Even though we are over half way through the first month in the new year, I am still experiencing holiday burnout. The spending, the giving, the hours decorating and undoing it all. It has sucked the goodness right out of me. I seem to be determined lately that everything can be better; especially if I do it myself; this was tacky or that was uncouth. I am all of a sudden an expert on all things good and right and most people (strike that) no one, except me, knows how to do it right and well. I have become judgment Judy.
I am not serious about this, but my ego is. The thing is, as a coach, I know this happens. I watch for it, warn other people about, coach others on how to avoid this very kind of thinking, but here I sit right in the MIDDLE of it.
How did that happen?
November's 30 days of gratitude had a tangible effect on me this year. I was longing for goodness, needing it at the very core of who I am. I am struggling to be the best momma, wife, friend, sister, daughter, and woman that I can be. And while it’s all very rewarding, I am nothing if I don’t offer thanks for all of it. December 1st had me feeling hopeful, and full of joy.
So what happened in December? I stopped practicing gratitude. I told myself I didn’t have time for it. The holiday “show” demanded all my spare moments. I quickly got caught up in how it all looked, even though no one cared as much as I thought they did. I wanted to give the best gifts, and make each moment feel like I was walking around in the beautiful world of a snow globe.
All that expectation of material manifestations lacked connection. It was merely a shell or shallow living. My lack of gratitude for what already exists in my life took a toll on my mind. It made me ugly. It was a good lesson.
I can’t tell you enough how important the practice of gratitude is, and how easy it is to fall off the wagon. It even happens to coaches. I get asked all the time how to stay grateful. My answer is, it takes practice. I am there. In the muck of parenthood, and coaching, and just trying to stay afloat. I get it.
Here is the truth. Do you remember learning how to ride your bike as a child? If you fell off, you were told to get back on. And no matter how scary that felt, that temporary set back wasn’t worth missing out on the joy and freedom of riding a bike.
Life is like that. Momentary set backs that can slow us down and hamper us if we choose to sit in the shallows rather than in gratitude.
If you fall off the gratitude wagon, just get back on. Begin again. Find your goodness. You can start by downloading this journal. Start 30 days of gratitude over. If that feels too big and scary, start smaller. Say one gratitude out loud every day until that isn’t enough and then say two.
There is no right or wrong way to practice. Simply begin again because, trust me, it isn’t worth losing your goodness.