We postponed our first day of school because the kids were exhausted from a weekend at my parent’s house. We took it easy on Tuesday – sauntering to the market and library and then watching a movie at home in the afternoon.
Today we celebrated the first day of school by going on a field trip. My husband and I took all five kids to the CN Tower. With the exception of my eldest, the kids had never been up there. They had seen it light up at night, watched the elevator from afar go up and down, and wondered what it was like to see a view from that high. And now they finally got their chance. I wanted them to see the big picture before we got lost in the details of their exciting year of homeschooling.
We hadn’t had an outing with just the 7 of us in a long time. Before we left for the CN Tower, I welcomed them to their grades – 12, 7, 5, 3, and Kindy – with a gift and a poem. Needless to say, I was teary and emotional with each child. I asked them what they were excited about learning this year and I told them that I thought they were amazing kids and I am blessed to be their mother.
At today’s sunrise, I made the intention to live in gratitude today. As I watched my family, I felt nothing but gratitude, even amidst the bickering, the whining, and the complaints.
This brings me to my next project that begins on Friday:
a) I like to count by weeks.
b) It will lead into Canadian Thanksgiving and end on my son’s birthday.
c) It is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans will understand this one.)
I have done gratitude journals before and have looked for things in my day to be grateful for. I have listed wonderful acts of kindness, connections with family and friends, and overall positive experiences.
My daily act of finding gratitude and recording it here will be a little different. Over the last 100 days, I have paid more attention. There are these waves that I ride: waves of joy, waves of beauty, waves of sunny days. There are also waves of the unexpected, waves of the unknown, waves of impatience, waves of frustration, and waves of anger.
I want to share stories of how I can be grateful for it all. I want to share my daily struggles and how I approach them as valuable spiritual assignments that help me learn more about myself than the wholly peaceful encounters. I find it easy to be grateful for the obvious. But can I challenge myself to feel deeply grateful for those experiences that bring me to my knees? Can I be grateful for traffic? Can I be grateful for that rude retail employee? Can I be grateful for the messy and the grey?
I won’t be consciously looking for the awful things and listing all the negative things. And maybe there are days where joy runs through my day from beginning to end. But I want to be real. Yes, wonderful things have been flowing into my life but I still react impulsively either by thinking, saying, or doing things out of fear. I sometimes lose faith. I doubt myself. I forget that THIS IS IT.
This will be a practice in loving myself, accepting every emotion as a part of me, and understanding that each moment I can try again. Can I have the awareness to recognize what I am feeling and FEEL it and be grateful for what it is teaching me about myself in that moment?
This is my new challenge. I will keep notes in a journal and share some thoughts here on the blog daily. I will still share some of my Book of Hours pages as I practice self-reflection through gratitude.
Feel free to join me on this project in spirit or share in the comments! As I have learned with my 100 scribbles, sharing our stories can help in understanding our own story and a daily practice always leads to amazing discoveries.