We are on the last week of July and I'm wondering what the heck happened to summer? The living room still isn't painted (for the 3rd year in a row), I haven't gutted the junk closet, and forget about actually having time to lay around my pool and nap. Nope, I've been 100 miles per hour since school got out and I'm already circling back to school schedules and lesson plans. It's all way too fast and I'm not ready. If this sounds like you, it's not too late. Before the kids head down to college *gulp* or back to school, there is still time to claim this delicious season of fun and sun and to get downright thankful for what you have spent time on this summer because somewhere in the mix of little league, parties, yard work, and new puppies, there is a LOT to be grateful for.
Maybe you didn't know it but I'm not just a coach and a mom but I've been a teacher for twenty years, minus a few years in the middle where I explored insurance. As a teacher/mom/coach I live and die by my kid's schedules so when it's crunch time for them, it's crunch time for me as well so I am really feeling this end of July expectation of what is just around the corner. School starts the second week in August for us, the state swim meet is this weekend and then BAM, I need to be back in school mode to get things around for my classes. The whole thing is exciting, overwhelming, and sad all at once so I think it's high time I get my ducks in an actual row and start being thankful even if I didn't do everything on the bucket list I never made.
Maybe you're not a list-maker but I am. I get some really strange satisfaction off crossing things off a list - so much that I'll even add extra things I accomplished just to cross something else off. It might be a sickness but I love it. If you stiff-arm the idea of making lists, I'm going to attempt to change your mind today since I can't change your personality. Lists are step one for me in getting things done and organized. I like to pretend I don't need a list and that I hate them but I already confessed to how untrue that is. I'm the best at fighting myself and I'm here today to end the untrue dialogue I have with myself about flying by the seat of my pants. In the past week I have attempted to manage a ridiculous number of commitments and appointments with two calendars and no list and it has been bat shit crazy. I'm over it.
If you really want to get every last drop of satisfaction out of what is left of your summer, I am going to switch your perspective today from adding more to your list to being grateful for all that you have already done. Today we celebrate the little things because this is where we find the good stuff and say goodbye to that need to complete an entire, often unrealistic, bucket list dies. RIP bucket list. Let's fill our buckets with joy and gratitude. You're going to love this.
At the beginning of 2019, I decided that each night before I went to sleep I was going to write down one thing I was grateful for. I have had a calendar "journal" each year for almost five years now where I record little notes on what I did on each day, a quick quip of feelings or appreciation but this year, I added gratitude. Just one simple thing each day that I record after my other notes. Do you want to know the hardest part? Picking just one thing! When I take the time to decide what I am grateful for each day, I am flooded with so many sometimes big but often small bits of gratitude that choosing just one seems too small. I know I need to start an entire journal of gratitude but I'm afraid it would lead me down a frustrating road of wanting to walk around taking notes all day of things that are awesome: which would actually be a pretty amazing and huge problem to have.
Maybe you're asking why you need to actually write this stuff down when you can just notice things through the day. That's actually a good point and I hope that if you're not taking note of all the awesome experiences and gifts that come your way, you'll start right now. As for writing things down, I've noticed that on days that were rough, it helps to be able to go back and reflect on all the good, great, and wonderful experiences, people and situations that I've had. It resets my mood before catching zzz's for the night.
"When you write down what you’re grateful for, it magnifies the power of that gratitude and of the feelings that go with it: joy, peace, compassion, forgiveness, and love.
When you do this every day — writing a list of what you’re grateful for — you invite more of that into your life. You become more aware of the good in others, in spite of your differences. You make the world better, not just for yourself but for everyone you come in contact with." (https://liveboldandbloom.com/02/habits/gratitude-list)
Who doesn't want more joy, peace, compassion, forgiveness and love? Anyone? And what about summer and that bucket list you may or may not have nailed or how fast time is flying by? I'll start by listing the things I have been able to accomplish and what I am grateful for. You can follow up with your own list in the comments or even better, grab a notebook or buy yourself a fancy journal and make a habit listing what you're grateful for each day.
If you're still struggling with finding gratitude, it's okay. Sometimes life is overwhelming with school, jobs, friends, etc and you just need a little coaching on how to shift your perspective. Add me to your list. I'd love to spend some time chatting with you. (Yeah teenagers, I'm talking to you too!) You really can have more joy, more productivity and feel less stressed. How about if you jump over and schedule your free 45 minute breakout session before it gets lost in another bucket somewhere. I guarantee you won't be sorry and that you'll leave with at least one A-Ha about what you are capable of and where to go next. I can't wait to talk to you soon.