Tuesday, October 23

Giving Thanks ~ @AuthorKristina

Wow, it feels a little weird being here on a Tuesday. Weird but fun, and like Liz said last week, a little bit renewing. I'm looking forward to this blog change we're doing. Which brings me to the actual blog part of this post.

bebe started 5th grade this year, after a lot of back-and-forth between RadioMan and I about possibly homeschooling her. She had a couple of...we'll just call them moments in 3rd grade and then a bigger incident last year that made our knee-jerk reaction be to pull her out of the district. We didn't, for a lot of reasons that aren't about this particular post. I guess the main reason being that she, despite these incidents, still wanted to be at that school, with her friends. If and when that changes for her, we'll revisit, but in the meantime, we've taken a different route.

Y'all know I have a tendency to be a little bit Pollyanna. Liz and I are alike that way. But I like to look at the glass as half-full, at a door closing as a window opening, and at the bad things that happen being learning experiences. I'm also a firm believer that although every day isn't filled with amazing beauty or greatness, that there are good things that happen daily that we need to learn to see. To hold on to. To be grateful for.

For the past few years, I've taken part in the #30daysofthanks hashtag on Facebook, and cross-posted a few of those to Twitter and even Instagram...I'll take part in it again this year because I love it. It's something that I look forward to every year.

When the craziness at school was happening, I saw bebe change a little bit. Not so much a withdrawl, but a quieting of her. She wasn't (and isn't) depressed, but she became (and still is) slower to voice her opinion. I didn't want her to lose her opinions or her energy or herself, and so I thought maybe it would help her to look at her days and pick out those moments. So, a little thing the two of us call our Gratitude Project started. I found a couple of mini Happy Planners, the kind that a lot of planner-type-people slide into their purses for grocery lists, appointments, things like that. We're using it in a different way.

Instead of keeping track of our appointments (I mean, seriously, how many appointments does a 10
year old have? Fine, a lot, I know...lets carry on), we're keeping track of the good things that happen. Just before bedtime every night, the two of us come into my office and write about something that happened that day that made us happy, made us laugh, or that was just weird or silly or fun. It's kind of a diary, but without a whole blank page to make her (or me, I've never been a great journaler) freeze up. There is just enough space in each daily box to write something short.

We started the project a few weeks ago, and I've noticed a couple of things. 1) that bebe is more aware of her surroundings. She's looking for those moments every day and I've caught her a time of two savoring that moment...and then reliving it a little when we write that night. 2) that I'm calmer. Not just because of the changes that I'm seeing in her but because of the changes that I'm seeing in me.

I've never been the type of person to dwell on the negative (I meant it when I said I'm a little bit Pollyanna), but the act of writing down something that I'm grateful for or that made me smile or that went well...it's affirming in a way that simply holding that moment in my memory isn't. It's a reminder, I think, to look for the good. Like Mr. Rogers said. Look for the good, look for the helpers, even in the dark.

Are you a journaler or a diarist? I'd love to hear what you write about!

6 comments:

  1. I love this, Kristi, and I so enjoy watching Shelby grow up. What a strong young woman she is! I can imagine her at 18, although I really can't stand to think about her getting that old as fast as it's going to happen. I'll be doing 30 Days too. It's been harder the past couple of years, but that makes it more necessary for me.

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    1. It's been harder for me, too, because there is just so much negativity in the world...but I agree, that the negativity makes actively looking for (and sharing) the good things more important.

      PS: I'm sooooooooooooo not looking forward to 18 or (gasp) when she gets married or...you know, *any* of that!! lol

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  2. I should do something like this. I tend toward the negative side of things so it's really useful for me to remember things I'm grateful for, or happy about. I love that bebe is looking for those special moments in her life now. I think that will benefit her for a long time to come.

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  3. I’m a Pollyanna too and I love this idea! I have one of those calendars just playing dormant, I think I’m going to try this. This is such a good thing to teach our kids and ourselves. Good on you!

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