The older I get and the longer my to-do list becomes I’ve noticed that I take less time to simply sit and be grateful. Every day I feel constantly bombarded by unsolicited “advice”, facts, new research that claims x,y,z, things I should be doing, ways my routines should look, clothing I should wear, workouts I need to do, vacations I should be taking, botox I need, where I should be in my career, money I should be making, money I should be saving, ways I could be a better friend, daughter, girlfriend, grand-daughter, aunt, niece, Christian, worker, volunteer, writer, blogger [insert all other things here]. By the time I get a moment to sit, I want to turn on some reality TV show and let my brain go to mush because I feel spent, inadequate, and I feel like a lot of things fall of short of my never-ending list of should-be’s.
The kicker? I know that I’m not the only one that feels this way. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to have it all figured out, that when we don’t meet these unrealistically high standards – we feel like we aren’t enough. Like every little thing we do every day isn’t enough. Like all our hard work isn’t enough. Just because we haven’t yet reached a particular goal, finish line, or ambition.
Here’s what I know: I can’t predict the future, I can’t speed up time (nor should I want to), and being perfect is not real.
When I let go of those three things, I find more room in my life and busy schedule to slow down and be grateful. When I allow myself to let go, it feels like a lid has been lifted off a pressure cooker and I can once again breathe.
I can’t plan and schedule my every day for the next 10 years (even though the control freak inside me would like to), I can’t know the future nor speed it up (even though it would be nice to have psychic abilities), and the hardest for me is to be ok with not being perfect – and honestly I’m working on it because that one is hard (BECAUSE I WANT TO BE PERFECT, ugh).
All this preamble to say, that today I’m feeling grateful. Truly grateful. Not grateful in a way that some social media guru told me to write about in a gratitude journal. But I’m feeling really, very grateful because I’m learning let go of the little things that I can’t control.
I’m feeling grateful for this year. For all that I’ve accomplished. How much I’ve grown my blog – from literally dust – into a mini-business that makes mini-money. I’m grateful for complete strangers that have become friends, partners, and colleagues. For people who believe in me and listen to me when I’m just trying to figure things out myself. For people that want to help me and see me succeed.
I’m thankful for my day job – that pushes me, forces me to think and be strategic, that is constantly evolving, and allows me to support myself.
I’m grateful that I have a partner that is a true 50:50 partner. That understands and knows me fully. That knows my heart and never tries to lessen or dampen me. Who never tries to control me and always supports me. Never questions or judges. That steps back and lets me be independent, and steps in when I need a hand. And even believes in my dreams for me, when sometimes I lose the energy to do so myself.
I’m thankful for my friends, new and old, that I can have authentic genuine conversations with. That I don’t have to pretend around – that will let me cry or laugh so hard my face turns red and my 5 double chins cackle with glee.
I’m thankful for my parents and for Matt’s parents – for all their support in all the ways that they give it. I’m thankful for my big, huge family and all my sisters, nieces, grandparents, aunts, uncles, bro in laws, and cousins.
I’m thankful that I’m more responsible and understand my boundaries, what is important, and ways I choose to see the world – and don’t let others define my boundaries, what’s important, and how I choose see the world. I’m grateful I live in this world where everything is connected and that it is filled with boundless opportunities and excitement. I’m grateful that I don’t know the future because that is exciting and invigorating and allows me to dream, hope, and hustle. I’m grateful that I have to work for things, to figure things out, and to learn the hard way because it feels so much sweeter in the end. I’m thankful I don’t have everything I want, and that I have to be creative, resourceful, and industrious for the things I do have. I’m thankful for my unique life experiences. For the empathy it has given me, the lessons it has taught me, and the lens I see life through.
I’m just simply grateful.
A deep, heartfelt thank you for reading and following me on this road.