Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gratitude and Goals

Listing gratitude with my kids.  My pre K five year old daughter's list:  God,haircuts, cuddles with mommy, dad, brother and sister

What season is it again?  Oh, that's right, in Portland we only have a few seasons around here:  rainy, less rainy, partially rainy, piss-on-you-all-the-time rainy, and we'll-make-you-think-it-isn't-going-to-rain-and-then-DUMP-on-you rainy.

Waking up to the pouring rain and cold was a sure sign that I'd be digging deeper in my thankful pockets for things to add to my gratitude list today.  No, I don't do gratitude lists every day.  But I should.  They really help put things in perspective for me.  They help me find magic in the ordinary everyday things.  The things that might otherwise go by unnoticed.  Gratitude lists also help get my energy flowing when it feels stagnant and stuck.

So here goes with my list of things to be thankful for in my life right now:

  • My body is officially WHOLE!  Yippie.  My right hammy seems to be 100% for sure.  The past week has been the first full week that I haven't felt pain in my hamstring when I sleep. Seems like I felt it the most when I'd move during sleep.  Perhaps this is because the rest of the day I am so busy and distracted that I don't pay as much attention to it.  
  • The very kind and positive e-mail I got from a blog reader yesterday.  Haven't been so active on my blog lately and her e-mail was a reminder of why I write and share my life with others.  Thank you K.L (you know who you are).  Good luck on your next marathon!  
  • Having morning story time with my middle daughter.  We even had time to write a gratitude list for her before my youngest woke up.  Feels good to have consciously filled her mommy-time cup.  
  • Getting up early enough to make oatmeal for breakfast and have a few moments with my husband before he took off for work.  
  • A chiropractor appointment today.  
  • Excited about my run today:  11 miles (35 min@8:30; 20 min@7:10; 35@8:30)
  • Having a coach to tell me what my weekly workouts are.  Workouts tailored specifically to ME.  
  • My new deck.  Hopeful for some summer sunshine, hours of back yard play, enjoying a drink with a girlfriend, family dinners, neighborhood gatherings, etc.  The deck and the trampoline=awesomeness.  
  • Having a backyard full of neighbor kids most days after school.  I like being the house where the kids hang out.  (when it isn't raining)
  • A girl trip to Boston coming up.  
  • My July 4th Marathon.  So Close.  I'm a little nervous and not quite sure where I'm at since it has been so long since I've really raced anything.  
  • Friendships.  New and Old.  I've really valued the deepness I've found in a handful of girlfriends lately.  So much treasure to be found in finding other women to share our lives with.  And friends where you can completely be yourself without fear of judgement.  
  • An awesome trip to San Antonio where I met some new family/friends that I have running in common with.
  • Being home with my children.  So easy to take this for granted and forget that it is a choice and a blessing.  My messy house and crazy moments in life are something that I will surely miss someday.  
  • Going on an adventure hunt with my two younger kids the other day.  We just took off on a walk/bike ride ready for whatever adventure we found.  We left with a paper bag in hand, our eyes wide, and our ears open.  We ended up witnessing two birds talking to each other for about 10 minutes in a very specific way.  And then we saw them fly to a tree and land on the grass gobbling up worms.  When they got their fill, they took some with them (assuming to their baby birds?) I'm not a huge nature fanatic but this was TOO COOL! So glad I took time to slow down and take in life around me. 
  • Library books!  I love love love going to the library and stocking up on books and magazines for my kids to dig into.  We usually get quite a bundle and it lasts us at least 3 to 6 weeks. 

  • Seeing my kids use their imagination.  Even if it means seeing my son give his sisters' doll a makeover.  Lucky doll.  I want pampered like that.  

Goals for Now and Later:
  • Get more sleep
  • Model gratitude for my kids
  • Model patience and a gentle and loving way of responding to them instead of losing my cool and "barking" at them.
  • Taking  time for a short but more structured reading, math, writing time this summer that is FUN but also enriching.  
  • Not feeling guilty about things anymore.  Or way less.  Life is too darn short to feel guilty about everything.  Focus on the things I AM doing Well and not all the things I could be better at.  Good grief, I'm hard on myself.  
  • Keep on making running fun and enjoyable.  I love how running fits in my life right now.  It seems pressure free and something I do because I love it, I'm good at it, and it keeps me healthy and want to be better at LIFE.  
  • Spend less money.  Just because I have the money doesn't mean we should spend the money.  There are surely things I can cut back on...races, buying anything and everything that I want, eating out whenever we are out (packing more snacks), traveling to every place that looks fun, etc.  Things I won't skimp on:  QUALITY FOOD!  
  • Ignore the messes more and just sit down and enjoy being part of the mess with my kids!  This one is big for me.  
As always, I would love to hear from you.  What are one or two things on your gratitude list?  What are some of your big and/or small goals?  



  1. You think so well through words and I totally agree! This should be weekly post, assessment. So glad your health has returned to you!!

    This post fits your blog description completely!

  2. I love this Amanda! Sometimes it is hard to think about what we are grateful for- it seems easier to complain most of the time.
    I agree with you on spending less $. I seriously need to go to a cash system because I use my card way too much! I also will never, ever skimp on buying good groceries. That is so important, especially for how much we run and workout!
    I am so happy to hear that your hamstring is good! You have been so patient since Boston (I could learn a thing or two from you!), I know that you are going smash your marathon next month!!!

  3. I love this post, Amanda! I think it's so important to remember all the wonderful things in our lives. I am grateful for my grandma's positive health news that she got this morning. I have also been trying to spend less. It's not an easy thing to do. I recently wrote down every cent I spent in a month and what I spent it on. It was pretty interesting. I challenge everyone to do that. Really puts things into perspective. You will kick butt in your marathon next month.

  4. Awesome news about your hamstring! Did I miss it- what marathon are you running in July? I'm grateful for sunshine (despite the high temps down here), hugs from my daughter, and a baseball game date night last night. :)

  5. Great to hear your hammy is behaving! Yea for feeling good and strong!

    I try very hard to take a moment at the end of every day to reflect and list at least 5 things I'm grateful for - it's a nice way to clear my head before going to sleep.

  6. Really good to read that your hammy is totally on board again. It is stressful to not know if running is hurting or healing these aches. You are a blessed woman to have such a great coach- who knows you and your specific needs. And what a blessing your kids are too. Look at that little guy doing the makeover! I bet that she was sparkling from head to toe after that.
    Guilt is an interesting topic. It helps us to make better choices. But you shouldn't feel guilty after making amends, or if it wasn't your fault to begin with. Hope whatever it was, that you are able to let go of that burden. Love you, friend.

    I like your idea of modeling gratitude. That is one i am working on too. Some other goals include getting to bed earlier and getting up earlier. :)

  7. Loved the list! The last week has been a major "Mommy Perspective Shift" for me...I'm so grateful for my kids - and am trying to be grateful for the mistakes they make now. This is my chance to teach them to be functioning adults so I'm trying to be less frustrated by *most of* their mistakes and see them as teachable moments.

  8. Great list! I can relate with you on many of your points. Sometimes we have to ignore the messes and have fun! My mom told me, there will always be something to clean. It's true! So I am trying to be more in the moment with my kids.

  9. SO glad you are feeling better. What a great post. You always help me put things in perspective and I thank you for that .... Did you notice that after you laid all this out .. it ended up being a gorgeous afternoon and evening? :)

  10. Wholeness is a good thing! Yay for healing! I am definitely thankful for being home with my kids this summer and having the opportunity to have my wake up with my husband next to me each day!

  11. So very much to be thankful for :) I am really glad you are feeling great!

  12. I love your daughter's list. I totally understand why haircuts were so high on the billing - there's nothing like a good haircut to make your life easier.

    I'm grateful this week that my family is intact. So very, very grateful.

  13. Great post!!! I hear you on feeling guilty! I have this all the time and you know what, at some point I feel guilty about feeling guilty! Let's focus on the little things in life that are so much more important and make us happy :)

  14. I'm grateful for my health and a body that held up during Boston (I know you know what that means!) and again at Vermont City.

    I'm grateful for a husband who has encouraged me to sign up for an ultra, offered to help train me, AND to run it with me (otherwise, there would be search helicopters and lots of "missing runner" drama).

    I'm grateful for my ability to (mostly) assume the positive and take the higher road.

    I'm grateful for posts like yours that make me think about the things I'm grateful for :)

  15. So good to hear your hamstring is behaving and you are running well! Excited about your upcoming marathon :).

    You have a great list...goes hand in hand with your great sole!

  16. I love gratitude lists and am so glad that you are easing back into running with no issues! Hurray! I am grateful for a great run I had yesterday, that I am together with my long distance honey for a while and that the sun is shining and the living is easy!

  17. Love the one about ignoring the mess. I can't count the number of times I miss out on playing with my kids because I am busy cleaning up after them. The mess will always be there but someday the kids will grow up and no longer be there!

    Thanks for the reminder about being grateful -- such an important lesson!