Unfortunately, I tend to view life's metaphorical glass as half empty, rather than half full. When Buzzfeed comes out with a "Which Winnie the Pooh Character Are YOU?" quiz I will most likely be Eeyore... So I have to work at retraining myself to focus on the multitude of good things in my life.
But even I, dour little pessimist that I am, can't deny the surprising power that simply naming the things I am grateful for has to shift my perspective and let some light into my soul (though I did grimace as I typed the word "soul" just now - this new age sh*t does not come naturally to me.)
I often feel overwhelmed and exhausted - maybe it's life with two young kids, maybe I'm just a wimp, who knows? But when I feel kind of beaten down, I pause for a moment and repeat this little trio of things I'm grateful for in my head: "I am not pregnant, I do not have an infant, I do not have a dog."
Like magic, instead of feeling tired and put-upon, I start to feel lucky. Consider: I don't have to wake up umpteen times tonight to feed and soothe a crying baby! I only have to wipe the butts of two small humans, I do not have to pick up steaming dog turds! If I want to eat raw fish or brie or ham, I can do so without feeling terribly guilty that I might be harming my unborn child, nor do I have to spend the entire day (morning sickness is a sinful misnomer) feeling like I want to puke! This may sound a little snarky but it never fails to make me feel better.
While that is my quick, go-to gratitude list, I also approach this on a much more serious level. Here are a few:
- I'm grateful that after multiple miscarriages, I have two beautiful, healthy little boys.
- I'm grateful to live in a beautiful place where I can step out the door and be in nature, breathe clean air, and get out of my own head. Below is the view from my living room.
- I'm grateful for my husband who is a steady, loving, loyal, patient, playful, capable, and optimistic partner and quite possibly the world's best father to boot.
- I'm grateful for my wonderful extended family - for their love, their support and all the fun we have together.
- I'm grateful for humor.
- I'm grateful for beauty.
- I'm grateful for food and that I've always had enough of it. Also, that it tastes so good.
- I'm grateful to live in a society where I have rights, access to education and the ability to make my own reproductive choices.
- I'm grateful to have access to good medical care and vaccines.