Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, December 2, 2013

On Being Thankful

Over the weekend I spent some time reflecting on my life and was reminded of something I have known about myself for a long time: I often mourn for the things I don't have while completely overlooking the many things I do have. I know many of us do it. I think it is part of human nature to want to strive for more, to reach perfection, to be everything you want to be.
But, really, how realistic is that? How feasible is it to have the perfect life with the perfect partner, perfect children, a perfect body, a perfectly clean home, and so on? Well, let me tell you- it's not realistic at all. Life isn't perfect. We make messes. We make mistakes. And really, all we can ask for in life is the courage to try again and the strength to do better.
Am I sounding corny yet?
Anyways, the point of my ramble is that I realize I need to spend more time being thankful for what I do have. Yes, maybe there are struggles (both with others and with myself), and my life is far from perfect, but I do have so much: a husband who adores our kids, 2 beautiful children, a cozy home full of animals, and so much more. But after a bad day (or week!), sometimes being thankful for what is in front of you seems near impossible. I guess I really need some practice.
How do you practice being thankful for what you have when life throws challenges at you?

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  1. You are so very right my friend, it can sometimes be hard to see what is right in front of us sometimes and be thankful for it. You are right though, by practicing gratitude regularly it really opens your eyes. I have a few ways..the first is my gratitude journal I write in most days, the second is my gratitude buddy. She emailed me at the end of last year asking if I would be interested in being her gratitude buddy and of course I said yes. She lives in the UK, I live in Canada, every night we email each other with our list of things we are grateful for from the day. It is amazing after a hard day I can sit down and still write the most beautiful list to send to her, some days I have to look a little harder, but there are things each and every day to be grateful for, I just need to look. That relationship has been life changing, built a friendship and even had her fly across the ocean to visit family and in doing so make time to meet me in person...amazing! And the other thing I or I should say we do is, each night before my little man goes to sleep he tells me the most favourite things from his day and I write them in his little journal, a way for us to share his gratitude for the day past.

    Sorry for the long response, I am pretty passionate about gratitude, it has changed my life to not only notice if myself, but to share it with others. And it really does open the door to abundance.

    Good luck with your practice.

    1. Thanks for the lovely response- the gratitude buddy is a great idea. I feel like if I have someone to hold me accountable, I do better, ;)

  2. It's all about perspective. Ever since I write down what I'm grateful for in the early morning, it sets the day off positively. We all could list what we are missing but then that leaves us sad and wanting. Listing what we love and cherish now that is where our lives become full of goodness.

    1. I like the idea of expressing gratitude first thing- it would be a good way to start each day. thanks.