Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gratitude Journal


Lately, I feel like I'm holding on to 'yesterday's junk'. Oh, Louise Smith would be so disappointed! Frankly, I should be disappointed. It's a terrible way to go about my daily business. Gratitude journaling is my way of letting go of negative things and filling myself up with the positive. I shouldn't be surprised my foul mood has stuck around for this long. In all honesty, I haven't been reflecting on the good things. I've been hanging on tight to the bad things happening.

We are dealing with deployment days around here. Oh, how I miss my husband. Lately, I am finding how quickly those feelings can create a lot of other negative emotions.  On Saturday nights I begin contemplating the Gratitude Journal post. The past two weeks I have wanted to skip it. I'd rather concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. If I could just post 'I am happy one more day is over' OR 'I am thankful we are one day closer to homecoming', then I wouldn't feel like such a fraud.

Honestly, some days that IS what I am most grateful for.  Hmm...I feel like I shouldn't admit these things. For the sake of realness, I should. I want you to know sometimes life isn't butterflies and flowers. Not just for military spouses but for everyone. For you, the negative feelings may come from a never ending laundry pile, a paycheck that won't get you through until the next, illness, loneliness, or too many responsibilities. At the end of the day, why make time to be thankful for coffee and sunshine? Here is my short answer.

For every trial I endure, there is always something amazing happening simultaneously. It's a matter of choice to decide what to focus on.  We control our thoughts. Our thoughts control our mood. Sometimes, gratitude is a constant redirection of the mind. I am thankful for {blank}...oh thankful for {blank} Nicole?...pretty lame...why not just admit this {negative thing} sucks and wallow in it. You deserve it! It's worthy of your sadness, anger, etc. And there I am in my funk for one more day. Terrible cycle.

Today I am breaking the cycle. I'm counting these as my blessings...

I am thankful deployment is temporary. My husband will come home. The days are dwindling down but we still have some time. When I compare deployment with civilian life it seems unfair. When I compare my life with those who have lost their spouses, I feel like spoiled child.

I am grateful I am married to a good man worth missing. I miss so much about him because he is an active part of our family. He's sweet to me. He's a great dad. He comes home every day from work taking time to say 'hello' to every one of us before taking off his uniform and getting into his regular clothes. He's a master griller. He doesn't hesitate give me a hand with the housework. He takes the kids when I need a break. He goes along with any plan I concoct. Really, how can a girl not miss all that?

I am thankful for warm sunny days. East coast, don't hate, but we've been basking in 80 degree weather this weekend. Beautiful weather means lots of time outside.

...a trip to the library for some new reads.
...dinner at my favorite restaurant.
...a visit from the S family.
...chats with my sister.
...notes of encouragement (and a little gift) from my parents.
...mindless television from Netflix, namely Melissa & Joey.

And now my hand's are empty. Are yours?



  1. I love this and your new outlook. :)

  2. Love this post! Hope that this week is a good one with a lot more blessings for you!

  3. There have definitely been times when I haven't been looking at my blessings because I was too focused on something I was losing/missing. I also felt like a fraud to put on a smile when I was feeling miserable. One time in particular that I remember is when the Army deleted my husbands orders for an assignment that we so desperately wanted that they'd already offered him. I just could not get over it. It took me a long time to come to terms with it. I was angry. But in the end, we finally ended up at that assignment. And I will admit that things probably ended up working out for the absolute best. It was definitely a case where God had a better plan for us than I had. I just hadn't stopped complaining and given my trust to Him. So my loss was actually a blessing, and I was busy complaining instead of being grateful for all the other things going on. I think you have brought yourself back to a great place being grateful, and that is admirable.