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The #ThanksgivingProject: Cultivating 30 Days of Gratitude
It’s hard to believe that in just two weeks, our son Judah will be six months old! It seems like just yesterday I was on my way to the hospital. As we approach his first Thanksgiving and I realize just how quickly the time flies by with him, I want to practice a more mindful approach to everyday living, so as not to miss all these magical moments.
Enter: the #ThanksgivingProject. For the next 30 days, I’ll take a few moments each day to just stop and take stock of this marvelous child of mine, to recognize and honor the gratitude I have for him every day.
The idea behind the #ThanksgivingProject is pretty simple; it’s basically a variation on a popular writing exercise called a gratitude journal. Instead of writing about what I did during a particular day, like a diary, I use a gratitude journal to catalogue that for which I’m grateful. The practice of cultivating gratitude is one that requires you to pause and reflect on more than just the laundry, the grocery lists, the dirty diapers… it’s about taking a moment in mindful contemplation and then expressing gratitude for the abundance in your life.
For the month of November during this season of thankfulness, I want to record everything for which I’m grateful when it comes to being Judah’s mom.
Here’s what I mean.
On the first day of November last week, when I decided to do start this #ThanksgivingProject, Judah was napping. As I watched the slow rise and fall of his little chest and belly as he slept, I thought to myself: “I’m so grateful for his breath.”
It might sound like a strange thing for which to be grateful, but it made me think of his first breath: the moment he arrived howling and screaming into this world. I then thought about the day he got out of the hospital, after 29 days in the NICU. I was so excited for him to take his first breath of fresh air outside!
Since the first of November, I’ve taken a few moments each day to reflect on my gratitude for my son — after all, he is the result of a very long, hard-won battle with infertility. In fact, his very existence is steeped in gratitude: he wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for the generous gift that our friend gave us when she offered to be our egg donor.
Other things for which I’ve been grateful…
- Judah’s abundant appetite! We’ve been playing the weight catch-up game since he was born 6 weeks early and he’s been gaining like a champ for the past month. This is due in large part for his willingness to start solids!
- His ability to sleep through the night. We recognize that we are super lucky to have a baby who will sleep 9+ hours uninterrupted — and who’s been doing so since about two and half months old.
- Today, I’m grateful for his sense of wonder and curiosity. I am constantly humbled by how he looks at the world around him, processing, taking it all in, synthesizing, learning and growing.
I hope you’ll join me in my experiment in 30 days of cultivating gratitude with hashtag #ThanksgivingProject! In the meantime, take a moment to stop and reflect about your own little one… for what are you grateful when it comes to your baby today? Share your moments of gratitude in the comments!