I don’t know about you, but despite have an unfailingly optimistic attitude that everything comes right in the end, I seem to spend most of my days caught up in ‘stuff’.
Don’t get me wrong, there are things I make space for each week, when I make it my business to soak in and appreciate life as it is now and ponder what can be, like snatched walks along the beach, short daily meditations, weekly yoga and writing these articles.
Yet, too often, the prevalent experience of my day can tend towards grind. Things like getting up and out each morning, listening to the kids argue, drafting quotes and invoices, getting washing done, tidying, just being the parent when the kids are tired and whiny at the end of the day, being stationed in the kitchen for (what feels like) endless hours and many things besides, it all seems like a distraction from the main event.
Then when my partner comes home, I sometimes have this attitude of having survived something. Sound familiar?
So what is this main event I think I’m missing?
Sure, more cup-filling time and solitude would go down a treat, but really, it comes down to attitude. Switching from an attitude of resentment, all grumbling and grumpy, to one of gratitude is a bit of a trick and requires deliberate focus; like any new habit.
If I look back, it’s easy to see in hindsight that the nasties life has thrown my way have always turned out to be blessings in disguise. From the heartache of being ditched by one that was loved to the challenges of illness and the deprivation felt in failed pregnancies, every cloud has had its silver lining.
That’s the big stuff. What about all the humdrum day to day guff that we all just have to get on and deal with? Well, it’s a funny thing, I look back and really struggle to remember most of it.
I’m quite sure my life in the decades up until now would have consisted of multiples upon multiples of daily tasks and experiences, that I would have had my energy all wrapped up in for most of the time, yet they are so inconsequential I struggle to remember. It’s not even that I have no conscious recollection of them, the bigger surprise is that the emotional resonance is, well, not there.
Fast forward to the present day, that tells me that I’m wasting energy angsting when instead I have an opportunity. Sure, it could be an opportunity to focus on bringing a housekeeper, personal assistant and nanny into my future but, if I’m honest, it’s not that bad and I kind of want to stay in the driving seat for most of it.
That tells me there is a payback in there and when I start to unpack it a bit more, I realise it’s a healthy payback, so I need to start focusing on the positive aspects rather than the negative ones.
If I was feeding something unhealthy, well then I’d go back and read my own thoughts on breaking out of my comfort zone, but this is about changing my habits in terms of the way I view these things. Another way of putting it could be putting my big girl undies on and see these things as first world problems to really prod me out of a pity party.
The truth is, I do feel a sense of privilege when it comes to my life and my kids. I’m exactly where I want to be in order to be the kind of mum I want to be. To be in the driving seat of example setting is a privilege and a responsibility, so I need to take responsibility for my own attitude and stop fighting against something I’m actually wanting.
Sure, I can relook at each of the tasks I’ve put in the drudge basket and question whether they are actually serving me, or if I’ve created some kind of expectation around them I need to drop, and I will; but mostly it’s just a dawning that nothing good in life is as sweet as when there’s a challenge behind it, and sometimes that challenge is just about being grateful for the small stuff.
Just like the surfers who patiently await the right swells, who spend endless days waiting for the right conditions and then hours floating on the ocean in order to catch a handful of satisfying waves, I remind myself that life is just a series of moments. Without the day to day in between, we could not create such moments.
In each of these small, seemingly inconsequential, instances where our thoughts are ticking over, we are observing, learning and adapting. We inch forwards and then we have breakthroughs. The day to day grind that I was referring to is indeed something I am learning to be thankful for. It’s like the carver chipping away at a block of wood, slowly, slowly, a new shape emerges.
The biggest gift I can be thankful for is our ability to create our own experiences. We have the gift of thought, and we can choose good ones or bad ones. Bad ones will yield more bad experiences, good ones will yield more good experiences. Simple really. For that, I am truly thankful.
Knowing I’ve helped in some way through my writing means a lot - I’d love for you to like, comment on, or share these thoughts with others, or contact me directly at email@example.com, I’m always happy to help if I can. To be the first to receive these posts, you can also subscribe to my newsletter and, as a special thank you, you will receive the link to my video 3 Steps to Becoming You.
By signing up you will only receive emails from shonakeachie.com and you can unsubscribe at any time. This is a two-step process, you will have to verify your subscription by clicking the link in the email you should receive after clicking this 'Subscribe' button. If you do not receive the email please check your Junk mail, thank you.
Please note if you are using the Google Chrome browser and want to subscribe to the RSS Feed you will first need to get an RSS plugin from the Chrome Store.