My life is pretty damn good. Often I forget this fact and I need to stop and remind myself. I love the old song, "Count Your Blessings" where it instructs you to fall asleep counting your blessings instead of sheep (I'm not a huge fan of sheep so this advice works for me). After a hard season of life, my awareness of how good I feel right now is a big blessing in itself.
If my goal is to be supportive and loving to the people in my life, I understand now that I need to be included in that list. Not being so hard on myself is a huge gift, and its worth cannot be measured. I feel less constrained when I don't place such lofty expectations on what I should be doing. I'm recognizing the importance of the little things I do, and how those add up to make a big difference.
A friend popped by my house yesterday afternoon to give me a gift. It was a journal with my new favourite saying on it, "Keep Calm and Carry On". She saw me writing quotes or moments of inspiration on the back of my chequebook as I didn't have any other paper with me, and thought this journal would be perfect for my purse to record those ideas.
I was moved to tears at her thoughtfulness and kindness. That kind of love goes deep into a person, validating and recognizing you in a meaningful way. For my friend it was a small gesture, and for me it was huge. So much of life is like that. I'm through with not doing something for someone because it seems too insignificant. I used to want the big production or event, and backed off because it was too much work or seemed too overwhelming. Now I know that little things mean a lot, and because they are little, I can do more of them. We all can.
When I count my blessings, I come away with a softness in my spirit; a sense of quiet gratitude and peace. I become more aware of everything around me. My kids don't seem so rowdy and mannerless. My husband appears more considerate and loving. I don't feel like I'm failing, but instead doing just fine in all of the many moving pieces of my life. Right now, it seems like the gears are lined up and everything is running smoothly again, after months of being off-kilter and struggling to keep up.
We can't change the seasons in our lives. They come and they go, with the ebb of the tides, and we have to adjust to what comes at us. I'm going to enjoy feeling lighter and more hopeful right now, because I don't know how long this stage will last, but while I'm in it, I can enjoy the sweetness I am feeling.
I have been blessed. Noticing it and teaching my kids to notice what is wonderful all around them is a helpful exercise. It gives me a positive outlook which combats fear and anxiety over all that I cannot control. For today, I am counting my blessings, and noticing all of the little things.