Writing Down What You’re Grateful For

Being home with my kids each day is a mental challenge for me. Recently it feels like they have sucked the life energy out of me and left me for dead. Naturally I want to throw the towel in when they misbehave and when they drain me of my life force, but that is too easy. What would that teach them? What good would come if they see their father as the quitter, the push over, the exhausted parent who lets them get their way? Being a dad is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. My patience is short and my anger is tested each day. I try my hardest to not yell when something happens that shouldn’t have and in the recent months it’s greatly improved.

Each morning I started talking to my kids about gratitude. I ask them each what they are grateful for today and it’s been fun to hear them say Daddy most of the time, or Nana or Pop-pop or Mommy. For awhile I got away from writing down my three things each day that I’m grateful for but recently started to again after hearing Cornell Thomas speak. This simple practice is amazing. Nobody knows what is behind the energy that it brings but there are many lessons to be learned as you do it each day.

It’s hard to be upset, angry, and down when you search for what you’re grateful for. You’ll think of things like- my family, my eye sight, my job, the roof over my head. The little things we take for granted like the roof over our head or the clean water we can bathe in and easily heat or the gasoline in our cars all make a major difference to the ease of our life. Millions of people around the world do not have half the luxury that we do in the United States. What we take for granted, millions of people would, and probably have, killed for. When we wake up pissed off that our life is out of whack, we forget about the little things that truly matter. When you write them down in a gratitude journal, it helps you realize it and keep the thought in the top of your mind awareness.

Start today. Try writing down three things each morning and/or each night that you’re grateful. Do it with no expectations. If you expect something to happen like magic, you’ll be let down. Do it with love and with the full expression of the goodness inside of you.

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