This past Friday was Veteran’s Day. Andy got to start celebrating it early on Wednesday at our elementary school. They had a special program for veterans and asked any veteran in the area to come and march in their parade. There were quite a few since we live so close to a military base. Andy says these types of things make them uncomfortable, but I got all teary-eyed and knew that this was important to do. Partially so these wonderful men and women can know we’re grateful for their service, but a huge part of it is is for the kids. It inspires them, it helps them understand that their freedom isn’t free, it builds their gratitude which is not only important for the happiness and well-being of our country, but their own happiness as well.
I’ve touched on this many times, but I received an email from “Happify” (a guiding therapy app that has helped me) about the science behind gratitude. It states, “The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. … Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons… shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal– regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful– can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.”
I am grateful for so many things. I’m truly grateful for my husband’s sacrifice and many others for the freedoms I so mindlessly enjoy. I’m grateful for my family, my faith, my Savior, the home I live in , the life I live and so much more, but the article encouraged us to find specific things throughout the day. This helps create a mind of gratitude, then we begin to see the world through eyes of hope and optimism and it shapes the very world around us. This happened very profoundly to me during residency and I’ve let the habit of writing down my daily moments of gratitude diminish, and I DO notice a difference. I tend to be more nit-picky towards myself and others. I also tend to feel more insecure the in the relationships I have built. So I am using this blog post to recommit myself to that atomic habit of taking a moment every day to write down the things I am grateful for in that moment. I am setting a reminder on my phone to do it right after the kids go to bed, that way I won’t be too tired to “get it done.”
Today I am grateful for Harvey. He makes me laugh and he is the best hugger (only second to his dad). I’m grateful that our ward still does virtual church since Max threw up this morning. I’m grateful for a husband that desires to go to church and doesn’t need me to push him to do anything that is right. I’m grateful for a daughter that finds joy in nurturing me and her brothers. “I gave Harvey a snack, mom!” “I gave Max a bowl just in case he throws up again!” I am grateful for Maverick who’s imagination is rivaled and finds joy in the littlest of things. I’m grateful for Max. Since he’s been feeling crummy today, and me too, I’ve realized how much he helps me out when he’s feeling well and I miss it!
This week we got to celebrate Veterans Day by driving to Atlanta and visiting the children’s museum. Harvey was mostly in Heaven until I wouldn’t let him press the emergency button on the real elevator (so much is hands on, it was really disappointing to him that he couldn’t press ALL the buttons). Day light savings has kicked his and consequently our butts with many 4:30/5:30 wake ups, but I’ve been super productive this week since I’ve been up so early. And I’m grateful that Andy finally gets a comfortable ride to commute in. He loved the mustang and the jeep, but this ride is definitely more comfortable and will help with the gas budget. He has been waiting three and a half months since he ordered it and we were finally able to pick it up. He would’ve kept driving the jeep but it was having troubles and we needed a more reliable car. Our friend helped fix up the engine and radiator so now it runs great! So we’ll hold on to it for our kids. It’ll be a great learner car since it’s manual and can’t go too fast.
For more posts on gratitude and some of my experiences with it see: