Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Grateful, Thankful, Appreciative and All Those Other Mushy Words You Can Think Of

This post has been on my mind for quite some time. Again, it was another one that was brewing in my mind yet I hadn't actually put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard. Since I started my "new" job (I returned to a previous job after leaving for 2 years) I've been exhausted at night. Mentally and emotionally. I didn't quite figure that out until recently though. Even mental health professionals sometimes needs a little kick in the butt to be self aware. 

Have you checked out Kid President?! He's pretty much a genius:

I stopped working out, I stopped writing and reading. I plopped on the couch after putting the girls to bed, mentally and emotionally spent. It actually was a good thing- my mind and heart needed time to literally feast on good old trashy TV- where kids were safely tucked into beds, where adults biggest problems were figuring out whose party to go to for the holidays. 

Not only was it a major adjustment to my new role and although I had done it before, it took me awhile to get back into the swing of things. It took me a bit to readjust to the the sometimes hopeless, frustrating, but mostly heartbreaking stories, struggles and barriers I see come into my office. Being thrown back into this line of work, I was once reminded at how earth shattering grateful, thankful, appreciative, and all those other feel good words- I truly am. 

When you see someone sitting across from you with nothing, literally nothing- if that doesn't change you, I don't know what will. People who are very quite like me,  but who have an addiction and or mental health diagnosis (and don't we all, to some point?!) has thrown their lives into a tail spin. They've lost everything. Their family, homes, jobs, health, friends, and most of all- their own spirit, souls, and love for themselves. 

It makes me sit back and look at my life in a whole new light. I get to come home to a house full of love, laughter, and beautiful chaos that I get to call my very own. My world is so perfectly imperfect and I would not change it for anything. I used to feel guilty. That I had all of these things. That I would send clients off into the streets, not knowing where they would find their next meal- while I jumped in my nice, warm car to drive to my nice, warm home and enjoy a nice, warm meal, with my nice, warm family. 

This time around, I no longer feel guilty. I feel humbled. I feel honored. Blessed. I feel compassion for and maybe oddly enough, connection to those that are sitting across my desk. Honored to be a part of their journey, even if in such a small way. I now know, how fast one's situation can change. How fast it can all be taken away. How one decision can change the rest of your life. How one decision can cause a domino effect and how I could very well be the person sitting on the other side of the desk. 

Everyday, I make a conscious decision that I will be grateful, thankful and appreciative for whatever life throws my way. That despite a few negatives, there are always a multitude of positives that I can find. There are several moments in the day, where I literally close my eyes, breathe it all in, and soak life's moments in, if only to pause. I say to myself, "I am so, so grateful for this moment." (Don't worry, I make sure the car is stopped before I do this. =)) For one second. To remember what this life is all about. How do you practice gratitude? How do you remind yourself of the things you are thankful? Please share in the comments below! 

Of course, this can't be a post about gratitude without a little Brene Brown: