It’s too easy to spend the beginning of January contemplating how I want to change things, do things differently, write a resolution list, live my best life. Sure, I’ll write my yearly goals, but that’ll keep me going till, I dunno, the middle of January?
Then I’m going to shift my journal priorities and remind myself what I am grateful for instead. (Naturally the to-do list will continue).
The practice of journalling my gratitudes every morning in a simple notebook doesn’t seem all that therapeutic.
So instead of jumping out of my bed with the kid noise coming from the kitchen or jumping out of the bed because I’ve got six hundred and fifty seven things on my To-Do list, I’m supposed to sit with a notebook and pen and write my gratitudes?
I, a busy homeschool mama, with a busy household of busy kids, am supposed to stop and write my gratitudes???
As many mornings as you can.
Think of it as a practice in mindset. You want to enjoy your homeschool existence. You want to enjoy your homeschool kids while you’ve got them. You want to create memories that’ll last you beyond a scrapbook or a digital file of photos.
This morning practice sets you to thinking your thoughts in a way that you WANT to: by focussing on the good stuff and living gratefully.
FYI just cause you write your morning gratitudes doesn’t always mean you’ll feel grateful All.Day.Long. (But you already knew that…)
But over the course of time, writing your gratitudes is scientifically known to increase your overall wellbeing. So do it like you shower every day (I know: we’re NOT doing that every day, but most days…)
Practical tips to incorporating a gratitude practice? I share that here.
Here are twenty things I’m grateful for…
Nature out my back door.
I have a fascination with trees. And girlfriend, I got me some trees in these mountains. I’m thankful for the snowglobe flakes falling — who shook my little globe? Almost five feet the last few weeks. The longer I live here, the more I commune outdoors. The longer I live here, I learn that respite should be taken inside, but life should be lived outside.
You knew I would mention them. Okay, too predictable, however, here’s why I’m grateful…
I’m thankful for the strong one: she’s enabled me to stand stronger.
I’m thankful for the nurturing one: she doesn’t even know she does it when I need t most.
I’m thankful for the sassy one: she reminds me I’m not as smart as I think I am.
I’m thankful for the strong, silent one: so young, yet so wise.
And for each of these kiddos, now matter how they evolve, or what the stories of their lives may be, I am grateful.
There are two seasons: gardening season and the waiting-to-garden season. If there’s not snow on the ground, I can find a reason to do some sort of gardening or landscaping outside. January is the beginning of gardening season as I order seeds, buy potting soil, and start seeding. No, not outside under the three foot snowdrifts. Rather, in my greenhouse.
Butter and other stuff that comes from cows.
I’m with Julia Child: everything tastes better with butter.
Health issues that require change.
But I’ve also learned the creamy goodness of pureed cashews and nutritional yeast, vegetarian-ish diets that actually taste almost as good, but a bit different, even make my brain happier. (Might I recommend Oh She Glows cookbook?)
I love me a good book. Have you read Emma Donaghue’s The Wonder? Okay, I love me a lot of good books. I’ve always have a half dozen on the go. Entering the minds, the worlds, of new people, new places, and new ideas — love books.
I also love chatting about books: so join me and the Homeschool Mama Support Group as we chat about homeschool encouraging books, our non-fiction reads and fiction reads, and even the books we’re reading with the kids.
There is nothing more creative in my world. (Okay, well maybe home or garden design, planning my kids’ educations, or cooking (cooking is definitely creative)). Writing expresses me. Writing forces me to own me. Writing clarifies my thoughts. I can create other worlds, and even some of my favourite people (fictional characters, not my kids, ha) were created by me. Writing is something I fashion with my mind and my fingers.
My life companion, my husband.
The one who walks alongside the plot of my life and who understands the themes of my life. He’s learned to love alongside me, receive my love and receive the clunky attempts at love, and the just plain misses too. He supports me in whatever I put my hands to do. He’s my mirror when I’m thinking wrongly. He’s the one I’m learning about love with.
A community of interesting characters.
My community: the minor characters, supporting cast and antagonists too. These people teach me, sharpen me, entertain me, inspire me, engage me. Each person with a life story unlike anything I could imagine. Like travelling to a new world, minus the travel expense and effort, is listening to new people’s stories.
I dunno, I just really like blue. Nature’s calm.
A splash of red. Nature’s passion.
Surrounded by stories of unhealth, we are ever reminded that health always deteriorates, eventually, or sometimes it disappears suddenly. When we have it, we take it for granted. When we don’t, we realize it’s the biggest thing.
A God who sees.
And who shares. And commiserates. And encourages. And requires truth in the innermost parts. And is always there. And knows the plans for us, ones to prosper us, not to harm us, ones to give us a future, and a hope. Always plants hope, grows hope, and sustains hope.
Grace and forgiveness.
They make you thankful for what you have. The ceiling doesn’t need to by sky high to enjoy the content in our life. Setting our hearts to appreciate what we have can settle us into existing contentedly. If we so choose.
Cozy blankets, with cozy socks, Spotify playlists and Sweet Georgia Browns.
Cause homeschool hygge…
Dreams. Wishing upon stars. Prayers. Believing.
I’m planning this year to set my mind on thinking Grateful Thoughts and reminding myself what is true. Watch your Thoughts so you maintain gratefulness in your homeschool.