Guest post by Gretchen Garrison
For all of November, the wood frame above our kitchen’s bay window has been lined with post-it notes of various colors. Each one has the names of the six different people in my family and what they were thankful for throughout that day. In the beginning, I wanted each person to think of an unique experience to appreciate. Yet since we are homeschool family, I soon discovered that was an unrealistic expectation. After all, many of our experiences are the same throughout the day. Since my husband goes to work every day, his events at times do not vary much either. Yet I hope that consciously being thankful has helped all of us. I must confess that we did not get to writing down our grateful moments every day, but we did always catch up.
As I look back on this month, we have had many joyous occasions. My husband’s birthday. My sweet niece’s first birthday. A fall party. Yet intermingled has been some challenging times – surviving another week with my husband on call and a checkbook with a woefully low balance. Learning to see positives in the midst of negatives is definitely a skill that I want my kids to develop. If you will notice, my husband’s busier on-call week contributed to our bank account increasing. Although I do not want my kids to go through life saying “happy, happy, joy, joy” to the tough stuff, I do think a bit of gratitude can go a long way.
For the past month, I have also undertaken a health challenge. I have been quite disciplined on exercising. While I cannot say that I have always eaten healthier, I definitely have eaten less. I am encouraged to be seeing results. Yet having a healthy body means nothing if I have a miserable soul.
Bitterness and negativity can quickly edge into my life. Learning to look at life through a lens of thankfulness can make all of the difference. Just as I have been using Norwex products to eliminate chemicals from life, adapting a grateful heart will eliminate a toxic mindset. Ridding myself of an demanding attitude of entitlement will go a long way.
I have decided that I am not ready for this experiment to be done yet. I need to continue to practice being deliberately thankful throughout my day. Practically speaking, I think we will be switching to a new format. While having a wall lined with post-it-notes is a great visual reminder, I think that writing down our thankful moments in a journal will be a better choice. We may not get to it every day, and I will need to learn to relax about that. Otherwise even being thankful can become a chore. Being able to look back through a notebook and see all of the moments in life for which we can grateful will be blessing for my children in years to come!
To read more about my Norwex journey and the Gratitude Experiment, click HERE.