Eliminating the Negative: An Exercise in Being Grateful

GratefulI’m so tired of worry and frustration. Worry about finances, health, my children, the future. The frustration with work, not enough time in the day, not getting enough exercise. Sometimes these pity parties snowball into a bank of negativity. And I’m so over it.

To remedy this,  I wrote down what I am grateful for. I know it’s easy to run thorough a quick list in our heads about being grateful for our health, family, etc. But I think actually writing down the specifics helped with some perspective of how blessed life really is.

After I did this, I realized that it boiled down to three categories: people, security, and faith. Sometimes it was hard to only focus on the positive of the things that I really get down about. But this was a good lesson to then reflect on what I can do to change the situations or how to feel differently about them. And besides, we’ve gotta have some rain to see a rainbow, right?

Here is my list. Incomplete I am sure. I don’t even really expect you to read through it. I just challenge you to do the same. And be specific. If I just said I was grateful for my job, I was inclined to follow it with “buts”, like, but it could pay better, some of the people are so hard to work with, I wish I didn’t have such a far commute. But if I really thought about the specifics of why I’m grateful, like how I also work with some awesome people, I get to take the commuter bus which allows me time to read, nap, etc. and that my benefits are hands-down amazing, it really distracted me from the negatives and turned my mood about it around.

I can’t leave without saying that I am grateful for you. My readers. Thanks for the time you spend on Balancing the Busy! Now get busy on your list!

And a little ditty to serve as a reminder and make you smile: Accentuate the Positive

I am so very grateful for….

My children. I hear of others who struggle with behavior, with health, even just with homework. But despite their breakout WWF moments in JoAnn Fabrics, they really are such kind-hearted, fun, well-mannered kids.

My husband. He does dishes and laundry and it doesn’t even matter if he does it different than I would because he does it. And that’s such a huge help for our family. His main drive in life is to take care of our little family and I know that is something special. The cherry on top is that we still love one-on-one time and have so much fun together.

My parents. I had two of the best. Ever. No, really. They were incredible.

My friends. The ones at work that are my bright spot in otherwise frustrating days. The ones who still reach out on the anniversaries of when my parents passed away. The ones who take chances and live their dreams so that I can be inspired to the same. The ones who I can pick up with like no time has passed. The ones I have known since grade school because that link to my childhood is priceless.

My family. My sisters. Their families. My aunts, uncles and cousins. My in-laws. And all the other links that may or may not be blood but are part of what make up this lively bunch. They are so full of love. And laughs. The funny stories, the things we can only tell each other, the support when one is down. That makes my family exceptional. Watching my nieces and nephews turn into upstanding young people fills me with pride. I do not appreciate it nearly enough, but the links to these people are a blessing.

I have a job that provides the means to help take care of my family. I have a home in a safe neighborhood. I have a reliable vehicle. I have the opportunity to travel. I have a dog who loves me. I live in an area that has pretty great weather. I have a Trader Joe’s nearby (super grateful, you have no idea). I have the ability to exercise and eat well. I have passion and dreams and the support to follow them.

My country. Regardless of the things I may or may not agree with about this country, I am thankful that I have a right to express that opinion. The freedom and opportunity are second to none.

My church. It has taken my faith places in the last year more than the rest of my life combined. I really look forward to becoming more involved with the church and the people who attend. The positive influence it has on my family makes my heart swell. I work harder at being the person I want to be largely in part of the inspiration that I receive there.

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