I'm very honored to have been asked by Tiny Prints to join in their 21-day Gratitude Challenge, a wonderful initiative designed to help everyone slow down and take note of all of life's blessings. I'm in the company of some of my favorite bloggers, including Jane, Jessica, Justice Fergie, Kim and Sheila. Last week we received a gratitude kit (more on that tomorrow) along with a gratitude pledge and instructions for each day of the challenge.
Signing the gratitude pledge induced the slightest of *gulp*'s in my throat, because, well, they don't call it a challenge for nothing. First off, there's the challenge of stopping myself from opening everything in that juicy-looking box, even though we were specifically told NOT to open anything unless instructed to for that day. Fortunately, my 8-year-old has more self-restraint than I, and she's keeping me honest.
More significantly, there's the challenge of posting every day, for 21 days on a specific topic. Every November I join the NaBloPoMo challenge to keep me on my blogging toes, but I usually pre-schedule a good many of those posts... and I can write about anything I want (or just post a cute photo of my kids when I'm all blogged out).
You ungrateful wretch! You have so much to be thankful for!, you might say. Aye, there's the rub. It's one thing to know you should be grateful, but actually taking the time to acknowledge these blessings -- to recognize them, to actually feel that gratitude, and thank those responsible, if you can -- is something else.
So yes, it's a challenge. But it's one that I find myself inspired to take on. Because so often I find myself complaining about this and that, in a bad mood about something that didn't go my way. And when I'm in a really bad mood, everyone in the house suffers for it. Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude sounds like a great way to improve anyone's quality of life -- when you're thinking about how lucky you are instead of how rotten everything is, how can you not be happier? As parents, we know that to get a child to eat a new food, we have to keep introducing it to them time and time again. Hence, this 21-day challenge.
So here is my signed pledge, posted up for the blogosphere to see. I'm glad y'all are here to keep me honest. If you decide, come back here every day for the next 21 days. I'll be posting the same instructions they gave me, so we can do it together. If I had a photo of myself pointing at the camera, I'd insert it here. Instead, I'm asking everyone --what are YOU grateful for?
Gratitude is the best attitude. ~Author Unknown