Where’s the Gratitude These Days??
Okay, so a couple of months back, I embarked on a new “blogging regimen” if you will. Every Monday, I would write about what I was grateful for in the previous week. I started this exercise right as I was beginning my second-to-last quarter of graduate school and my last 600 hours of practicum/residency. I was expecting it to me a crazy, hectic, stressful experience at the time, -and it was/has been!
Here is an excerpt from my first Weekly Gratitude explaining my deeper thoughts and purpose for sharing my gratitude:
In the mist of my panic over the major changes beginning in my life today, I’ve realizedthat I’m spending a lot more time panicking, looking at my crazy schedule, complaining, and feeling overwhelmed, than I am being thankful that I am even able to actively participate in these changes. In an attempt to consciously, and actively, change my mindset, I’m going to be writing a weekly “Gratitude” post, where I share some of the little things (and sometimes big things) that have brought me joy, and happiness throughout the past week….I want to start my week feeling thankful, happy, -perhaps even excited, no matter what crazy schedule I’ll be tackling in the days following, or what kind of mayhem I’ve faced in the week prior. I don’t want the positive aspects of my life to be on the backburner. I want these aspects to be overtly conscious. I want to reflect on these aspects often, and share them, so that others’ can begin to see that there is a lot to be thankful for as well. (You can read the rest of that original post here).
Are you wondering how this weekly posting extravaganza went? To put it honestly, I failed at it. I got through three weeks. Yes, just three weeks. Are you thinking, wow, pathetic? Just three weeks? Well that’s how I have been feeling. How could possibly only have the ability to follow through with something for just three weeks. Mind you, just three postings, ONCE a week? Shame! Shame! Shame!! Frankly, my lack of follow through made me feel like shit about myself. I felt embarrassed. And that kept me from writing any other posts. I kept thinking, “How can I go write about xyz if I haven’t even done my Monday gratitude post? That’s so flaky. Just write the gratitude post, and then you can write the next post.”
Clearly, I never got to that gratitude post or any other, but I did continue to feel guilty about it. Not only did I let myself down, I felt like I had let my readers down. I also really missed writing. This became even more prevalent when I realized my lack of presence in my day-to-day work, and the increased stress and burnout I was facing. My caseload has been large, and working with families in child protection has been emotionally taxing. However, “losing sight” of my gratitude, and myself frankly, has helped bring things back into perspective for me. I needed to reach that brink of burnout to realize that I couldn’t keep going at the pace I was going. I think I needed to lose sight of myself and my happiness to relearn the importance of self-care. I also needed to really reflect on what these postings, and this blog was really about: ME. It’s my blog, that I created to help increase my self-compassion, my ability to be vulnerable, and my place to be open and honest with my feelings and myself. …With an Open Heart is not about self-hatred. What good does it do me to berate myself, and shame myself for not posting as much as I wanted to? Are you, my followers and readers really judging me for something as small as a blog post? I doubt it. So why have I been taking that route? Hmmm…well, I’m sure it all goes back to that perfectionist side of me that I’m trying very hard to free myself from.
Going forward, I plan to continue posting about gratitude as it was a good, and enlightening exercise for me, -even if it was for just three weeks. I won’t however, commit to every Monday, or even weekly as I think that pressure and expectation of myself is unnecessary.
I have just nine weeks left of graduate school now, and a lot to be grateful for. I look forward to sharing some of that gratitude with you, and continuing to write about living life with an open heart. I hope you’ll continue to join me.
Have a wonderful day!!