As part of my efforts to live lighter this year I keep coming back to the notion of gratitude. The idea of finding something to be grateful for in every circumstance. I have the phrase “attitude of gratitude” going through my head constantly (in a cheesy American accent) and although outwardly I cringe every time I hear myself say it (albeit internally), I acknowledge the truth that gratitude helps me live more lightly.

So this year I have started a thankful jar (during the year the family put in little notes of things they are thankful for as they happen, and we open it and review at the end of the year). I first saw the idea on Pintrest and thought it was lovely. Then I realised that everyone was doing it, so then I was “it’s so unoriginal”. Finally I got to “if at the end of the year I tip out my jar and find I have loads to be thankful for, who cares if this is not an original idea?”.

thankful jar

Already there are lots of slips in that jar, but I know how a year goes, with great gusto in January, a slowdown in March, to dragging feet in July, before restarting again with Spring in September and crazily careening to the end of the year in November / December. So I am starting with great gusto in a hope that a half full jar might inspire me to continue through those harder months.

Anyway in the midst of this I found this old half-written blog post from the middle of last year when Little Miss had croup. It seems gratitude is something I will be learning over and over again …

“I have been reading a lot about gratitude lately (I don’t mean to, it just seems to be the message I keep seeing in everything I read), and I must admit that it has been very hard this last week to feel gratitude.

Miss Two has been very sick this week and it has been an interesting week for me as a mother. On Monday I was organised, I managed to write a blog post, cook a big pot of Osso Bucco for dinner, and felt (if I am totally honest) a little smug about my achievements as the mother of a sick little girl and her sister. By Thursday I was a mess, Mr walked in and asked a simple question (I can’t even remember what it was) and I dissolved into tears at the table saying “I don’t know” over and over again.

So I have found this focus on gratitude a little irksome to say the least. However in the midst of the tears, the worry, and the not knowing, I confess I have had some little moments of thankfulness:

– When Miss Two finally decided she would eat and we had an impromptu picnic on her bed of bread, crackers and marshmallows (hey she hadn’t eaten anything for days)
– the afternoon when Miss Two finally turned the corner and slept, and Bubba Girl and I went out to the garden to enjoy the winter sunshine

So maybe there is something in this gratitude thing after all.”