It’s 9 PM Sunday evening as I sit down to write this post.
As a generally organized person, I hate leaving things to the last minute. But as someone who sets high standards for myself, I also can’t NOT put out a weekly post if it’s something I’ve committed myself to.
Add to that feeling a little uninspired and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some major blogger’s guilt.
I had originally planned to write all about how coming home after being away for a while can help us build gratitude for the things we tend to overlook in our day-to-day lives.
The idea was prompted by my return home after a conference last weekend and feeling that sense of warm familiarity wash over me when I stepped through the doors. That “home smell” you don’t ever notice when you’re living in it. Your own shower and bed. Your loved ones there to greet you with a big hug. Is it just me or is there really nothing better?
So anyway, this weekend I thought I was going to have loads of time to sit down and write. But a last minute change in forecast from rainy to not so much (yay!) landed us at my grandma’s cottage with my parents and my brother’s family.
Long story short, I spent more time playing with my niece and nephew than writing. In fact, my laptop didn’t come out of my bag at all! And it was lovely. But as the hours drew on I started feeling a weird mix of guilt over a) not getting anything done, and b) not fully enjoying myself because I was thinking about the stuff I wasn’t getting done. Ya know what I mean?
I was totally blowing it on the “living in the moment and being mindful” front.
Fast forward to me getting home later than I planned, and sitting down to write feeling more than a little bit anxious. I pulled out my journal to try to settle my emotions and, after a random stream of consciousness, found myself writing a list of all the things I had to be grateful for in this moment.
Funny enough, I had come full circle to my original idea for the post.
Here are some of the things that made my list this evening …
- My kitty sitting waiting at the door for me
- How quick a minimalist kitchen is to reset
- The cricket soundscape that comes on the Calm app once night falls
- Yummy summer candles (I’m burning “Harvest Peaches” as we speak)
Cultivating a gratitude practice was one of the items on my list of 30 things to do in my 30th year. And while it’s not yet as regular a part of my routine as I’d like, I’m getting there.
If you’re working on building more gratitude into your own life, there are a couple of tips I’d like to share.
Get specific. The more detailed you are, the more you’ll start to pick up on small things throughout your day that are worth being grateful for.
Think ahead. Write down things that maybe haven’t happened yet but that you’re grateful for anyway. For example, tonight I wrote “the opportunity to own our cottage in the not too distant future”. If you’re into the law of attraction, this will resonate with you. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, not to worry. Instead, try thinking ahead to something more concrete in your calendar that you’re looking forward to / excited about.
Don’t limit yourself to the “good” things. It’s a useful practice in positivity to not only think about the things that are EASY to be grateful for, but also lessons learned from some of the harder things in life. What did that difficult experience teach you? How has it made you a more a resilient person? Consider adding that to your list.
While this post might be a bit rambly compared to my usual, it’s what I was feeling tonight. And if you’re still reading, I’m grateful to you for being part of my audience!
What are you grateful for today?