Wow! That is 30 days of gratitude in the books and I am SO thankful to all of you who tracked along with me! I hope you enjoyed getting to know my family a little better through each post.
Two years ago I did the same challenge after reading a blog post by my grade school friend Beth. She writes a fantastic blog over at This Mum. It is raw, honest, genuine....all the things you could want (and need) from a mama blog! This particular post shared truths about the tricky thing that is feeling unappreciated. When I first read her post, Elijah was shiny and new. I was elbows deep in loneliness, exhaustion and frustration. Reading that another mama understood some of the difficult feelings I was having was encouraging. Ready to be uplifted, I also read the article about happiness Beth referenced in her post. That article was GAME CHANGING! And I joined her in the 30 days of gratitude challenge.
That first time doing the challenge brought me out of a bad place. It changed how I analyzed each day. Instead of the focus being whatever challenges presented themselves, my focus was searching for the things, people, places and moments I was thankful for. It totally, totally shifted my brain. Seriously!
Flash forward to life lately. New baby. New struggles. A whole new level of exhaustion. And I find myself in yet another bad place. Time to give the gratitude challenge another go!
For most of the 30 days, one or all members of our family was sick. We had a frustrating road trip to our hometown that included a trip to emerge. My business catered it's first wedding... I was so drained by the time the boys were in bed each night, the thought of having to keep my eyes open to type up a gratitude post was just annoying. My heart and mind were in a different place this time around. The level of defeat I have been feeling has really done a number on me! As much as I wanted to see the sunshine through the haze, it kind of felt like just another burden. I didn't enjoy every day of the challenge and at its end I didn't feel as mentally transformed as the first time.
But! Looking back over my posts during those 30 days to write this wrap up, I am amazed and proud and encouraged by the photos and the words! Because there I see my husband hanging out in the steamy washroom with a sick baby in his arms, smiling. I see him working his day job, his side job, my side job and still being an epic Dada. I see Elijah holding hands with his Mama and his little brother, taking care of us in his own two year old way. I see Nolan in the stroller, in the car seat, in a wrap, going with the flow and always smiling. I see my boys growing and thriving through everything our team was getting hit with. I see my family truly being a team and rallying around each other to get through our battle. I see that team Wilson made it out the other side in one piece.
And there it is. This time the 30 days of gratitude challenge allowed me to look back on a really rough 30 days and see that they were still good days. That despite bumps and bruises along the way, there were moments that made me smile or laugh or lift my eyes to the heavens and breathe! My outlook on those 30 days would be so different if I wasn't searching for something good in each day. I would probably want to forget all about them; I would probably still feel super discouraged by it all. Instead I'm looking over those 30 days and I'm thankful for them. Thankful that our little family, during a seemingly upward battle, stuck by each other. Loved each other. Helped each other. Carried each other. I'm proud of us!
So, can I give you some homework?
1.) Go over and check out the blog post that inspired the challenge! Here is the link! And really there are so many other great posts on This Mum's blog for you to read. *Bonus points for reading the article on happiness.*
2.) Do the 30 days of gratitude challenge for yourself! If you do take on the challenge, let me know so I can track along with you as well.
It's an extraordinary, ordinary life!