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Challenge: Pandemic Parenting

Are you Truly grateful?

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My husband asked me this question this past Sunday. He asked this after I lamented that 2020 was supposed to be OUR year, and it certainly wasn't. I whined that I did not want to write down our goals for 2021 because nothing ever seems to go right for us.

He responded by saying that maybe we weren't getting what we wanted out of life because we were not genuinely grateful for what we already have.

"Are you truly grateful?" Those four words stopped me in my tracks, and I started thinking.

I looked at him.
I looked around at our humble apartment with toys strewn all over.
I looked at pictures of my happy and healthy kids (they were asleep when he posed this question).
I looked at our fridge filled with food.
I thought about our comfortable beds and the pillows we rest our heads on at night.
I thought about the couch that engulfs the four of us as we sit down to family movie night.
I thought about all the family dinners we have had and the family game nights filled with friendly competition and laughter.

And I answered, "Nope. I have not been truly grateful."

While this year has brought some to appreciate what they have, I feel like most of us have not been honest with ourselves. We have wanted for way more this year. I know I have. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed to admit this.

I have wanted more space. I have wanted a different home. I wanted to be out of the city, up north, away from the hustle and bustle. I have wanted financial stability. I have wanted another body. I have wanted to lose weight, have less anxiety, and be happier. I have yearned for more time, time to write, time to study, and better myself. I have dreamed of more money so that I can become a certified yoga instructor. I wanted my Instagram to have more followers, more likes, and less creepy bots complimenting me. I have coveted the perfect pictures to post and wanted the money to spend on silly apps that will filter out what I think is the worst in me.

I have wanted for all of this instead of looking at what is right in front of me.

My amazing husband and hilarious kids.
Our health.
A humble yet warm roof over our heads filled with laughter and love.
Nourishing food on our table.
Family foam-sword fights, family dance parties, and family movie nights.
Our 1980's summer, in which we biked, walked and ran through our local trail and ended up sweaty ad muddy on most days.
The incredible faith, strength, and courage we have.
Our love, gratitude, and acceptance of one another.

I have wanted for so much during this pandemic instead of just appreciating what I already have. And what I do have is enough.

This was my biggest lesson in 2020. Learning to be grateful for all that is right in front of me.

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