I'm taking a moment to be grateful...
Savoring life, slowing down and noticing everything good that has been here all along. I've been practicing grateful all day long.
We are SO grateful for Speech Therapy. When Doodle is REALLY happy he has to open his mouth because all that happy can't fit inside a guy that little.
So grateful that we have money for groceries and food on our table every day.
SOOOOOOO grateful for my Doodle who is never short on smiles
I'm not perfect at grateful. Far from it-in fact, I often fail at it much too much- hence the practicing part. Comparison is the exact opposite of grateful. It's a little voice that says- they have this and I don't and that's not fair. I'm good at comparison. Comparing people that have or say or do the things that I want. Comparing the development of typically developing children in panic. (they can talk/or dress themselves or brush their own teeth or say I love you.
Every single time I compare I feel a thud of horrible in my chest. We rarely compare ourselves to people who we have more than. How often do we compare ourselves to a homeless person standing on the street corner- Pretty much never- right? And if we were to- it would be an example of grateful. It would sound like- I am lucky because I am in a car that has (expensive) gas and I sleep with a roof and a pillow and that is remarkable and I am blessed. And THAT is what I am trying to cultivate more of in myself. In fact, I want to remove the entire comparison portion of my life and not need to see others in need to bring awareness to my own basic wealth- not only of stuff, but of what I have inside me already.
We all already have everything we need to be happy and to heartily practice grateful. To slow down, take deep breathes and look around with childlike jumping flapping awe at all the gifts already laid out before us.
Giving is one step even farther than grateful. It says, I have enough of my own basic needs met and I want to make sure others do now too. It's hard to get there sometimes because basic needs gets confusing. We throw things like lattes and shoes and hair cuts in there. And the truth is- there will always be more of that stuff that we don't have and feel like we need.
So here I am full circle, practicing grateful. Practicing noticing. Practicing feeling and having enough.
For Grey's 5th birthday on June 7th I wanted to buy him a gift my money couldn't buy. I wanted to make the world a happier place for him. I wasn't sure how to do that. I thought about setting up an Autism Speaks donation page for him, but that would only make people who know autism happier. I wanted EVERYONE to be invited to this happy party. So I included it to not only charity, but all people in need. I came up with an arbitrary number- $100,000 and wrote a post about it. And then I IMMEDIATELY regretted it. I hate asking people for things, especially money. I hate putting people on the spot. Even more than that- I hate setting a goal and not achieving it. I realized the first day in that I could never actually raise $100,000 and so I wanted to IMMEDIATELY quit so I didn't look like an ass. And I tossed and turned over it- for DAYS. I made it all about ME and my ego which sucked out every ounce of fun. And then I stopped everything and paid attention to my boys. I watched them struggle to accomplish tiny little portions of goals. Greyson standing on a stage for one song for his end of the year program. Parker finally learning to jump on the trampoline after trying for at least a year. I suddenly realized- that is what it is all about. Trying your very best each day without caring about the outcome.
The whole entire thing has been an incredible exercise in stretching and growing. It's been AMAZING and lemon zesty - hearing about YOU and your donations and your important causes. It's even helped me be more forgiving of myself in my every day life. My frequent quest for perfection often makes me not even attempt something hard so I don't fail. I've realized - THAT is failure.
When you are a journalist you gather and write details as you go along. Facts mostly while omitting personal perspective. It's clean and straight forward. When you are a writer, unless you are discussing simple details of life, you can't write as you go along. You have to process. Examine. Understand. It's what makes it hard for me to write when I am devastated. I haven't added my most important aspect of writing and of life- perspective. One day soon I will write a post on what YOUR giving taught me and I can't wait to share it with you.
All day long final donations came in and broke my heart wide open in the best way. I felt your love for my most precious boys and your love for the causes that mean the most to you. They are important to me now too. And over $5,000 of the money raised went directly into our Autism Speaks page. I think that's the most amazing thing I've ever been on the receiving end of in my whole life.
You can see how I was able to better practice grateful today- because of you.
I'm gonna practice again tomorrow. Take a moment to look around your life and inside your head. Imagine that tomorrow all you get to keep are the things that you take a moment to feel grateful for today.
BIG FAT HUGS,
Chrissy, Michael, Greyson and Parker