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Hello Happy Mama: Give Thanks


Hello Mama!

I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for Thanksgiving 2020! We have made it through eight months of coronavirus craziness, economy in crisis, political division, racial tensions, devastating fires, mosquito mania (those suckers can bite!), and way too many closures and cancellations to count! So, why am I thankful you ask? Because…

I am still here.

That’s right, if you are reading this right now, you too have survived 100% of the storms in 2020.

You are still here.

And, if ever there was a time to be thankful for our health and well-being, it’s now. As I’ve shared in my previous articles, I believe in practicing an attitude of gratitude in my life. It’s not always easy. Heck, if it were easy, everyone would do it. But, I can promise you; it’s so worth it!

Recently, I took some much-needed time off of work to reset. I spent the first two days of my “vacation” helping my little human catch up on fifteen pages of missing school assignments. Fifteen pages! As we powered through math, grammar, and more, I realized something that I had been missing through months and months of distance learning. My third-grader hasn’t yet mastered the study skills needed for independent work. He has gone from being in a classroom with a teacher leading the way, to a desk at home with a Chromebook and expectations that are completely unrealistic with two parents who both work outside of the home. No wonder he feels frustrated (and I do, too!). It would be like me thinking that I could just walk out my front door to run a marathon. Truth be told, I wouldn’t make it down the street without feeling defeated. It takes practice, practice, and more practice.

As we finished up the final pages of his work, my eight-year-old grabbed his gratitude journal that his teacher, Mr. King, had given him and all of the students. I asked my son if he wanted to write in it and he said, “Yes!” Then, he opened the book and started to fill out the journal with questions like, “How was I kind today?” And completing the sentence, “Today I am grateful for…” It made my heart smile to think what a gift it is to learn how to practice gratitude at 8 years old. I’m still learning it at 47 years old! So, I reached out to Mr. King to ask him why he chose this for his third grade class and what does an attitude of gratitude mean to him.

Josh King
Josh King: An attitude of gratitude is looking at the world with a new perspective. Being grateful for everything and everyone around you. Seeing the good and appreciating the bad at times to help you grow, help you learn, and to make you a better person. An attitude of gratitude allows us to constantly be thankful. We have the choice to focus on the positives or worry about the negatives. Personally, I like to focus on the positives, see the good, and I’m grateful for so many amazing opportunities and connections that have helped me grow into the educator I am today. I hope that I can instill a sense of hope, a culture of kindness, and an attitude of gratitude in each of my students, and if I have done that (in addition to teaching), I have done my job.

Yes! That’s exactly it. Choosing to “Give Thanks” is more than gathering around the decorated table for Thanksgiving. It’s about creating a mindset that is constantly thankful. It’s a daily choice. And, just like my son’s missing pages of schoolwork, it takes daily practice to become a habit and a daily habit to become a life-style. As we turn the corner on the final lap of 2020, I encourage you to adopt an attitude of gratitude in your life. Start your day with a thankful heart and end your day with a thankful mind. Find your own gratitude journal and start writing down your thoughts and feelings. It might just become the one thing in November 2020 to truly be thankful for…that and a slice of pumpkin pie.

How are you giving thanks this holiday season? Let’s keep the conversation going on social. Tag in KCFM and use #hellohappymama

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