Gratitude Day Five: Do I Actively Practice Gratitude?

Happy Tuesday!

Today’s gratitude prompt is such a good one, because it’s more of a question than it is a prompt. It’s a little bit more in-depth, and I love that about it. That said, I’d like to go ahead and dive right into this one today.

Gratitude Prompt Day 5: Do you actively practice gratitude?

YES! Every single day. Not only is the beginning of every prayer I pray one of gratitude throughout the day, I also keep a journal. I picked it up at my local Home Goods store months ago, and it’s been so good to me. It’s called the “Intentions and Reflections Daily Journal” and it allows me to get up every morning and not only write down my goals, what I’m thankful and grateful for and how I feel, but also how I want to feel, what made me feel that way, and how I can keep that up. It’s like a diary I can go back and look at because it prompts me to use it first thing in the morning as well as before bed. It’s a bookend to my day.

I love it because it forces me to sit down at my desk first thing in the morning and outline my gratitude and my goals for the day. Those are two things that are so important to me. I’m immediately required to think of things I am so grateful for each morning, and that begins my day on such a good note. It also gives me a chance to sit down a few moments before I go to bed and write down all the things that I am thankful for that occurred that day.

Essentially, I’m waking up thinking of what makes me grateful, and then I’m going to bed thinking of what made me grateful each day. That’s a powerful tool, and it’s one that I highly recommend to anyone who is struggling to find reasons to be grateful.

Trust me – not every day has the same thing list. Many of them do, of course, but some are a lot heavier than others. Some are a lot lighter than others. Some days are a struggle. Some days I am just grateful that our kids go to bed without arguing because one more minute of them that day would have pushed me over the edge. But, being able to focus on that calms me, reminds me of how fortunate I am, and it helps me focus on the things that are important.

For example, there’s something that I’ve been focused on so much lately, and it’s been getting to me. My husband is so distracted with his clients and his work and with the kids home, and with their new school schedules, and with all the extra things we are now required to do for them throughout the day, and there have been a handful of occasions lately where we’ve had a conversation and he has no recollection of it. That enrages me (I mean, everything I say is obviously more important than anything else in the world, right? Right? I mean, riveting…) because I dislike repeating myself (we have four kids. I repeat myself a lot…and I don’t want to do it to a fifth person).

But, one thing that my journal has helped me to realize is that every single time he was thinking of something else when I was speaking and he totally forgot or didn’t hear or comprehend me, he’s quickly apologized and then gone above and beyond to make that up to me – every single time. And being forced to look past my frustration and to see that he’s going above and beyond to make sure I know that I am more important than the occasional distraction has been so good for me. He’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. We make mistakes, but being forced to look for reasons to be grateful when you’re not feeling it is a good thing – it helps me see past my own anger and hurt and see that it’s not intentional and it’s not from an ugly place.

If you’re not doing something like this, I recommend you start. It doesn’t take long to make finding your gratitude morning and night a habit. And it doesn’t take long to make your attitude change, either.

Saying Goodbye to A Bad Habit

Happy Monday, Loves!

What. A. Weekend.

Our sweet Addison had her very first cheer competition of the year this weekend, on Craig’s 36th birthday, and they rocked the mat! We got to spend the weekend at one of our favorite hotels in Tampa with some of our very favorite friends celebrating all weekend with the big kids, and we got to come home yesterday to our sweet babies, and we got to end the day celebrating the birth of our sweet friends’ new little boy with our group of people.

If that’s not the sweetest weekend, I don’t know what is.

However, there is something that’s been on my mind, and I thought I’d like to address that this week.

You guys, I’m not perfect.

I mean, I knew this, but it turns out that I’m not even remotely close. Okay, so I knew that, too (let’s not tell my husband…it’ll crush him to know the truth). So, I noticed something about myself, and I’d like to address that and then address a few behaviors of my own I’d like to change in the coming year. Some new goals, if you will.

So, here’s how it happened. Two weekends ago, I was in Publix. Craig and I were having an at-home date night, and he ordered a couple of filets, and I ran to grab those and a bottle of our favorite wine. While walking through the bakery, a blonde woman walked right by me and said, “Hi, Tiffany! How are you?” and I think I spent like 3 seconds looking at her with a totally confused look on my face (if I got Botox, Craig, no one would know I was confused when I look at them….just saying) before I remembered my manners and said, “Hi! I’m well, how are you?” with a smile.

Here’s the problem – she’s not even remotely familiar to me. I don’t think I could pick her out of a lineup if you gave me one. I have no idea who she is, why I know her, or why she knows me and I don’t know her. She may look vaguely familiar, but I cannot for the life of me place her. And I certainly don’t know her name.

And then it happened again this weekend. Someone came up to me to speak to me, and while I recognize them and know I know them, I cannot think of their name. At all. Like, not even a little.

And I feel terrible about that. I felt thoughtless, and uncaring, and rude. And that is not my personality. And then it happened again. I was introduced to someone, and then five minutes later had no actual idea what their name was. I was JUST STANDING THERE LISTENING TO IT. And I couldn’t remember. And then I felt even more disgusting.

So, new goal for the year – remember people’s names. Make the effort to look them dead in the eye, smile, and say hello while using their name – out loud. I’m too damn old to be this thoughtless and impolite.

And on that note, there are few other things I’d like to change throughout the year, too. Little things, but things that are more polite and less thoughtless.

  • Walk away when people are speaking negatively about others
  • Do not engage in gossip, even when it’s not overly hurtful
  • Smile at strangers more
  • Be more timely
  • Offer more compliments
  • Speak positively
  • Listen more actively
  • Eat more bacon (I don’t think I have enough bacon, and it does sound like a lovely way to live my best life)

I don’t want to be the person who can’t remember people’s names. I don’t want to come across as rude or impolite or as someone who is so self-important I cannot be bothered to remember your name five seconds after we are introduced. It’s not cute, and I’m not down for it.

So, what are some of the other little goals you have for the year?