As we are now far enough into the New Year and I’ve really been focusing on my goals and the direction I want my life to take I find myself more reflective and serious. I’m looking at my daughter with more intention and holding her just a little bit longer. I’m realizing that she will likely be our only child and coming to terms with that reality is a bittersweet thought. Addie is my heart and soul and she brings me and my husband more joy than we could have ever hoped. The realization that the picture of our family will likely not be as we had envisioned, it makes me a little sad. Then I think, why should I be sad, when I’m already so thankful for the family that we are?
Are You Thankful For The Right Things?
I’m like most people and I sometimes tend towards focusing on what I don’t already have instead of being thankful for the things that I do. I’m frustrated because we haven’t been able to have another child. I’m dying to have my own space and home instead of living with my parents. I want to be able to run my own business and have the freedom of working for myself. These are the things that I latch on to the most in my life right now. As I sit and contemplate these frustrations I have to tell myself that there are so many blessings within our situation right now and those should be my focus.
Sure we have not been successful in having another child and that’s sad because it’s not how we pictured our family being. What I’m thankful for, though, is the beautiful little family that we are. I love how we are the Three Musketeers. We laugh and play and love each other so much. I couldn’t imagine life without Matt and Addie in it and I don’t say Thank You enough for that.
We have not lived in our own home and space for a year and a half now. Not only that but we moved back in with my parents. That’s frustrating and a bit embarrassing. What I’m thankful for, though, is that we have been able to build up a savings that would otherwise be going to housing expenses. I’m also thankful that Addie finally gets to build a closer relationship with my parents now that we’re living here. Grandma is definitely the one she runs to when Mommy or Daddy say she can’t have a sweet. lol
I’ve been busting my butt to keep up with the business of being a wife, mom, full-time employee and blogger. I have often felt overwhelmed with it all and frustrated that my blog hasn’t grown more or given me the earning potential that I’m hoping for. What I’m thankful for, though, is that I have learned so much over these past 6 months, I have met some amazing people and I feel like I have something that is all mine.
How Do You Focus On The Good?
I won’t pretend that I will always remember the blessings above the frustrations that arise. What I will promise though is that I will work hard to always keep my blessings in the front of my mind, especially during the frustrating times. Too often we allow the obstacles to define our whole life, instead of celebrating all that we’re surrounded with. Hardships will happen but it’s how we react to them that truly defines how our lives will progress.
Practicing Gratitude is not a new concept. I’m sure at this point it’s been beaten into your brain enough that you know that you SHOULD be focusing on what you already have, instead of what you don’t have. So if you’re like me you try your best to give thanks for what you have in your life. If you’re also like me, though, you might be thinking, “are these the things I should be focusing on?” You can give thanks until your face is blue but if you don’t truly feel thankful, is it really helping you? I know I don’t feel like it does.
Gratitude is a mindset and a way of life. If you say the words “Thank you” but they feel empty then you’re not living gratitude. You also shouldn’t be putting out a blanket thank you for random things that don’t have any real meaning to you. Instead you should be looking at the areas of your life that you are truly frustrated with, like I did above and then really think on what the blessings are within these frustrations or obstacles. They don’t have to be big blessings but they do have to be ones that when you say them, think them or write them you smile and you feel happy. Those are the things you are really thankful for and should be focusing on.
When I wrote what I was thankful for in each of my frustrations above I felt the joy and gratitude, really. My life is not exactly as I pictured it being at this stage in my life, far from it really. There have definitely been times over the past year and a half where I have allowed myself to wallow in that. At those moments I needed to wallow a bit. What I knew though was that I couldn’t stay there. If I do my life will not move forward because I’ll always be seeing what I perceive as missing in my life instead of seeing all of the great things I already have. So no, my life is not where I want it to be right now but it sure isn’t bad.
I want to know the answer to the question, “Are you thankful for the right things?” Leave them in the comments below and let me know how you practice true gratitude in your life. I can’t wait to hear from you!