It's gonna knock your tube socks off
I have this t-shirt with an outline of Mickey Mouse on it, I often wear it to bed, it’s a nice reminder of the amazing trip we took to Disney World earlier this year. Not long ago I was wearing this very shirt on a chilly Saturday morning while snuggling with my boys. Much to my surprise my little guy leaned over and gave me a kiss on what turned out to be my nipple (I was not wearing an over the shoulder boulder holder at the time). Now, don’t get me wrong, that was shocking in and of itself, but what followed really blew my doors off. My little nipple kisser pointed to Mickey's ears and said: “wouldn't it be funny if your breasts were on your chest instead of on your tummy?” Gosh, that would be funny, except it was you my sweet cherub that turned my upper body into a couple of tube socks instead of high flying cantaloupes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful for the life-giving food my body provided to both my boys, but rest assured I was more grateful when things all pointed in the same direction.
The time spent on that couch (prior to the nipple incident that will live in infamy) was one of those magical times where no one was fighting or farting, and being a Mom was glorious just like I imagined. I haven’t always appreciated cold mornings spent cuddling my dudes. In the past, the fall weather has always been filled with the first wave of what would be months of grey days. Days covered in a film of sadness, self-pity, and general discontent. The change of season and darker days have this effect on lots of people, maybe you, like me, are one of them. I spent a lot of time thinking that living somewhere warmer or having money to take multiple extended tropical vacations would “cure” me, or at least break up the depression spiral winter delivered. The answer wasn’t either of those things, and my life has been so filled with warmth and sunshine these last few years that I hardly remember what that old life felt like. I forget that for years I lived in grey, and right this very minute there are Mom’s feeling numb and lost and like they might never see the sun again.
Recently I’ve seen flashes of my old self in others. I see me in the friend that says my Facebook posts about gratitude are great but she can’t even muster up one thing to be grateful for. I see me in the friend who is struggling to put a finger on why she feels off, she isn’t sure but worries it will always feel like this. I see me in the Mom that just can’t get up off the couch even though she has dinner to make and a little human to tend. I see me in the woman who is self-conscious and unsure of herself for no apparent reason, who hesitates and defers when important things are discussed. I especially see me when talk turns to challenging children (note: I removed the word difficult, practicing reframing), and defeat overrides the honor of motherhood. I see you, I do, but I also see who I am now compared to who I was just a few short years ago and I want to shout in your face “it’s going to be OK, don’t give up, keep trying, take help when it is offered and when you’ve healed, it will be your time to reach down to the next woman and then her to the next”.
In all of this, I feel God nudging me to give back what was given to me. The art and practice of Gratitude make the top 5 list of things that turned the tide for me. Gratitude is not just the offhand way we say we are grateful for our warm house or the food on our table, but the deep emotional impact of truly appreciating every moment for what it is and without expectation. Come with me this month, we can take gratitude and appreciation deeper than one day spent eating turkey and pie. Let’s infuse our days, our interactions, our families with a deep appreciation for the joy we have right now right here. Deep gratitude requires work, but I know we are up for the challenge.
None of this is new, I’m not the inventor of gratitude, but believe me, it has reinvented me. A strong gratitude practice is a miracle, you won’t believe how it can change your life. I am living proof that being intentional with your appreciation can fix the worst grey days, even grey months and years. It will change things you didn’t even know needed changing, and shift things you thought were impossible to move. We speak of miracles with awe, right here in our own body, we have the power to be that kind of miracle for ourselves. Are you in? Let’s do it together, everything is easier and more fun with friends.
I’ll start, I’m so grateful for these tube socks I call breasts. I’m grateful because my little guy used the word breasts instead of boobs, we count that as a big win around here. I’m grateful that I don’t have to wear that Micky Mouse shirt with the perky ears, I have a drawer full of oversized t-shirts to choose from. And finally, I’m grateful for all of you. Meet me on Facebook this month for gratitude prompts and to share things big and small that chase away your grey. In addition to my daily gratitude journal, I’ll be using the free "Month of Gratitude" printable from Emily Ley to focus my gratitude intention each morning. I'm so excited to get started.