An Attitude of Gratitude


gratitudeHalloween….Thanksgiving….Christmas! Too often, we seem to get caught up in the hustle of the season, the chaos of going from one event to the next, and we find ourselves stressed, overwhelmed, and negative. We develop a negative attitude, when  it really should be a season of merriment and graciousness. I have been stuck in my own personal rut, so I invested in a religious journaling book. I don’t do it in any specific order, I just open up to a page and hope it will speak to me. The other night, I opened up to a page entitled “Attitude of Gratitude.” It really hit home with me. We, as a culture, have a negative outlook. We spend endless amounts of time complaining. It isn’t intentional…we get overwhelmed, and then we begin to complain. The idea behind an attitude of gratitude is that we change our perspective so that we see the positives, rather than focus on the negatives.

Changing the Perspective to Gratitude

Once I tried to change the narrative, I realized just how much I complain. Here are some examples:

“My kids are 2 and 5 and still I rarely get to sleep through the night.” But that can easily be changed to “I have two little boys who feel safe in my presence.”

“I have a mountain of laundry to fold.” But I’m trying to say “My husband and I are fortunate enough to be able to provide our children with adequate clothing.” That isn’t true for some people, and I think it is easy for us to forget the thinks we should be grateful for. 

“I just stepped on a lego….again!” can easily be updated to “My child uses his creative energy to bring to life the ideas in his imagination (but maybe leaves a few too many on the floor).” 

Once you are versed in the art of it, it truly becomes easier and easier to make a gracious mindset. 

Hosting Thanksgiving

I have hosted my husband’s family for Thanksgiving for the last four years. It entails about 30 people coming over to celebrate together. In the past, I allowed myself to be overcome by the burdens of hosting….cleaning my house, buying groceries, preparing food, and the overall logistics of putting an event together. I was so obsessed over the minor details, that by the time the event arrived I couldn’t always enjoy myself fully. This year, I have tried to maintain my attitude of gratitude. I have tried to focus on turning my complaints into positives, to find the good things I can say about hosting. That I have a large, loving family. That my boys get to celebrate with their four of their great-grandparents, their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and more. That on Thanksgiving we have a house filled with delicious smells, a plentiful table, bountiful laughter, endless love, and a day of to remember gratitude. But I don’t just want to remember it on that day anymore…I want to maintain a grateful attitude in each day.  

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Melissa is a mom of two little boys, ages 3 and 6 months. She is a science teacher at Bay View Middle School, and has been a teacher for 7 years. Melissa and her husband also own an organic produce farm, Twin Elm Gardens, so you will often find her at local farmer's markets. Their food is used in many local restaurants. In the winter Melissa and her husband stay very busy as they are also part owners of the Wojcik Christmas Tree Farm. She loves encouraging people to support local, healthy, and sustainable.