). My husband coming home to tell me about the child he made giggle while being transported to the hospital. Finding the things that make us smile, or fills our hearts with joy, those moments need to be recognized and noted and doing that is helpful from the inside out.