One would think that experiences are what shapes people's lives. I haven’t obsessed about this to it’s fullest potential, but my vote is it’s not the experiences, but it’s what you take from them that leaves the life lasting impact.
For example, when I moved to New York and had my first Ad Agency job, my greatest growth was less about the words that are now on my resume but more about the lesson I learned in self discipline. I grew when I learned that in order to make it, you need incredibly high expectations of yourself and you need to work your a$$ off to make it happen. There's no short cuts. Fast forward to my life in its next decade as a mom and I've experienced so many things that have taught me equally valuable lessons. Today's lesson is one about gratitude.
Most of you guys who follow my new blog are friends and family (hi guys) and are all pretty familiar with my most significant experience as a mom so far. For those who don't know, our daughter Adeline was born with a life threatening virus and her survival was nothing short of a miracle. Here the full story. My hope is that this experience isn't just another point on my resume of life, if you will. What my experience has taught me is to be grateful.
As most of you know (again, hi guys!) my husband Chris and I run an annual charity polo match called Polo For Babies here in Cincinnati, OH to raise money for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. This is how we choose to show our gratitude and to help others who are now in our shoes.
What I didn't expect was the lesson it's teaching our kids. There's a million things we want to teach our kids. Be kind. Be brave. Work hard. Be positive. Have fun. Don't swear like your grandma. When I doubt add another accessory. You get my point. We've been so lucky to have the opportunity to show them gratitude by our actions. The entire family sacrifices and works hard to make the event as successful as it can be. They see in our hearts and our actions how grateful we are and they see our determination to help others. As we say, “they helped us so we help them.”
The other part I'm so grateful for is the joy that it brings to our family. It feels AWESOME to do good things. Here's the evidence.
These kids are pumped!! We love check presentation day. We love walking in to that hospital for a happy reason. And we love bringing the kids. They spread joy (and mayhem) when we're there and it feels like that's just as important as the money we can donate.
So in conclusion, I'm an expert in absolutely nothing but I do know what my heart says and it says it's good to be grateful. So whether you're going through something rough or you’re just ready to shake up the feeling you have right now, give gratitude a shot. It’s changed us for the better. If you're stumped on how to get started, give The Gratitude Jar a listen/read. I did out of curiosity and it really sparked some good thinking.
I leave you with these both motivational and stylistically fabulous feel good thoughts.