Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gratitude Schmatitude

Since returning from Montana, I've been "down in the grumps." I called Bea and asked her to meet me at Frost Doughnuts thinking maybe a bacon maple bar would get out of my funk. We are going tomorrow so I'll let you know.  In the meantime I went to see my therapist and we discussed my dad's stroke, my mom's stress, my kid's whining and my disappointment over not being selected as a Verity Mom finalist.  Her recommendation?  Keep up with "self-care."  Umm, oooh-kay.  Easier said than done when you are a busy mom of little ones.  Does a really delicious gourmet doughnut count?  

So, I made plans for my husband and in-laws to give me some time off this weekend, found a babysitter for a grown-ups only dinner on Sunday and scheduled a massage for a week from now.  Still felt grumpy.  Called Moe, our angelic mother's helper and she came over and played with the little ones for a while.  She even picked up all the toys while she was here.  I was beginning to feel a little better.  Met my husband at the door and told him HE was taking the kids to dinner.  Hmm... this self-care business just might work!  I feel less grumpy already.  

A bowl of cold cereal and a half-hour of peace and quiet later, I found the final piece in my grump-banishment plan.  The Tiny Prints Gratitude Challenge.  I learned about it from my friend Kim, over at gratitude365.  She had already started the 21-day challenge and I felt encouraged when I read her posts.  And not only because I am included on one of her gratitude lists.  So I'm going to do it.  And today is my day #1.  The assignment for the first day is to write about why I accepted this challenge and what I hope to achieve.

I accepted this challenge because most of my thoughts today are about why I am NOT grateful:  There are dirty dishes in the sink.  A friend's father passed away yesterday after a long fight with cancer.  The kids broke our laptop this morning.  I could go ON and ON.  But it isn't helping to make a list of what stinks.  I need to shift my perspective.  I know there are hundreds of things that I can celebrate right now, even though it feels like an effort to come up with a list.  Thankfully, I don't need to make a list until tomorrow's assignment!  And what I hope to achieve is the strength to choose grateful.  Maybe not every single time, but more of the time and even when times are rough. I know the benefits will be worth the challenge.


Kim said...

So glad you're doing this. And so glad you're taking care of yourself and getting some me time. I'm already struggling to get to the computer everyday--and it's only my third day! It's hard. But the calendar helps and I'm looking forward to see what comes up. Maybe it's time for Sunni to visit sunny CA? Or is it nice there, still?

Griz said...

I'm sorry for your grumpy day, but glad you were able to call people out to help you. Hope by the end of the day you really felt that weight lifted off. I hate feeling that way. I think this idea of choosing something to be grateful for daily is good. I should try it.

Patti Auburn said...

I am grateful that you are my friend. I am sorry that you weren't a finalist for verity mom, but I know there is something even better out there for you. I am having a bad day because my best friend is dying but I am grateful to have known her for 40 years.
It IS important to take care of yourself, and a shift in perspective giving a shift in attitude sounds like the best way to take care. Hang in there Sunny!

Alix said...

Great idea! I could use some of this and will be checking back for your posts to inspire me.

Liz said...

Sounds like a good book, I'm going to check it out. Yes, doughnuts do help. I'm grateful that you're blogging again -- there's a plus out of the Verity mom gig! :)

Sara said...

I love the gratitude thing..might have to do that myself. so, I am dying to know, how was the bacon donut??? do tell!

Anna Fieler said...

Welcome to the Gratitude Challenge! I hope you will find it as an amazing experience as I did. I look forward to following your journey and don't be shy to ping me if you ever need any encouragement along the way. For me, the challenge proved harder than meets the eye :-)

Seattle Sun said...

Kim - thanks for the inspiration! Already, when I feel stuck (and I'm only on day three) I read your blog to keep me going.

Griz - Yes, join in! You can download the 21 day calendar at :)

Patti - So good to hear from you. I miss seeing you. I did add your blog to my blogroll so at least we can keep in touch that way!

Alix - My Sis-in-Law wrote me a note and told me we should call the "self-care time" "sanity time" instead b/c that is more realistic and sounds less selfish. I'm all for it! So here is hoping you find some "sanity time" in your busy life too.

Liz - You are so right about the blogging being a great benefit from the Verity Mom experience. :) And I hope you jump in and do the 21-day challenge too - I would love reading your perspectives!

Sara - Going for donuts with friends was great! But the bacon maple bar was a little disappointing. It was just a regular maple bar with some bacon pieces on the top. Somehow I imagined it would be more than that. I would rather have one of your cupcakes anyday!

Anna - thanks for your comment. I have already found day one and two to be more work than I expected (but rewarding) so I bet the whole three weeks will challenge me. Thanks to all of you at Tiny Prints for paving the way!