I’ve been noticing myself constantly making lists of things that are not going so well in my head lately. Clenching my jaw, not drinking enough water, feeling headache-y and just not right by 5pm. I want to change that. A positive, sunny outlook makes everything seem better! I’ve decided to try to take a chunk of time over the weekend and use it to free flow write, just getting things out there, and the lovely Louise at Baby Gates Down has inspired me to work on a list of ten things I’m thankful for.
I am – so thankful – even when I grumble and complain and wish I’d gotten to bed earlier, I’m a damn lucky person to have the life that I do with the people surrounding me and the experiences that come from it. So – as they say in my yoga class, I’m going to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, hopefully weekly! Thanks for reading along.
1.) The yin to my yang
Some evenings I’m just pooped and tired and feel like grumbling. Some nights Tyler feels that way too – and we both just got through a draining, extra hard week. But we have this synergy: when one of us is cranky and needing to commiserate, the other one is in a better mood and can sit and listen and soothe. Even at the harder times, it’s rare that we are both in a ba moos at the same time. We’re good at picking each other up with one of us is down, and I love that.
2.) Make-ahead breakfasts
I’ve been trying to force myself to spend a few more minutes at night making tomorrow’s breakfast. I’m a notorious breakfast-skipping but I need those calories! These overnight oats are great, and I tried this coconut quinoa and enjoyed it also. Just add some fresh fruit or nuts and it’s pretty filling. Even if I don’t get around to eating it til lunch…
3.) Lunches at home
Working at home is so nice – I don’t step away from my desk enough during business hours, but I make sure to take a full lunch and catching up on laundry or cleaning up makes the evenings much nicer and a little bit less hectic.
4.) Good books to wind down with
I’m seriously back into reading and need a good fix of words and imagery to transport me as I wind down to be able to sleep at night. I got Wally Lamb’s latest novel, We are Water, for Christmas and I loved it. Devoured it before bed. The only hard part is limiting myself so I don’t read for hours and hours into the morning. I’ve just started The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and I can’t stop reading that, either – beautifully written and compelling.
5.) Happy hearts and long lives
My grandfather turned 94 recently! He had a double bybass following a heart attack over 25 years ago, but he’s managed to keep on going and is in pretty good health for his age. He takes the bus to exercise class, plays the harmonica still, walks over to buy the paper most days. I’m so blessed to have had him in my life for as long as I have and I’m so lucky to hear his stories – the world he grew up in and can recall in vivid detail seems like a story book. Times have really, really changed.
6.) Bittersweet goodbyes
My sister and her fiance had their dog put down this week. This little fluffball that we got when I was in my last year of high school – a lifetime ago. He was a stubborn, difficult, clingy little mess of a dog, hard to housetrain, severe separation anxiety, but my sister took him when she moved out, barely out of high school herself, and they’ve spent the last ten years giving him a wonderful life – better than anyone else could have. Of course they felt just awful deciding that it was time to say goodbye. But it was, and I’m thankful that he had them, and they had him.
7.) Video technology
Last night, Baby J was in the tub and I started squirting water at him from this little squeeze tube (ok, it was a snot sucker) and he lost it, giggling and laughing so hard he got the hiccups. Luckily Tyler had his phone handy so he got it on camera. I have a feeling I’ll treasure those giggles in the years to come. And on a day when I don’t feel so good, I can’t help but smile when I watch that video.
I’m so thankful for Baby J’s grandmas. My mom and Tyler’s mom have really helped up a lot this last week especially, so that Tyler could teach some workshops at local schools during the day. They’re also happy to help out in the evening if I need to get out. Plus they are both so in love with little Baby J, and both so easy to talk to about everything. Having these kind of women in my life to support me makes me a stronger person and now a stronger mother.
9.) Letting go of mistakes
We had a bit of a rough patch, sleep-wise when our little Baby J was around six months. I got strict about making him settle himself, early bedtimes, etc, and he grew out of it. Yay! But once in awhile I still can’t help soothing and rocking and just treating him like a baby. Today he had a hard time going down for his afternoon nap, and instead of letting him wail, I rocked him and sang a bit, his head nodding into my chest after two songs. He didn’t really stir when I put him into his crib. I guess after all the sleepless nights, the questioning and reading and trying to figure out a baby without an instruction manual, I’ve learned to let go a little bit. So what if I rock him to sleep today? He’ll be ok tomorrow. And I’ll feel better, too.
10.) Random kindness
I was reading a blog post yesterday and the author asked to leave a comment with the last kind thing someone has done for you. I didn’t have to think twice – we’d just been to the grocery store, and on the way out, trying to fumble with jackets and hats, bracing for the cold blast of weather, pushing a cart, carrying extra bags and trying to figure out where the car keys were, a man saw us coming and maneuvered a couple of shopping carts out of the way, so I wouldn’t be trapped behind them and have to try and abandon my own cart to squeeze through. It was a small act, but I felt pretty grateful for it.
And there you have it! I may need a bit of practice – I’ll admit it took me awhile to come up with ten things but I started thinking better once i had a few to go on. Thanks to Lizzi who started the Ten Things of Thankful. Hopefully it’s a bandwagon I can stay hitched to even if life careens out of control now and then!