Another Street Parking challenge has come and gone. These challenges come around a few times a year. Each one has a slightly different focus, but in the end establishing healthy habits and consistency are the overarching themes.
The little daily extras in each challenge sneak up on me. This challenge required writing a daily gratitude reflection. I like to write at the beginning of the day so I challenged myself to write at the end this time. There were many days when I had to pull myself out of near-sleep to jot it down, but it got done almost every day.
Knowing I had to write what I was grateful for actually made me think about my mindset throughout the day. I realized I had fallen into some of my old habits of negativity and grumpiness. I’ve done this exercise before, but a reset was needed. (I’m also just going to pause and say that right now seems like a tough time for many in my life circles as well as the world in general. Between the pandemic surges, war, weather, craziness, on top of all the regular life stuff, things. just. feel. very. heavy and hard.) So early in the challenge I decided to pull something I was grouchy about it and flip it to a gratitude each day. I did this early in the pandemic as well to try to reframe some of my challenges.
Here are some of the before / afterthoughts from this time around:
-We recently had a stretch where many people in our circles needed a “place to crash” for a few days. This added adults, kids, dogs, and stuff to our already slightly chaotic household. Grouchy to Gratitude: “I am grateful we have a home with enough room to welcome those who need it.”
-Covid hit my family in the past month, bringing sickness and many associated challenges to our daily lives. Grouchy to Gratitude: “I am grateful the vaccine protected some of those around us from sickness.” “I am grateful we have focused on our health over the past couple of years to help us have a better chance of beating this virus.”
-I’ve been given many more work responsibilities this fall. Our student numbers have increased along with a focus on keeping kids safe. Grouchy to Gratitude: “I am grateful that my boss finds my inclusion in projects to be beneficial.” “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a light for kids at a time when lots of things are dark.”
-At times my “extra jobs” have been overwhelming this month – i.e., launching the cut flower arm of our business and being a booster club president / treasurer for a high school sport. Grouchy to Gratitude: “I am grateful for all the smiles a joy I get to give people from the groundwork we have done.” “I am grateful for the abundance our land has provided.” “I am grateful for the chance to organize a season that these girls can find special and memorable.”
The list goes on. I found myself, during grouchy moments, mentally flipping my script. Finding the flip side, the upside, the silver lining.
It’s all in the story we tell ourselves. Another great lesson hidden in something small. Hopefully I can sustain this discipline in the coming season.