Moments of Gratitude

thankful

Do you ever have those moments of gratefulness overcome you? Moments when you think, is this really happening? Am I really this lucky? I love those moments. I get hit by them randomly, like when I grocery shop. Sometimes, I reach for something stupidly overpriced like organic kale or look at my full cart of food that I chose in the checkout line and am immediately overwhelmed at how fortunate I am. There are so many people in our world who will never get to do something as simple as grocery shop and get everything that they need.

I get lost in these moments. It hits me at all different times, when Luna laughs, when the dog fits perfectly in the nook behind my knees and sleeps with her head on my thighs, when Husband reads to Luna or makes me coffee or when I sit in a hot bath reading my Nook. All of a sudden I realize I have so much to be grateful for and I try to take a mental picture of that moment and file it under the “don’t forget this!” tab in my brain. I need these memories saved and easily accessed for those rainy days when I think life is one big pile of stink.

I had one of these moments of gratitude while riding bikes during our recent trip to Hilton Head. We were almost done with a 16 mile bike ride and I began thinking about a trip we took to Target just two weeks after having Luna. I was so weak and sick from the blood pressure issues and the drugs the doctors had me taking that I had to use one of those motorized wheelchairs to get around the store, and even that was a struggle. I remember getting tears in my eyes because I couldn’t help, but think “will this ever get any better”. Logically, I knew that I would/should, but under the influence of hormones, anxiety and feeling like crap I really wasn’t sure I’d ever be back to myself again.

hhi

Fast forward 6 months and I’m on a beach in Hilton Head with lots of family, doing yoga in the morning, taking a 16 mile bike ride in the afternoon, swimming in between and feeling healthy and extremely happy. I realized how much has changed in 6 months and thought I cannot forget this feeling.

bike ride

Then, I look at my Dad.

He was on bicycle in front of me. He had brain surgery to remove a tumor just 4 months ago. He is not only enjoying the beach with me, but he is also on this long bike ride. The realization of where we are and the strides we have made brought tears to my eyes. We are very very fortunate.

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I hope to never forget that grateful feeling I felt on the bicycle ride. I hope I’m able to remember it next time I wonder if things will ever get any better because they do. Things get better. They won’t always be the same… the truth is I’ll never be the same I was before I had Luna. No, I’ve definitely changed, but for the better. In fact, since having Luna I have many more moments of gratitude. I’m more aware of what I have to lose and what really matters, which is just making life more pleasant. Today, I am thankful.

Thankful Luna got to spend so much quality time with her PawPaw
Thankful Luna got to spend so much quality time with her PawPaw

Cheers.

Thankful Thursday

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She loves her bath time!

A few years ago, when my anxiety was at a high point, I started a habit of thinking about, or thanking God, for the things I am thankful for each day. Even when the anxiety subsides, this habit sticks around. I started doing this to ease my mind when I was trying to sleep. Night time is when my mind tends to run a muck, and I have to work extra hard to change my thinking track to something positive and to quiet the negative thoughts. Focusing on what I’m grateful for turned everything around for me.

This habit came in handy during my recent hospital stay, and even now it can quickly turn a bad day or just crappy moment around. This morning I was so very tired after nursing Luna for what felt like the 100th time. Even though she is sleeping more, I am not. I kind of go into a half-sleep, just awake enough so I can hear every little grunt and sigh Luna makes. I’m sure most new Moms go through this, but I can’t help but sleep on edge just waiting for her to wake up and need me.

Anyways, I was exhausted this morning, trying desperately to decide to either go back to sleep or get up and make breakfast. (Food and sleep are the two things I need most and I can often only pick one.) However, right at that moment I glanced at Luna, who was sleeping soundly and she had pushed her tiny foot out of her carefully swaddled blanket and so much gratitude came over me.

Then I thought, what am I thankful for right at this moment…forget the lack of sleep, the hunger, the pile of dirty dishes, the mound of laundry, the bills stacked on the kitchen table, the worries streaming through my head…what do I have to appreciate right now.

Well, first there’s the most perfect baby sleeping peacefully who I am lucky enough to call my daughter. Then there’s the hot cup of coffee I just brewed sitting in my hands. Good Morning America  is on and Robin Roberts always makes me smile. I have my favorite huge fluffy warm blanket wrapped around me keeping me warm. There’s my little Belle curled up in my nook fast asleep, and on the arm of the couch is Duckie, also sleeping. Even Husband is fast asleep down the hall. I have my whole little family together all sleeping around me.  And so so so much more…

Instantly, the groggy sleep-deprived morning felt like the best morning ever. How lucky am I to be surrounded by so much love? When you look at life with a little more gratitude, nothing else seems to matter much.

So, I challenge you, the next time you are feeling down, worried or angry to take a minute and reflect on what you are thankful for at that very moment. See if it can turn your day around.

Cheers!

Day of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have yet to participate in the daily “this is what I’m thankful for” trend on Facebook… and I don’t want to start now. I AM so thankful for all the things I should be thankful for, but today I am thankful for the tradition of Thanksgiving in general. The history we teach of this holiday is a little screwy if you ask me… pilgrims and Indians are best friends? Having a yearly feast together? Yeah…I don’t buy it. However, I can appreciate what the holiday is now: a time to get together with friends and family, eat some of the greatest foods and be appreciative for the many many things we are fortunate enough to have and share.

This year is the first time in 5 years that we are spending Thanksgiving with our family in Nashville. I am cooking two dishes. That’s right, you read that last sentence correctly. I am very concerned that they will turn out burnt on the outside and raw in the middle (typical of my cooking), but that’s why I’m making two. I figure I’ll have better odds that way. AND, I am thankful I have a Husband who knows to cook and will swoop in at any moment to save me from a kitchen catastrophe. My favorite is when he politely suggests I just stay out of the kitchen for a little while. “Okay…if you insist.”

We are also running/walking the 5 mile Boulevard Bolt at 8am! It’s a family tradition to run this race every year, and it’s the best idea. Running 5 miles in the morning makes stuffing your face with carbs not feel so bad. I am still working on quick last-minute costumes for the family… time to bust out the glue gun! I am thankful that I will not feel obligated to run the whole race this year. I will walk/jog my big pregnant butt along and cheer on Husband as he swooshes passed.

Thank you, each of you, for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you all have a great day with whoever you consider family. Eat all your favorite foods, it doesn’t have to be turkey…I don’t even eat meat. And, take a minute to remember how very lucky you are.

Cheers!