You know what's weird?
I started living my life from a place of extreme gratitude AFTER my life felt like it was falling apart.
I think it's easy to get caught in the trap of feeling like happy people are the ones who are most grateful. But I think it's the opposite.
I think grateful people are the ones who are most happy.
If you're of the mindset that when everything is going right, THAT'S when you'll be grateful, you sound a lot like how I used to.
But then the proverbial you-know-what hit the fan.
You may have already heard my story (since it's so inextricably linked to the time that Compliment really started to grow), but this holiday marks 5 years of some pretty tumultuous times for my family.
A short recap? I went through a sudden and super-traumatic divorce. We lost 5 immediate family members within the last five years (3 within about 90 days of one another in 2012 and two within 11 days of each other earlier this year.) Job changes. Moves. Friendships lost.
It's not been easy. There were times where I felt like I couldn't go on, like grief was going to be the constant.
(isn't that a hopeful transition? And yet?)
And yet, these last five years have also been full of the most incredible grace, wisdom, divine gifts, the right people showing up at the right time, love, birth, and growth.
This year, my family is entering into the holiday season missing and grieving my two uncles. The holiday will just not be the same without them.
We are also celebrating the first Christmas as parents, with a soon-to-be 9 month old and another little peanut on the way. (SURPRISE!)
With every passing year, I find myself more and more grateful for the little things-- and believe me, I know how cliche and trite that sounds. But it's those little moments that add up to make a life.
So this holiday, I'm doing my best to stay present, to use my free time wisely to accomplish my to-do lists early, so that I can enjoy the little moments with the people I love-- the cookie decorating, the couples' dinner out, the addressing of Christmas cards (look how many people love us!) and strolling through lit up neighborhoods.
We are so lucky. All of us.
Keeping a list of the things you're grateful for helps you build an awesome practice of viewing the world through the lens of plenty. It's changed my life and the lives of those around me.
Print off as many as you need to get started. Keep this list in your purse as you're running your errands. Add to it as often as you can.
With love, Melissa