Radical Gratitude + 1000 Gifts

Today, two days into this bright and beautiful new year, I woke up in a funk. A far cry from the delight and anticipation of yesterday. Too little sleep, much less whole, and nutritious food than I'm used to, and a moody pre-teen in the house. I'd like to say those are the things that pushed me here, to the space of woe is me, but in reality, it is all how I have been looking at it.

The laundry continued to pile, the kids ate cereal for dinner, and I missed my date with the gym. Those are the things I'd like to complain about, rather, the things I used to complain about. I'm working hard at this idea of "Radical Gratitude" though, I'm hoping that this is the year I can exchange my negative and easy to slip into mindset, for one of thankfulness and grace.

I have to ask myself, how can I expect my children to find contentment and joy when I struggle to find it? How might they exchange their sometimes entitled and complaint-filled thought process, and turn it to gratitude, if they witness me doing very little of the same.

Angie Warren

Thankfully, I was prepared. Just yesterday my sister and I chatted about this very thing. I told her that the next time I want to grumble and complain, I'll open my (new) gratitude journal and begin to list. She loved the idea, and so did I.

So today, as the feeling of dread and disappointment bloomed, I shut it down, by opening up my Moleskine. My goal is 1000, yes 1000 Gifts thanks to the great Ann Voskamp. I wrote things like:

Justin being home.

Space heater.

Quinn's darling new cut.

Board games.

Washer and dryer.

My mom's dishes.

The smell of winter.

And slowly, but ever so surely, it lifted. The dark cloud I had been feeling, rose, blew out the chimney, and gave way to beautiful skies.

Ah, is it really this easy? I asked myself, but, surely no. I've sunbathed, unsuccessfully, under the blackest of skies, and stayed pale and parched. I've been thirsty for joy, scraping for sun. As it turns out, the softest of clouds and brightest of blue was just in reach, I needed only to see it.

I see it now. I feel the warmth and I drink in the beauty and I feel every bit satisfied.

Gratitude, RADICAL gratitude, it all starts, with that.


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