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Back to Gratitude (Weeks 3 & 4)

Over the past few weeks, I haven’t been making time to actually sit down and write about the things I am grateful for.  I always say I know what they are, but I am beginning to realize that by not taking the time to identify them and write them down, I am not getting the full benefit of “gratitude.”  The past week I have felt myself slipping down into a bit of a slump (and with that comes my negative thoughts and feelings) and I am pretty sure it started because I haven’t been working hard enough on looking at the positive aspects of my life.

So, here is a reflection of the things I am grateful for from the past two weeks:

IMG_5220
Walking with A. on a beautiful “spring-like” day in January

1. I am grateful for my healthy and happy family.  While they do drive me crazy at time and add stress to my life, I love that I have kids who are excited to see me when I come home from work every day.  I am happy that they are healthy, rambunctious, and happy kids.  I relish in my opportunities to spend time with them, like walks on beautiful days, nights at Tae Kwon Do, reading bedtime stories, and playing cars.  The bring stress, but they bring more joy.

2. I am grateful to have access to wonderful health services for me and my family.  With A’s behaviour difficulties at their peak, we have been fortunate enough to have him assessed by a developmental pediatrician, a child psychologist, and a child psychiatrist – all at not cost to us.  While we are still waiting for an official yay or nay diagnosis for ASD, we have determined that he likely also has ADHD.  Whether they are related or not, we are waiting to find out, but the psychiatrist has him trying some Ritalin to see if it helps him out.  So far we have seen some good changes in him and I am so happy to see him doing well, working hard, and responding to all our efforts.

Award Nomination from a Patient
Award Nomination from a Patient

3.  I am grateful for the privilege and opportunity to be involved in the lives of the patients I see every day.  Just this morning I had a patient play a friendly little “prank” on me, and it made her so happy to have fooled/concerned me (she has recently had bowel surgery and has an ostomy bag that has just started working yesterday.  This morning she said it was making funny noises and when I got really close to listen, she had a farting sound machine under her blankets.  She insisted it was doing that all night and when I had no idea what to say, she started laughing at me).  I’m glad I could make her day brighter after everything she’s been through.  While I was on call this past weekend, I was involved int he care of a young lady with appendicitis.  I guess I made a wonderful impression on her because I had this “award nomination” waiting for me when I came back to work the next day (it’s actually a nursing award, but it’s really the thought that counts).

Artichoke Tortellini Salad
Artichoke Tortellini Salad

4. I am grateful and proud that I have had the strength, motivation, and resources to continue to meet my health and fitness goals.  I know I’ve kind of mentioned this one before, but I have been continuously able to keep up my new healthier eating habits but packing healthy and interesting salads every day.  It builds confidence in my abilities when I realize how well I can stick to my goals.  This week I made Artichoke Tortellini Mason Jar Salads and they are absolutely delectable: Tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, tortellinis, and spinach, with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  I also bought smaller jars (they are half the size of the other ones) because I found that most days I wasn’t finishing my salads (or else forcing myself to finish them after I was full).  These new jars are the perfect size!

My White Belt with 2 of 4 stripes.  Last night I earned the other two,
My White Belt with 2 of 4 stripes. Last night I earned the other two,

5. I am grateful for my free trial month of Tae Kwon Do.  At first I was nervous and a little unsure about joining Tae Kwon Do.  Everyone there seemed to be so close knit and I wasn’t sure if I would fit in.  I also wasn’t sure if it would work well with my schedule.  In the past month (3 weeks-ish), I have made some great progress and have earned all my stripes to be able to challenge my promotion to the next belt level.  In addition to the actual accomplishment, I have found it to be a fantastic workout – leaving me drenched in sweat and “good sore” the next day.  Husband has been supportive of my decision to join and the time commitment I have made.  A. has also been excited to see me take part in an activity that he enjoys and he is very proud of his mommy for getting all her stripes!  Tomorrow evening is promotion testing and A. and I will be doing that together: He’ll be testing for his half-yellow belt and I’ll be testing for my yellow-stripe belt (one below him).

6.  I am grateful for my wonderful and supportive blogging community.  I love having a place to come and interact with other people, even if I don’t know them in real life.  The blogging community gives me an opportunity to better myself and learn from the daily experiences and challenges of others.  I have gained so much from being here!  It is also exciting to see some of you participating in my gratefulness challenge by sharing the things you are grateful for.  Please continue to submit your replies for me to read, share, and hopefully inspire others!  Here are the responses I have received in the past few weeks:

“I’m grateful for my legs that work so wonderfully for me. Walking gives me so much pleasure and independence. I’m grateful for my home, the view out my window, the country I live in, my family and friends – even with their flaws. I’m grateful I have a grandchild, when for a long time I thought it might never happen. I’m grateful I’m living in Australia again. I could go on and on, but it would bore the socks off everyone. I have so much to be grateful for, the ordinary and yet amazing things in life. Nothing profound, although I’m sure I could find those if I searched hard enough. I keep a journal where I write one thing that makes me happy each day – on bad days, I find it harder to think of something, but on good days, I have trouble choosing just one thing out of the long list.”

~Juli

“This is a wonderful exercise and it takes practice to get really good at seeing your WHOLE world. Here are some of my gratitudes: I am grateful that I am alive and living an easy life. I could have just as easily born to poverty and strife as living in the suburbs with my own house and car. I am grateful for the opportunity to have gone to college and even though I paid dearly for it, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and to be continually challenged then and now be able to teach others. I am grateful for my garden which is a refuge and refueling depot for year round. I am always grateful for the beautiful flowers that grow for my enjoyment. And I am grateful for my snazzy camera which allows me to photograph them and remember in the winter how much joy they brought. I am grateful that I have to struggle because I have TOO much food to eat. I could go on and on…”

~Jane

“Good food, clean water, fresh air, safe shelter, family, friends, and democracy”

~Anonymous

3 thoughts on “Back to Gratitude (Weeks 3 & 4)

  1. The time/focus challenge is why I tried just a few words every day–one word per date of the month. But I’m not sure if I can keep up event this brief discipline for a full year.

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