Thursday, November 28, 2019

In Gratitude We Trust

To quote my friend Alexander, today (November 1st, the day I'm scheduled to begin writing in my gratitude journal) was "a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day". While wallowing in sorrow, frustration, and anger, I often wish that days like today wouldn't happen...but the fact of the matter is that they do, and that we need them, because without them we wouldn't appreciate the wonderful, awesome, no bad, very good days. 

Days like today are exactly why I write in this gratitude "journal" throughout the month of November leading up to Thanksgiving. Finding the good - and a hint of gratitude - in the midst of a swirling tornado of the complete opposite is hard, but so worth the effort it takes.


November 1
I am grateful for my gym and the fitness classes it offers as part of my membership.

Working hard physically - and at times mentally, while trying to keep up with choreography - makes me feel strong and in control.

November 2
I am grateful for friends who always listen, even when what I have to say is nothing more than venting pent up frustration, and who love me through the messiness of parenting, marriage, and growing old up.

November 3
I am grateful for this reminder that I'm not completely screwing up my children.

November 4
I am grateful for Monday afternoons.

After four years of packed Mondays, this year our Mondays are "light", with only one soccer practice at 7:30pm. Starting the week by getting ahead on homework, tackling small to-dos around the house, and going to bed early (well, at least Hallie goes to bed early) makes the rest of our week go more smoothly.

November 5
I am grateful for my - for our collective - right to vote.

November 6
I am grateful for early Christmas presents!

My friends and I like to buy each other Nutcracker-themed Christmas presents, and because we want to be able to enjoy our Nutcracker goodies during Nutcracker season, we start our holiday gift giving the first week in November. 

November 7
I am grateful for a husband who saves his Stroopwaffles while traveling and a coffee mug with a Stroopwaffle-sized rim.

I don't want to wish away my favorite time of year - I love Thanksgiving and Christmas - but I am ready to wrap up 2019. There's no doubt 2020 will arrive with its own baggage and its own roller coaster of ups and downs, but I need to close out this chapter. All that to say that today, like the first day of the month, was another tough day. And when I was feeling low, coffee in and a Stroopwaffle on my favorite mug came to my much as Kroger donut house coffee and an airline-issued breakfast treat can rescue anyone.

November 8
I am grateful for free champagne.

Interestingly, I was grateful for free champagne on the first day of Dance Rev last year as well.

November 9
I am grateful for diamond art.

This ONE project kept her busy and content for more than NINE HOURS when she couldn't dance at Dance Rev. Thank you, Jenn!

November 10
I am grateful for Tom and Will for holding down the fort during our trip to Dallas.
Tom and Will showered, brushed their hair, dressed (up) in non-
athletic clothes, and went out for sushi (since Hallie and I don't like
it). Who are these men and what have they done with my boys?! 

They vacuumed a few rooms, started a load of laundry, changed a lightbulb, unclogged the bathtub, wiped down the bathroom sinks and mirrors, brought down the Christmas tree (which we put out for the trash because we're worried its malfunctioning lights could start a fire), and took out the trash.
This photo makes me laugh, because it perfectly captures how
Tom and Will take care of the house in my absence. They clean
and tidy up, but there are always little details they miss. 😂

November 11
I am grateful for all those who have served our country, and for the opportunity to honor these brave men and women alongside my children at their schools' Veterans Day assemblies.

November 12
I am grateful for my girl's resilience.

The extracurricular path she has chosen has dealt her many a blow this year. She has experienced a couple of "wins", but for the most part, these last few months have felt to her like one long landslide to the bottom of the mountain. She too is ready to start fresh in 2020...  

November 13
I am grateful to have discovered Yamuna (thanks, Mom!), which has allowed me to treat my plantar fasciitis as well as a variety of other aches, pains, and injuries. The process is slow, but well worth the time!

Not familiar with Yamuna? Google it or let me know if you'd like to know more!

November 14
I am grateful for The Piano Guys, whose Christmas album is my absolute favorite and my starting point for Christmas music every year.

I intended to wait until November 22nd - my birthday - to start listening to Christmas music. I didn't make it.

November 15
I am grateful that Dance Mom Appreciation Week has come to an end, and that I made it through tap, jazz, modern, company, and contemporary without serious injury!

I enjoy dancing with Hallie, but this year's Dance Mom Appreciation Week was particularly tough because 1) Hallie's knee-related physical limitations put a damper on her spirits, and 2) we JUST returned from Dance Rev and I would have liked a week "off" before having to jump into another intense dance experience.

November 16
I am grateful for a slower than normal Saturday smack dab in the middle of a crazy fall semester. No soccer game, one shorter-than-usual dance rehearsal, shopping for new orchestra and basketball shoes with my boy, a walk with my girl, and an evening at home.

November 17
I am grateful we only have one more week of school before our nine-day Thanksgiving break!

Will and Hallie love school and I enjoy my days spent working and volunteering, but because all three of us can't stand getting up with an alarm clock - and all three of us require one on school days - we look forward to school breaks and when we can turn our alarm clocks off.

November 18
I am grateful for my flexible work schedule, without which I would not be available to shuttle my kiddos to and from school and appointments.

Already today I've taken Hallie to her sports medicine appointment, to school, to her physical therapy appointment, back to school, and then home, and it looks like I may also be taking Tux to the vet this afternoon. But I am grateful I have the freedom to handle all of this for my family members. 

November 19
I am grateful for a day - the first of three in a row - spent creating in the kitchen.

I used to bake EVERY Friday. My schedule hasn't allowed me to do so lately, so being "forced" into the kitchen (Tom signed up to bring gingersnap cookies to his Thanksgiving luncheon on Wednesday, I committed to making two pans of brownies for a staff appreciation event on Thursday, and I always bake miniature banana breads for Will and Hallie to give to their teachers on the Friday before Thanksgiving break) was exactly what I needed.

November 20
I am grateful for a friend who reached out at exactly the right time and knew exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.

November 21
Oops. I missed this day.

November 22
I am grateful for 41 years on this earth.

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."

Edited to add: I am also grateful for cancelled plans. 😂

November 23
I am grateful for a week-long Thanksgiving break, and that while today was a CRAZY day (two soccer games, two dance rehearsals, a holiday ornament workshop, holiday shopping, and a food fundraiser pick-up), it was our last crazy day until December...and then all bets are off.

November 24
I am grateful my Christmas decor and tree are set up!

I try to wait until after Thanksgiving to start decorating for Christmas, but Thanksgiving is far too late this year. Had we not put Christmas up/out today, I would have had to wait until December 1st, and that's just ridiculous.

November 25
I am grateful for an alarm clock-free morning.

November 26
I am grateful for safe travels.

November 27
I have grateful for time spent with my extended family, especially my nearly 88-year-old grandma.

November 28
I am grateful for my family members and friends. I am grateful for my and their relative health and financial security. I am grateful for amazing moments and awful moments and all the ordinary, mundane, and routine moments in between. And I am grateful for all of you, who make writing about life here on Chasing Roots matter.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! See you next Tuesday!

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