It has been a wild and crazy September. Last September, Jonas was born on the 3rd, and our fall was subsequently beautiful and hectic and unpredictably lovely. This year, our family has made some big decisions about home and life that are causing THIS September to be just as beautiful and hectic and unpredictably lovely.
What the HECK will next September bring?! That’s my question.
My daily gratitude practice has been keeping me grounded during this roller coaster ride. That said, here are 5 things I’m grateful for this September.
-My new office space. Last year, I worked in a former closet. This year, I have a beautiful new room in which to work and exist. It’s wonderful.
-The library. This month, for the first time ever, I exceeded the Baltimore County Public Library limit for how many books you can borrow at once. It’s 100, and the librarian looked at me like I was insane. But she didn’t judge me, and she even overrode the system so that I could borrow 7 additional books. What if we lived in a world without libraries? I shudder to think of it.
–Decluttering. I’ve been using the upcoming move as a chance to reorganize and declutter. IT FEELS AMAZING. I’m also reading Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin as I do it and that’s been an inspiring read.
-Coffee. I am considering cutting back on coffee. But that first cup, first thing in the morning, before Tamara and the boys wake up? IT’S MEDICINAL and I will never surrender it.
–Jonas. That little bundle of sunshine turned 1 year old this month. We celebrated with a helium balloon, a peach cake, a pop up tent, and a trip to Port Discovery. He is a doll and a joy and I’m thankful every day that I get to be his mommy.
I’ve been back at work for about three weeks, and I am definitely off my blogging schedule.
It’s amazing how easy it is to slip back into old habits! Especially when you’re dealing with the return to full-time work and a hectic house hunting schedule. (YES – WE’RE BUYING A HOUSE. I’m sure I’ll write about it in detail at some point, but it’s way too stressful to get into at this moment.) The old habits currently challenging me are bedtime candy and excessive caffeine.
The good news is – I see it. I can see myself slipping, and I am able to hit my pause button and reset. Also, eventually we’ll buy a house, which will allow me to go for a run after work instead of driving around looking at houses and then eating dinner in the car on the way home.
A few weeks ago, I was way ahead of my blogging schedule. That meant my posting stayed consistent until today, when I ran out of scheduled posts and realized I needed to post something immediately. I decided to take this as an opportunity to practice gratitude. So this post is a mid-month check-in regarding what I’m grateful for lately.
The new Netflix special from Brene Brown. It is wonderful. She is wonderful. Watch it if you haven’t already!
A great recovery book I’ve been reading (almost) every morning. It’s called Drop The Rock: The Ripple Effect and I am finding it so inspiring and valuable; it’s really helping to keep me centered.
My amazing new office space at work. It’s beautiful and I love it.
My daily gratitude ritual. Every day, I send a text to my sponsor with three things I’m grateful for. I don’t do it at the same time every day, and I sometimes forget. The neat thing is – I often remember to do it at times when I notice that I’m getting stressed and cranky, and then writing the post helps me to remember how great my life is.
Cheers to a thankful Tuesday and a (hopefully!) regular post this coming Saturday!
Vacation. We spent a beautiful week at the Jersey Shore with family and it was just lovely.
A job with summers off. I can’t express strongly enough how grateful I am that my job allows me the chance to reset and recharge every summer and fall.
The new Laura Lippman book. It’s called Lady In The Lake and it was one of those easy, addictive, un-put-down-able reads.
Watching old episodes of FRIENDS on Netflix. OMG I love this show. It brings me right back to high school nights on the couch, running to the phone to call my best friend during commercials.
Edgar’s new catchphrase. When he’s upset about something he has to do – brush his teeth, sit in time out, get dressed – he starts crying and then mournfully says, “But it’s gonna take a while!” It is hilarious and adorable and I love him oh-so-much.
I got so excited when I thought of the idea for this post.
I’ve been sort of sick of my All The Things posts at the end of each month. I love having a rhythm to my blogging; I like having a few posts that I write every month, and I like setting monthly goals and then checking on my progress.
But the actual All The Things posts have been getting kind of boring to write, which probably means that they’re boring to read, too. Those posts often include a summary of what I’ve read, watched, and listened to each month as well, and I’ve had a lot less to say about those things recently. So I wasn’t quite sure what to do.
Then I got a lovely idea.
I’ve been writing a daily gratitude list and texting it to one of my friends every day. This has been a really helpful and powerful habit for me. It’s helped me to adjust my perspective about life and take notice of the things that I am grateful for, many of which I take for granted.
I decided it might be just as powerful to make a monthly list of things I’m grateful for. It also will be a little memory keeper for me, allowing me to preserve some of the sweetest moments of this crazy time of my life.
So, starting with July 2019, I’m going to create a list of 5 things I’m grateful for every month instead of writing my All The Things post on the last day of the month. I’m going to do my best to include info about what I’ve been reading/watching/listening to when applicable. (I am quite often grateful for the book I am currently reading, as I’ve learned from my daily gratitude lists.)
Without further adieu, here are 5 things I’m grateful for as I reflect on July 2019:
Just an absolutely amazing start to my summer. Lots of fun with the boys and lots of exercise and time to be creative and productive for me.
Nonfiction books that are helping me to be a more peaceful and well-rested parent. I’ve been reading The Sleep Easy Solution and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, to help me with my sleep-challenged baby and my wild and crazy three-year-old. I am not usually good at reading nonfiction, but I am EXTREMELY motivated to read these two books!
A fantastic novel! I finished reading Fleishman Is In Trouble midway through July and it was wonderful – a fast read with a powerful message. Loved, loved, loved it.
A wonderful podcast – The Mom Hour. I am sure that I have written about it before, but I’ve rediscovered it recently and have been busily listening to the archives. It is a podcast with two moms talking about parenting and life, and it has an extremely supportive and non-judgmental tone. It really helps me to think about different aspects of Mom Life – birthday parties, family traditions, Halloween costumes – in new and different ways.
A fantastic birthday for my incredible son Edgar; he turned three years old this month. The best thing in my life has been being his mommy. (And I say that in the middle of the tantrumming toddler years, and I mean it one hundred percent.)
Today I am just chock full of gratitude. Cheers to a wonderful July and an amazing August to come!
A few months ago, one of my wise and gentle friends asked me to start sending her a gratitude list every day. Every day, at some point during the day, I text her a list of three things I’m grateful for.
It wasn’t very hard to get this habit going, though it’s been a little hard to maintain it. This is pretty typical for me – awesome at getting things started, not-so-awesome at maintaining the practice. Yet, it’s been over a month, and while I miss a day now and then, I rarely go two days without getting back on track.
I’ve been shocked at how much this practice has helped me. It’s simple and it’s powerful. Sometimes, I find myself feeling negative or just generally riding the struggle bus, and just experiencing those moments of negativity reminds me that I haven’t sent my gratitude list yet. When I write it, it forces me to zoom in on the things that have been making me happy. It can be so easy to slip into focusing on the negative; this gratitude practice prompts me to pay attention to all of my blessings.
Yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve missed my regularly scheduled blogging day. Eek!
I am chalking it up to springtime. Life has gotten a little busier, and I’ve had a fairly social April, which was really different from my cozy hygge January. There’s been lots of good quality time with friends.
This week will be busy, too – we have our adoption finalization day in court for Baby J.J. on Friday! There will be family in town and celebration and general merriment. And then on Sunday, I am hoping, there will be quiet time for our little family to relax and reboot. I am grateful.