Practicing Gratitude in 2022

I find it both interesting and encouraging that my most popular posts from last year were my November lists of things I am personally grateful for. Even throughout this year, I continued to get notifications that another person liked one of those posts. I didn’t prepare four posts with four different focuses for each week of November this time. I didn’t even successfully get this one post up before November was over. So it goes.

Without further ado, here I go again listing the things I am grateful for (and I tried to think a little outside the box of what I listed last year).

  1. I completed a full year of nursing/pumping my baby. It’s been a difficult milestone to reach and I feel blessed to have been able to make it. I plan to continue breastfeeding as long as I can, but now I can at least feel like the pressure is off.
  2. This moment to myself. As I type, it’s one of few times in the past… gosh 3.5 years that I’ve had some time at home alone. It’s so beautifully refreshing to exist without threat of interruption or the pull to meet anyone’s needs outside my own.
  3. My 1-year-old got the chicken pox vaccine four weeks ago, giving her immune system enough time to build those antibodies before last week when I got a rash that was later diagnosed as shingles. Gah, what timing!
  4. The library. Free access to books, movies, board games, internet and printing, notary, passport services, activities and lectures by local experts. The library is pretty amazing and it’s ability to remain relevant during modern times has been impressive.
  5. That I may continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. I can also go into the office any time I feel the pull (which hasn’t happened yet).
  6. The privilege to watch my children continue to grow and discover themselves and their interests. While part of me grieves the leaving the parenting stage of having little babies (as my youngest is now a toddler on the go and my husband and I don’t plan to have any more children), I’m so grateful to be able to watch my kids grow into these young people and I love learning more each day about who they are.
  7. I found time to take two peaceful baths this week. Major self-care win for myself. Good job, Self.
  8. My husband and I are now splitting bedtime duty with the kids more evenly across the week.
  9. I successfully rehomed two big baby activity items to another local family, thus opening up some of the floor space in our house and hopefully give some joy to that other family.
  10. The “Do Not Disturb” feature on my phone with the ability to customize what is important enough to break the silence so that only the important things will disrupt me (… most of the time)
  11. Getting some Moms’ Night Out time with some of my in-laws. We’ve done it once and I’m hoping we’ll be able to make it a regular thing.
  12. That daycare provides breakfast, lunch, and snack to my kids. I will definitely miss this when they need their lunches prepped for school.
  13. Singing with my kids to the car radio
  14. One of my friends from college (who has a kid less than a year younger than my first) moved to within a 90-minute drive of me. So much better than the 4 hours it would take before! We’ve already seen each other several times since the move and I’m excited to plan kidless day dates after the holidays settle.
  15. My husband and I are on the same page when it comes to gift giving — which is that we don’t like to give gifts for the sake of giving gifts. It makes it just a tad easier to keep a crazy influx of things coming into our house this time of year.
  16. My husband and I have found some sweet spot timing for avoiding crowds at the grocery store.. before 2pm (when schools let out) and around 4pm (in between when school staff are done shopping and before work gets out). Thank goodness again for working from home so we can take advantage of this.
  17. Both my kids love books and reading. This is one of my favorite bonding times with them. I don’t even mind reading the same book over and over and over. No really, I don’t!
  18. When my 1-year-old grabs my face and presses her open mouth to my cheek. Gotta love toddler kisses!
  19. When my 3-year-old says “I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it!” This is what I say to him, and hearing him say it back gives me hope that he is receiving the message that my love is unconditional.
  20. Comfort fashion is more acceptable in this post-pandemic era.

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