I hope your new year is off to a great start, dear reader, and that you are enjoying the start of the second month of the year! Well, in most if not all of the world; winter is already at its peak and with the recent arctic blast, our southern state of Texas in the US is also experiencing sub-zero temperatures! In fact, due to bad weather, our school was closed on the Tuesday after MLK Day off on Monday, so we had an extended long weekend. This sentiment, and the fact that this is my first blog post of the new year, prompted me to write this post, I hope to inspire others (and myself) and let them know how grateful I am every day . I just have to stop and do it more often!
attitude of gratitude
This is a simple truth of life – if you want to live a happy life, practice gratitude! Everyone can develop this gratitude habit. Each of us has many things in life that we take for granted. We chase what we don’t have and rarely feel grateful for what we already have. Gratitude is just that—stop, look around, and be thankful for everything we already have. A family that loves you and cares about you, a friend who makes your life better, a healthy body that allows you to enjoy the little things in life, a job or career that you get an education or pursue, and a life that is there for you at the end of your life warm home. The wonderful feeling that everything is fine every day! So dear reader, if you want a little more happiness in your life, practice gratitude!
Have you ever heard of filling your bucket? For those of you who may not be there yet, filling yourself with hope, joy, positivity, and encouragement is filling your own bucket, so when it pours down, you spread the same stuff around you. Sometimes your bucket may be emptying, or someone around you may be emptying their bucket, or they may be emptying their own bucket. Therefore, it’s important to fill your bucket with purpose and purpose. Not only can you help yourself, but you can also help others who need hope, joy, love, and positivity. Practicing an attitude of gratitude will always help you keep your bucket full. Being aware of all the good things in life instead of focusing on the things that aren't is very powerful.
It’s important to acknowledge that not all days are the same. Everyone encounters disappointment or failure in life. But the key is to understand that this too shall pass. Being realistic and accepting of everything that happens to us and knowing that in every dark cloud there is a silver lining; can help us live every moment with grace and surrender. Finding balance in our lives is extremely difficult, but the effort makes life worthwhile. Happiness and sadness are nothing but states of mind, and once we are able to control our states of mind, things become clear and make sense. Gratitude is a powerful tool that can tame our thoughts, allow us to see the bright side, and open ourselves up to hope and immeasurable strength.
Be grateful for 2020 and now in 2024
Gratitude in any situation is a habit that must be practiced and developed. I'm no expert, but when I write inspirational posts like this, it helps me reflect and inspires me to dig deeper. 2020 was a difficult year hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that was the year I started my blog awnandhope.com. January 12th was my first blog post, and I have already published 10 blog posts that month. I wrote 3 blog posts in February. In March, I published 5 posts, 3 of which were published after the outbreak. I just got back from a school field trip on Sunday weekend, just before spring break, our school closes on March 13, 2020, making March 12 the last day of in-person classes for the 2019-2020 school year for our district, state, and even the nation All students within range. I am here”time to relax” and”learning curve“Tell me about my experience when the epidemic spread in March. Thereafter, I wrote one post per week each month from April through December while trying to balance family and work as an educator during a pandemic year.One of the posts was an end-of-year gratitude post, and surprisingly, I listed many of my reasons in it Thanks 2020. Now that I think back, with so much chaos and uncertainty happening in the world and in our families, if I had written down reasons to be grateful then, I definitely have even more reasons to be grateful today, and be grateful now! My gratitude includes family health, growing in faith, our jobs, kids doing well academically and socially, foster care and blogging experiences, the love and support of family and friends, my elder being accepted into college, and more . Today I am grateful for these things and more.
Ways to practice gratitude:
Here are some ways we try to practice gratitude in our daily lives –
Animal shelters (Friends for Life, Special pals), Houston Food Bank, and non-profit service organizations (Sewa).
2. Keep a diary
We use GLAD (one sentence about something you are grateful for, what you learned today, what you accomplished today, and the joy of the day) or simply write down 3 things we are grateful for each night.
3. Foster care
We have been fostering dogs and cats since 2016 which have given us so much love, affection and hope.
read: Our parenting experience
4. Spread joy
By being positive and hopeful, we try to treat everyone with love and respect.
5. Celebrate the little things
We try to celebrate the little things, especially the little things with our children. We might go out to eat, see a movie, buy groceries, write notes of encouragement—anything to celebrate small successes.
6. Travel frequently
As a family of travel enthusiasts, we try to make memories by traveling to faraway places. We try to take our two kids on trips 1-2 times a year.
7. Cherish time with your family or circle of friends
It’s important not to take things for granted. We strive to remember this and cherish each other at home, among friends and extended family.
8. Be humble and friendly
Compassion and empathy are qualities that make us better and the world around us a better place. We try to teach our children by modeling our actions and accepting our mistakes when we make them.
All in all, there are hundreds of ways to practice gratitude. When we stop and reflect, we find much to be grateful for, even sometimes in the midst of chaos and confusion. It's definitely a work in progress and posts like this get me there. Dear reader, please share how you practice gratitude regularly.