I’ve been wondering about the power of gratitude for a while. Does it improve our quality of life to be thankful for what we have? I don’t believe that we can be happy all the time, but something in me suspects gratitude is bigger than that.
It’s not always easy to be grateful, because life seems to get in the way. I’ve been meaning to join in with Hailey’s amazing #365grateful for one hundred years, but I’m intimidated because a year is a long time. Have you tried to increase your sense of gratitude? How long did it take to reset your thinking? Is it possible?
I wondered if we wrote things down and left them where we could see them, like a Tibetan Prayer Flag, perhaps it would speed up the effect? You see, I remember things better when I write them down and I wanted Mr 4YO to join in with drawings too (he’s behind with his fine motor skills and I’m looking for all sorts of ways to give him a nudge). Out of these two requirements the thank you banner was born.
The sight of the bunting always makes me smile. Yes, even in the mornings, pre-caffeine.
At first, we did this every morning and the effect was huge and immediate. Gordon and I used to snap and moan at each other and the kids, while we all rushed and bumped around. When we did the banner something strange happened. Instead of groaning about the day ahead, we talked about what we were writing.
‘Why are you grateful for running water?’ Gordon asked.
‘Can you imagine raising children without it? And that’s without mentioning that it’s safe to drink.’ I said.
As Mr 4YO drew his pictures of sky, garbage trucks, fire fighters, various family members and so on, we talked about being lucky to have these people and things in our lives.
Now we just do it on weekends and on mornings when we can feel our fuses shortening. I probably should’ve called it #99thankyous, so we each had 33, but I like the number 101, so I tagged it #101thankyous on social media whenever I remembered. Feel free to tag along too, I’d love to see what other families are grateful for.
How to make a thank you banner
2. We wrote and drew whatever took our fancy.
3. Even Mr I-don’t-do-craft got involved…
5. And hung it up where we could see it.
I chose materials we could compost (apparently staples are okay), because my inner hipster liked the idea that this would feed our soil, but now the sentimentalist in me wants to keep it as a record of this time in our lives. I have no idea who is going to win. I’ll have to let you know.
What are you thankful for?