12.14.2012

Practicing Gratitude

As a result of my last birthday, I am 357 days away from turning, wait for it, F.O.R.T.Y.

I'm not afraid (ok, maybe I'm a little afraid), as I've always been a fan of the "getting older." But this one feels, well, bigger... you know,"milestone" and all. So I'm going to try and honor the whole enterprise with a few experiments (12 to be exact) in the year leading up to the big day.

Here's the plan. In an effort to be the best possible version of myself when I hit the big 4-0, I'm going to devote each month leading up to my birthday to an aspect of my life that I'd like to improve. (You know, just a full life makeover...no biggie.) Oh and I'm going to track my progress on each goal here on the blog. Fun, yes? (And if that's a "no," feel free to skip the posts...I promise my feelings won't be hurt.)

I'm still working on the goals and projects for each month, but since the clock is ticking, I wanted to go ahead and get started on December's goal of "Practicing Gratitude." I realize this one seems like a bit of a cheat, I mean how hard it is to be grateful? Well, lately, for me...hard. In the past few weeks, I've been grumbly, surly, generally ungrateful. And I am beyond blessed (learning of today's horrific news in Connecticut, I am enormously blessed). I need to learn to get over it and revel in the enormity of how good my life is.

A while back, the lovely Chelsea set the goal of going a week without complaining. I'm going to use that as my starting point...but for the entire month. No complaints. None. Nada. Zero.

And in the midst of not talking ad nauseam about all the things I'm unhappy about, I'll have no choice but to enjoy all the things that do delight me, starting with my beautiful children...and the fact that I have the great privilege of tightly hugging them after I get home from work today.

Here's to gratitude friends.

13 comments:

Betsy said...

Forty is awesome. I'm almost forty-three, so I have 2 1/2 years experience. Seriously: it gets better all the time. I am more comfortable with myself, easier with my kids, and I really love and appreciate life more everyday. I feel like my forties have really brought me the growth and acceptance I hoped/thought I would have when I turned forty. Cheers!

Nomadic D. said...

This sounds like a wonderful idea! It reminds me of The Happiness Project, which I think I was actually turned on to right here on your blog! (Loved it by the way, thanks for the recommendation.) Looking forward to hearing about your experiment!

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

ale norris said...

what a great, great idea! we could all probably benefit from this.
-ale

Carissa Byers said...

Happy Birthday! Today is also my birthday and I love this idea.

Elsa May said...

I've gotta say 40 isn't all that bad - I don't feel forty, and somehow I just feel so much better in my own skin. Gratitude is a great goal for December, and made all the more pertinent with today's heartbreaking tragedy. Have a wonderful, gratitude filled weekend, Annie x

Shelby said...

Ditto about the happiness project - you should check it out! So I love this idea. We should try to achieve our best selves at any age. Oh and an idea for the no complaining: buy yourself a little bracelet to wear as a reminder not to complain about stuff.

Elaine said...

Love it ...celebrate everything about yourself! Hey 40s are good, I'm just into my 50th year...verdict is still out on this one...and what a perfect time to focus on the good in your life. I want to hear if this little experiment results in greater things coming into your life ...cheers to the best you can be this year. I must say 39 is good. You are still young, beauty is refined and your more confident than your skin. It's going to be a good year!

About Last Weekend said...

Beautiful post and so simple at the end, made me feel quite teary. I now nearly 51 and and I am the happiest I've ever been with my age. (As my friend Sue says, there is not a blimim thing you can do about it). I cannot say I've help the various "help" at bay though...gravity has taken it's toll on my jawline...

JRA said...

I'm about the same amount away from 50 and I've not been looking forward to this birthday at all. However, our fried just got diagnosed at the age of 45 with Stage IV lung cancer and he's never smoked a day in his life -- there's not much chance he'll make it to 50, we're all just hoping for 46 or 47. I've only just realized that I should be celebrating my birthdays instead of dreading them. From now on, I'm planning to embrace my birthday and am grateful to be here happy and healthy. I encourage you to give it a try, it really has made the task of hitting 50 much more palatable.

Kate said...

Happy belated birthday! I've started listing 5 things that I am thankful for everyday -- no more, no less. It's made me focus on the positive and appreciate the little things more.

Nik at boldgoods.com said...

So, about three days before my 28th birthday last week, I REALIZED I was turning 28, not 27 like I'd thought. Apparently I'd lost a year, and I was totally crushed. For a few days, I vowed I'd turn 27 again, and forever. But then I remembered that all my life, I've wanted to be in my thirties! I've always heard that life gets better, and but does my life need some getting better. So cheers to aging gracefully and setting these wonderful goals. I guess my goal will be more exercise, because it never gets easier!

Mary said...

Beautiful goal, and it's one I try to maintain year-round. We have so much to be grateful for. I am not too far behind you - My big 4-0 will be in March of next year (2014), and honestly I couldn't be more excited about it. My 30s were more awesome than my 20s, and I think my 40s are going to be even better! Life is beautiful.

la la Lovely said...

Happy Birthday, dear Joslyn. I'm excited to follow along on your journey! I know it will ensue greatness in you and all that read along!
xo and merry chrismtas!
trina