What are YOU thankful for?
I recently completed a month of daily appreciation – I challenged myself to post something that I appreciated every day for the month of April, and used the hashtag #AppreciationApril. I shared everything from my husband and kids to the maple tree in my yard, all the way to the seat warmer in my car. Little things and big things that I appreciate. It was a great practice and it made me more appreciative (duh) and more positive overall.
I remember years ago I went to see the movie Pleasantville by myself in the theatre. Almost the entire movie is in black and white, until the very end when things begin to turn to Technicolour. I will never forget walking out of that movie theatre and being awestruck at how brilliant and vibrant the colours were all around me. Being deprived of colour for nearly two hours had given me a new appreciation of the beauty around me. #AppreciationApril is the closest I have come since then to experiencing that same feeling. I feel like I’ve woken up a bit.
Our little man struggles with change and when things don’t go his way. The other night he was very upset, verging on a meltdown, that he had to stop playing and go to bed. When I finally got him to calm down a bit all he could focus on were the things that DIDN’T happen that day, the things he didn’t get to do, etc. I started a conversation about the things that he could be thankful for. We started to list everything he’d done that day and all the great things that had happened. We broke them down further into smaller things, like “I am thankful that I got to play all day” broke down into all the different things he did. “I got to help in the garden” broke down into “I am thankful that we can grow our own veggies,” and “I am thankful for the rain and the sunshine that helps our garden grow.” We managed to list about twenty things to be thankful and he actually calmed right down. I came out to the living room where Mr Awesome was reading to the little lady and suggested that this become something we do every night before bed.
I wish I could say that now, three nights later, we are doing this religiously and our lives are transformed, but the truth is it’s hard to create a new habit and I can’t say we’ve done a great job of sticking with this new practice. Like any new behaviour, it will take time and effort to become routine, but after seeing how it re-framed the day for my little guy it is absolutely worth it. We will keep working at it.
And in the meantime, I remain thankful. What are you thankful for today? Please share in the comments!