Between a school shooting at the local high school and other reports of senseless deaths involving children, complaints of disruptive behavior in the classroom from Bean’s teacher, petty fights with Avon and a cold that seemed to be getting worse before it gets better, I have been in a major funk. It was easy to let it consume me last week when I was physically feeling my absolute worst, but over the weekend, I got to shake it off T. Swift style and today, I’m finally feeling like my old self again. One of my go-to ways for pulling myself out of a funk is by adopting an attitude of gratitude.
Practicing gratitude helps us shift from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives, which in turn, creates more positivity. Expressing gratitude (or thankfulness or appreciation), can change more than our mood. It can change our lives. Research shows that gratitude can drastically improve our overall health and well being, as well as create a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us.
Gratitude. The gift that keeps on giving.
Since November is National Gratitude Month, here are a few things I’m grateful for this month:
- I’m grateful for the privilege to vote. My plans to cast my vote early were put on hold while I recovered from my cold (I didn’t mean to rhyme, but it happens sometime…s. Okay, I’m done.), so I’ll be heading to the polls on Tuesday, November 6th. I’m keenly aware of the struggles generations before me endured so that I could use my voice and I will not take them for granted. Yes, I take voting seriously, but I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when I saw elected a candidate for sheriff. Do I live in Matthews or Mayberry?
- I’m grateful that I get to host my teenaged godson over Veteran’s Day weekend. The last time I got to spend a whole weekend with him was when he was about a year old and I was a rising college sophomore. We’ve spent plenty of time together since then, but not like what I’m planning. Since this trip is a birthday gift, I’m thinking about including a small surprise birthday party with some of my friends teens. But mostly, I’m planning to show him lots of attention and affection. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with him and hopefully, giving him what I needed in middle school: a safe space to be a teen.
- I’m grateful that I get to create new holiday traditions with my family and for our first blended Thanksgiving. Bean and I will get to meet Avon’s grandparents, ex-stepfather, aunt and cousins. He is so excited to introduce us to his extended family. I love meeting the people nearest and dearest to Avon, but I can’t help but be a little nervous. What advice do you have for meeting your partners family?
What are you grateful for?