I recently participated in a 7-day gratitude challenge. A friend of mine nominated me, and the directions were quite simple. I had to post 3 things a day, for seven days, for which I was grateful. I also was required to nominate at least 3 other people to follow suit and participate as well. I figured this was one of those challenges that would be easy, seeing as in my opinion I am and have always been an extremely grateful person.
When my marriage ended four years go and I found myself alone, I often felt as though people were feeling sorry for me. That truly bothered me.
I heard a great deal of people say things like: “Poor you!”, or “I feel so bad for you!” I won’t pretend that I wasn’t shocked and frightened and very sad when my husband first left, but at no time did I ever feel sorry for myself or feel as though my life had become terrible!
Perhaps it was the shock of what was happening to me kept me from falling into a pool of self-pity.
Perhaps it was the fact that I had two young daughters to protect and care for kept me from focusing on the negative.
Perhaps it was the fact that I refused to let my own fears paralyze me helped me to continue to move forward.
Or maybe it was the fact that throughout all of the pain and discomfort that I was feeling, I was always able to find a way to feel grateful.
I have always been a grateful person – someone who appreciates and celebrates the “little things in life”. It truly doesn’t take much to make me happy, and I rarely have to sit back and think hard of things for which I am grateful. The journey from being married to being divorced has taught me many things. It has allowed me to recognize and to celebrate my strengths. It has re-enforced the many things that I am capable of doing. It has given me the opportunity to learn new skills (like mastering the art of lighting barbecues and changing all sorts of pot lights). It has reminded me of the beauty of imperfection. But when it comes to Gratitude, not much has changed. If anything, it has further clarified and highlighted for me that I am a Grateful Person through and through.
I in no way want to pretend that my life is perfect or flowery or lacking in discomfort. As a single mother, life as I know it is often scary, uncertain, lonely and hard.
There are many moments that are filled with frustration and tears. There are however many more moments that are filled with laughter, hope, and happiness.
The bottom line is that my day to day life as a single mother has its fair share of ups and downs, but I can honestly say that even when things feel overwhelming or downright awful, I never once waiver in my feelings of gratitude.
So here is a short sample of some of the things on my gratitude list……. I am grateful for my two daughters. I am grateful for my wonderful family and for my amazing friends. I am grateful for the spontaneous dance parties and karaoke moments which occur in my kitchen (with my daughters and sometimes even my parents) on a regular basis. I am grateful for the moments when I laugh so hard that I end up with a stomach ache. I am grateful for the ability to help others who are in need, and that my daughters recognize the importance of helping others. I am grateful that I live a very short drive away from the Laurentian Mountains. I am grateful for hot showers and a warm bed.
I truly feel grateful for all that I have, and most importantly for all that I don’t have!