I’ve been consistently writing in a 5-minute journal that was gifted to me for Christmas from Jake and Rachel since New Year’s. The idea is that every day you take 5 minutes first thing in the morning and again in the evening to set intentions, jot down some affirmations, and reflect on what was great and what could have made the day even better. All the while keeping in mind what you have control over — for instance, you wouldn’t list sunny weather as something that would make the day better.
This simple practice really has made an impact on my mindset. I find that I tend to list the same things more than once, although I’m trying not to! Nearly every morning lately I have written that I am thankful for my bed full of people that I love. At the ages of 8, 7, 4, and 2 — our 4 younger kids all still want to share our space. Life is a series of seasons, and I know that the bed-sharing one won’t last forever, so taking a moment to appreciate it now feels great — even if Jacob steals my pillow and Jack scratches me with his gnarly toenails.
For an affirmation I have often written that “I am enough.” That’s a bit of a catch-phrase, but I rarely feel that I genuinely AM enough for everyone; so starting off the day affirming that I am is helpful. Throughout the day, I am able to recognize ways that I am succeeding in being enough and to focus on those small things (and even praise myself along the way). Whether it’s driving to two libraries two days in a row to secure enough zoo passes for a family of 7; getting an air-fried dinner on the table; or watching my kids play for 10 minutes without distractions from my phone (or my inner voice reminding me of what we need to do next) — what I am doing for them IS enough, and I should give myself more credit (and I’m trying to).
At the end of the day, I note the great things that happened.
Some great things that have happened lately are seeing Marnie and Jeff for pasta lunch, zoo trip with Dad, the boys still being small enough to take baths with me, weather warm enough to spend hours with friends outside, the ability to connect with friends via the internet and text messaging, Ellie reading aloud with friends, music, the amazing iphone camera, ice skating with izzy (most importantly her attitude while working hard at something that wasn’t easy), snow (!) to play in, painting with the kids, making plans with Grayson for some 1:1 time, warm blankets, fires, Jacob’s high-pitched voice asking to “hop on my belly”, and Jon making it back and forth safely from several on-call shifts.
Some of these things are little, some much bigger, some take effort, some come with ease. There are countless little and big things that happen each day. Here are some pics and videos that we can remember them by. Every day is a gift.