Week 1 of Home Life Simplified 52 week Challenge is to create a list of the things that went “right” in 2011.
On reflecting on 2011, I realise that I began the year with my own mini “Pity Party” happening, I was exhausted, working shift work, having only a few hours sleep most nights, before getting up to look after two very energetic kids.
I was constantly getting comments on how tired and worn out I looked. I would look in the mirror and see eyes surrounded with dark circles, pasty skin, and one exhausted woman, I felt I was just “existing”.
Lack of sleep led to high emotions, it was a vicious cycle of negativity, as I felt worn out each day, I would sit and think of all the people who’s lives seemed to be easier than mine, I was one Negative Nancy.
Being physically and emotionally drained led to increase of health problems, decrease of social life, and feeling like I was one of those hamsters running on a wheel, doing the same thing every day, but getting absolutely nowhere.
Realistically, I knew I did not have it anywhere near as bad as other people, and I knew I was currently in the position I needed to be at that point of my life.
In May, I commenced my own project of Gratitude :https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alicias-365-Moments-of-Gratitude-Project/166458533413760 I set out to take a photograph each day for a year of something in my life I was grateful for. To start with, I thought that it would be difficult to find things to be grateful for, I thought I would do the few obvious ones, and then run out of things to do, but I was desperate to change my negative mindset, so I just jumped in head first into this project, and I am happy to say, this was my single greatest decision of 2011.
Suddenly I began to notice all the wonderful, small things in life, as I began to find things to be grateful for, my mindset improved, I stopped getting upset about what I did not have in life, and started to rejoice all the wonderful things that I DID have.
Many of the wonderful things were free:
- The love of my family
- The joy of being a Mother and Wife
- Being blessed by wonderful friendships
- The beauty of nature, the peace that came with just sitting, watching and listening to a bird in our backyard, or watching a butterfly flying by
- Allowing my inner child out to play
- Taking a moment to be peaceful, still, and just be
- Knowing that even when everything was not perfect, that there is always something wonderful in my life at that moment to be grateful for
I noticed that my change in mindset also changed my relationships with others, I began to appreciate my role as a Mother, Wife and Friend more, and I importantly began to become my own friend.
I started to be a lot gentler on myself, I started to tame that inner voice that would put myself down, in doing so, I also realised that I did not really do anything for myself, so I took up new activities, and enjoyed having the project as an excuse to indulge in photography, a hobby I have loved for a long time, but had lost some of my passion for.
Other people seemed to enjoy talking to me more than before, I didn’t feel drained after leaving conversations (my own side of the conversation used to drain me more than anything). The added bonus of starting my gratitude project also enabled me to connect with wonderful people from other Facebook pages and blogs, something I had never imagined doing before, striking up a friendship with someone you havent ever met!
On reflection of 2011, it is hard to make a list of what went right in the year, because in fact, a lot went right, and it was all because I started to practice the art of daily gratitude, which in turn caused a positive ripple effect throughout my whole life.
One simple daily act, made 2011 end in a completely different way to how it began.
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
~ Frederick Keonig
I am linking up with Home life Simplified 52 week Challenge, click on link below to see more (can’t seem to work out how to do this button thing!)