There are times in my life when gratitude sneaks up and smacks me right in the heart.
We’re standing a the bus stop on an early Alaskan morning.
My five-year-old gives me a big hug and a kiss before he climbs the steps on that big yellow bus.
I’m so grateful he isn’t embarrassed by me yet.
It’s almost the end of the year, but my heart still aches when he leaves us for the day. How did he get so big? Where has the time gone?
I grab my three-year-old’s hand and we walk back home, hand in hand.
I’m grateful for this time with my boys.
As soon as walked in the house, I kick off my boots and am off. I’m on a mission to pick up every little thing that is unceremoniously laying around my house. Dishes need to be cleaned and every hamper is full of dirty clothes that need to be washed.
I’m grateful for my home…even when it’s a mess.
I send my youngest son downstairs to play so I can do a big clean sweep of my house.
As I load up a basket of dirty clothes and walk to the laundry room, I catch a glimpse of my son at play.
I silently stare at him as a tidal wave of joy, peace, and pure happiness fills my body. My heart feels like it might burst right through my chest. I’m frozen, completely overwhelmed with emotion.
Grateful, happy tears start welling up in my eyes.
I’m so grateful for this time in my life.
I’m wearing the same pair of yoga pants I’ve worn for 3 days, no make-up to cover up my wrinkles, and my dirty hair is pulled up in a mom bun. From the outside, I look like a hot mess, but from where I’m standing, I see a pretty great life.
As I compose myself and head off to the laundry room, I can’t help but think back to a time in my life when gratitude and joy were non-existent.
A few short years ago, I’d look at my son playing his trains and only see the mess he made, how I hadn’t showered, and how unfair it was that I was spending my day doing chores.
I would have missed this simple moment of overwhelming joy because I was so focused on negativity.
There have been seasons in my life where I’ve been in a mom funk, unhappy and unable to find anything good in my life.
Seasons when my own negative thoughts pushed me into deep dark holes.
Seasons, when it felt like every misbehavior, every whine or cry from my children was an insult, a sign of me being a bad parent.
Seasons when I wore my negative glasses and expertly sucked all the positive out of my life.
I was angry, my kids were unhappy, and my marriage was suffering.
Things couldn’t continue this way, and I knew it was up to me to change things.
I went back to my education as a therapist and started doing a bit of research too. I was determined to change my life and find happiness again.
So…I started a daily practice of gratitude and began writing in a gratitude journal.
Finding joy, peace, and happiness doesn’t just happen when all the pieces of your life finally fall into the right place.
Happiness isn’t something that just happens, it’s something we must be intentional about and work for.
Happy people WORK at being happy.
There have been studies that have shown that people are hard-wired to be negative. Positivity and happiness are things we must be intentional about, they don’t just accidently happen.
Once I discovered this and forced myself to find happiness, my life has been turned upside down…for the better.
After a few short days of writing in my journal, there was a huge shift in my life. Huge.
I threw away my negativity glasses and over time, I morphed into a better version of myself.
I need your help! This is my new gratitude jar for 2016. Everyday I add a little sheet of paper with my favorite part of my day written on it. What word or phrase should I write on the jar? I want to pretty it up! #gratitude #newyear #emptyjar #fillitup #seethegood #wonderful #happy #happiness
A photo posted by Amanda (@dirtandboogers) on
The extraordinary change in my perceptions set me off on a path to discover more about gratitude and happiness.
I’ve discovered that I’m happier.
I’m more patient with my kids,
My family is more joyful,
My marriage is thriving,
My house is happier.
It’s amazing how one daily dose of gratitude can change a life.
I want it to change your life too. So won’t you join me in my challenge?
Join The Challenge…it’s Free
If you’re looking to find the good in your life and to stop the yelling, stop the anger, and stop the negativity, join my Banish The Mom Funk Challange.
In this 7 Day Email Challenge, you’ll learn how to:
- build a life filled with gratitude and joy
- create a daily self-care practice that’s tailored to your busy lifestyle
- discover what activities you love and enjoy doing
- get the tools you need to yell less, love more, and have happier days with your children.
It’s all delivered in 7 quick emails sent straight to your inbox. Sign up here, it’s free!