Gratitude, Do You Know What It Means?

My very favorite time of the month is when my power is randomly turned off & we have no Wifi to operate the smart devices in our home, including the TV, said no one ever. At least, that’s what you’d think living in such a tech loving society.

Last month, we found ourselves waking up to this being a reality for us. No power and no way to operate our phones, that are practically useless without the Wifi. For the first few hours it was manageable with the thought that things would be turned on shortly. That is until shortly turned into days for us having entertainment outside of our home. At one point, Aiden’s dad asked, “how will we entertain a 3 year old all day with no wifi,” and while this is comical, it also reflects where we are as parents in present times. As time went on and daylight found it’s way to replace candles, I decided to do the things on my todo list that required no strong internet connection. By mid afternoon, I was able to think clearly enough to use my hotspot to accomplish things on my computer.

As the day went on, I found myself in a space of being extremely thankful for the level of focus I had to accomplish what I could. I also found myself thinking about how critical it is to be thankful for the things that we do not initially see as a gift to us. I initially felt irritated thinking that I would be losing a day, in what I felt to be one of my most productive days for me. I allowed my thoughts of being involuntarily disconnected from the world consume me into believing that there would be no way for me to attack the 10 things I needed to accomplish. In reality, this kept me off of my phone for a majority of the day and able to focus on bonding with my child. It also allowed me to be more productive because I was afforded less time on social media. By the end of the night, I was developing a plan to have a day once a month for limited access to the internet, social media, and all other things that cause major distractions to reality.

What’s the very last thing you expressed gratitude for? In my experience last month, I found many things to be thankful for. A day where I’m not allowed to focus on anything outside of my home. I was able to be disconnected from distractions. I was productive and so forth. We so often forget to be thankful for situations that come off as irrational, because gratitude is not something that we are taught to value on an unconditional level. Sometimes, it may even take me a while to remember to say, “thanks.” Especially when I can’t understand the “why” behind certain things.

Use this month and every other, to focus on your level of gratitude. This is the PERFECT time to start being and maintaining gratitude for ALL things. Find ways to be thankful for all things, even if they make you uncomfortable or bring other forms of discomfort. Speaking from experience, gratitude has continued to open up new paths for me. In addition to showing limitless gratitude, I want to challenge you this month to choose a day to disconnect. No social media, internet, outside sources, or anything of that nature. I will encourage you to keep the power, but disconnect from all other source and spend the day with your kid, no matter the age!

I would love to hear about you mommies following through on this month’s challenge, so please share in the comments or find me on social media to share your thoughts!

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Solitude

626BD9D6-3242-4068-9169-93A9933CD65DSolitude and its power has to be one of the most underrated things to value. I have been wondering why I feel so calm with everything going on around us in the world. It was not until I began writing that I realized exactly why I am in a state of calmness. It is in direct correlation with my level of gratitude for being alone. Being “quarantined,” is an  escape I have been longing for weeks. And while it is under strange circumstances, I am grateful.

I stated this year, I would release all of my blogs on the 12th of every month. Following my verbal commitment to that, I have constantly found myself in weird spaces since the start of this year. I have also hesitated on this entry as I knew what I wanted to talk about, but could not find the words as easily as usual. I decided to use one of my journal entries for this month’s blog. It is my desire that my mommies/followers will look at my personal stories and find relief in knowing that we are all trying to figure this out.

3/11/2020:

“Solitude…It’s so very often taken for granted. Throughout life we’re taught to forget that we enter & we leave alone. We’re taught that when we want to be alone, we’re “being weird.” We’re taught that our space should be filled w/ activities & people…we’re taught how to drive ourselves to insanity. Two weeks ago, I expressed to Desmond that if I don’t get days to myself then I know I’ll lose it soon. Luckily, I’ve been so dedicated to my emotions & inner thoughts that as I felt myself losing it tonight, I pulled this journal out.

When you become a parent, a mother in particular, it’s rare that you achieve meaningful moments of solitude. If you’re anything like me as a mother, then you fill those moments w/ working down your to-do list, catching up with other people, or creating more things to do. 1/15/20, I moved. A week later I booked my weekends w/a second job. I’ve had visitors none stop. I haven’t spent a day alone with my child, let alone a day w/ myself in almost two months. If this isn’t self destruction then I don’t know what is. I have learned and I have accepted that in this current space of trying to figure out who I am, I function best alone. & what have I been doing? Avoiding and abandoning that time. The why? Something I can’t understand & probably the reason for these tears. I can’t answer the why, but I can recognize the problem and I know how to address it. When you get to a space where you see yourself adding to your demise, but you can’t answer why you’re doing it, it causes a pain. A confusion that I’d call beyond frustrating…

Advise to self: Take time to yourself before you destroy yourself.”

I felt so sad writing that entry and a week later, I know exactly why I have been avoiding being alone. Sometimes, it takes stepping back and watching yourself from another perspective. Pain is not a natural feeling and when you have experienced so much of it, it is easy to make yourself believe that it is a part of who you are. As Aiden’s dad told me, if I am not being all that I can be for myself, theres no way possible to be all that I need to be for Aiden. My avoidance of being alone, was to run away from the emotions of lost. As I entered 2020, I experienced great losses. I knew that I was not ready to deal with my natural emotion of lost so I purposely filled my time and space with people and things.

Telling myself that it is ok to experience unpleasantness and to acknowledge that I am feeling it. However, running away, pushes me further into that unpleasant space. Challenging all my mommies & followers to make that a goal for the next 30 days! Take time to yourself and find a deep appreciation for it. Don’t fill your empty spaces and time, with people and things.