Positive Daily Three – Gratitude

The best way to summarize why I continue to write out at least 3 positive or good things that happen to me in a day is with the following quote, which I first heard at my RTA class.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Melody Beattie

I absolutely love this quote.  Learning to appreciate what we have and understand the value of what we have is the key to unlocking the treasure chest that is inside of us.  This sounds very difficult, but it is easier than we think if we don’t fight it.  At first, I have to admit, it was very difficult sometimes to sit and reflect on my day and find three things that I was grateful for.  Some days I would really have to think about it and other days, it was easy for me to spot the good.  As time went by and I continued to document at least 3 things I was grateful for every day, it became easier for me.  Suddenly, I found myself wanting to find positive things and surround myself with genuinely positive people.  This doesn’t mean that I am always in a good mood or that I always see the good first, because I am still a work in progress, but I do make it a point now to find the good and stay in a positive mindset if I feel myself starting to stumble.  Gratitude has changed my entire perspective.

I had to take my son to the dentist today to get crowns put on his back molars because the enamel didn’t develop properly.  He did an awesome job.  It has been a little rough for him because he has ben restricted to soft foods and liquids, but I helped him snap into a good mood by making him a peanut butter and banana smoothie.  Being able to spend the day with my youngest and him together, mostly without fighting was wonderful.  We read, we hung out outside, and we even made it to karate.

I talked to my Grandmother today, which was great.  I haven’t made the time to call her in a while, so it was wonderful to catch up and hear her voice again.

I also managed to solidify plans with friends today for the weekend, so I was very happy that things are coming together.  I am excited because I believe the kids are going to have a wonderful time, and I will get to relax a little as well.

Positive Daily Three – Sunny Day

I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect day, but there are definitely days that line up pretty nicely.  Today was one of those days.  Yesterday was a pretty rough day, but even so, there were good points.  I got in my workout with my friend at the park and was able to get some adult socialization in with some other moms there as well.  It felt good.  Even though we were late to karate yesterday, we still made it, which was a great thing.  I was able to get a lot of research in regarding home schooling last night.  I am preparing to home school my kids for part of next year because it will make it easier for traveling to see family and spend time with friends before we begin our journey to Misawa, our follow on.  I have been trying to decide the best approach: piecing together a curriculum for them, or going with an online school.  After discussing our options with my husband, we will be going with online school to ensure the best continuum.

Today worked out pretty well.  My son talked to his Dad for a while this morning, which was great, and while there was bickering between my two youngest, I was still able to have a pretty decent conversation with my husband today.  I went shopping with my youngest to pick up some things for my son’s school, and then we had time to go to the park and run around and play for about an hour.  I got a run in tonight, everyone actually ate and finished their dinner, and I was even able to give them a treat tonight.  It was a pretty darn good day.

Please share your encounters with good stuff in the comments.

Positive Daily Three – Day of Books

The weather was beautiful outside today, and all I wanted to do was lay outside, but of course, that is not possible.  I took my youngest to the library and we checked out some new books that she is very excited about, and I got some books for my son as well.  We have started family reading hour.  This usually takes place while my youngest is napping on the weekends so that I can get some reading and relaxation in as well.  I totally stole this idea from a friend, and am very pleased with it.

I took my youngest to library storytime today, and she had a ball.  We sang the peanut butter song today, and she absolutely loved it.  When we got home from the library, we ate lunch, and then we laid on a blanket outside and read several of the library books we had just checked out.  It was wonderful.  I had to get her down for a nap after that, so I started reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  She loved it, but we were both asleep by the time I started reading chapter 2.  My body has been fighting off a virus, and her and I took a 2 hour nap.  It felt wonderful, and I got to snuggle with her the whole time, which was great.

My son had a pretty good day today as well.  We have been having an increase in the number of tantrums he has been having, and today he was pretty mellow, so that is a win.  I watched my oldest stand up for herself today and make decisions that were best for her rather than listening to everyone around her.  I was very proud to see her be assertive and make decisions that would be beneficial to her in the long run.

It was a pretty good day, even if there wasn’t anything super significant that happened.  Please share some good things that you encountered today.

Positive Daily Three – Slow Recovery

The good news of the day is that my son recovered very quickly and his fever did not return.  He is super excited because he gets to go back to school.  I am super excited because he is definitely a child that enjoys socialization and both of us were going stir crazy today.

Other good news is that my oldest daughter and I don’t seem to be coming down with anything at this point, so that is a bonus.  My youngest is still getting hit pretty hard, she was able to keep down her second breakfast, but would not eat again after that.  She is still drinking liquids, though and hasn’t gotten sick since this morning’s car ride to drop her oldest sister off.  I am hoping that she sleeps her fever off tonight.

Even though I know it’s rough for her to be sick, I have to see the positive side, which is that for the first time in a long time, she would not let me go.  She wanted to snuggle with me practically all day.  This was not always ideal, but I savored eery minute of holding her that I could because I know these moments won’t last forever.

My son and her played pretty well together today, building puzzles and playing with the musical instruments.  While it was not a super fun day, and a day that was spent mostly inside, it had precious moments that will be treasured forever.  I even got to put my littlest one to bed early, so I could have a good quality bedtime routine with my son.  He really appreciated it being just him and me.

Please share your positive stories, I’d love to hear them.

Positive Daily Three – The Sick House

Before I had the opportunity to exit the bathroom after my shower and lay down on my bed, my son came in crying, pleading with me to sleep in my bed.  I gave him a hug, preparing to walk him back to bed when I felt his forehead.  He was burning up.  I went downstairs, grabbed the thermometer and some children’s aspirin, and headed back upstairs.  Fever confirmed, medicine delivered, sleep followed.  Whatever he has appears to be stomach related, so hopefully it will pass quickly.

With both my youngest at home, I had to skip my morning workout with my friend, again, but I am hopeful that I will be able to make it on Thursday.  I did manage to get a run in this evening after I got the kids to bed, and am grateful that my oldest agreed to watch them while I ran.

It actually was a pretty great day.  We read books outside, painted and colored, and I even read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone leading into nap time.  I even let them each watch one short show.  They were outside playing with play dough and coloring on the sidewalk with chalk.

I was able to put together a feel good music play list, and a Disney playlist for car rides, and it was fun to watch everyone (even my oldest) jump around and dance.

There was a little bit of suck today, too.  My youngest puked on me and her just as we were getting ready to sit down to read books before bed, and developed a fever.  My son’s fever started creeping up again, too.  The good thing, though, is I am still healthy and able to take care of them.  I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I think I will be ready to face it.

Please feel free to share 3 positive things that happened to you today.

Positive Daily Three – I Have Been Ninja’d

Don’t Google Ninja’d because it totally doesn’t explain it in the context I’m about to use it in.  I went through some incredible training this last week, which is why I missed my posts for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  My husband had gone through the RTA (Resiliency Training Assistant) course about 4 or 5 months before he got orders to Incirlik.  Before he left, he made me promise him that I would write down 3 good things that happen to me every day and send them to him.  At first I was resistant to this, but when I realized it was important to him, I agreed to do it.  I decided that since this was a journey that several military spouses usually encounter at least once during their spouse’s military career, it made sense to share my three things through my blog, which my husband now reads.  I know we all have different stories and different things happen, but, at the same time, we also have similarities and maybe some spouses out there can relate to some of the struggles, good things and experiences, whether they are good or bad, that I am going through.  When I went through my key spouse initial training, one of the speakers that came in spoke about resiliency, also known as Comprehensive Airman Fitness (CAF).  I liked what he had to say and was impressed with some of the points that he made.  I grew excited when he mentioned that key spouses were allowed to attend the RTA course.  I spoke with my husband about the course and he heavily encouraged me to do it.

The very first day of the course, we were immersed into understanding gratitude, getting out of the negative spirals, and finding the things we can be grateful for.  I realized that when my husband asked me to find 3 positive things every day, he ninja’d me without me realizing it.  I have gotten through some small and big struggles while he’s been gone simply because I can still look back on each day and remember a few good things.  In fact, at this point, it has pretty much become a habit for me to try to find the good, find that light when things are starting to spiral down.  I am learning to take a breath, stop and be more aware of the whole picture.  My knowledge was expanded to new levels during the three days of training.  It was an awesome experience.  It centered on growth for in all domains of a person: mental, physical, social and spiritual.  A lot of the training focused on breaking things down into first the facts, and then the deeper levels.  Figuring out what is the driving force behind our actions and emotions.  Understanding why we get so upset and which values are being threatened when we react poorly to circumstances.  Another part of the training was analyzing our responses to others.  Are we responding to news and information in a way that is driving forward the relationship, or are we responding in ways that could be hurting the ones we love the most?  I learned so much, it would take me days to explain it all, but if ever you have the opportunity to attend a CAF day or go to an RTA course, definitely seize the opportunity.

This weekend we spent more time with each other and less time on electronics.  We played Mexican Train Dominoes on Friday and Sunday nights, which was a great deal of fun and even my youngest, with assistance, was able to have a blast playing.  I got part of the house cleaned on Saturday, which was awesome because it made me feel good.  My son’s friend also came to visit Saturday with her mom, so we all got to hang out and have fun.  Sunday was almost a perfect day.  It would have been complete and perfect if my husband were with us, but I still see how wonderful the day was.  We went to church with good friends.  It was a good service, and the kids all played at the playground while we caught up and talked.  We went to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park to have a picnic, run around and go for a hike.  It was gorgeous.  All of the desert flowers were in bloom, the spring was active, the weather was amazing, with a cool breeze blowing, and the kids and I had a wonderful time playing baseball, soccer, and flying a kite (for at least a little while).  The weekend was pretty terrific and relaxing.

Today didn’t go exactly as I hoped it would, but there were still some things I am grateful for.  I was able to find a great location for a star gazing evening I am planning for military families.  I took my youngest to a local park and we played for a couple of hours.  She even did an amazing job riding her trike around the park.  It was another beautiful day, as well.  Finally, I ninja’d my 5-year-old at the dinner table.  He started getting upset because I told him to sit up right and eat.  Instead of going with my usual response, I asked him what his favorite part of the day was.  He thought about it and then started talking about it.  I kept asking questions about his best experiences of the day, and he ended up being happy.  That was an amazing feeling.

Please let me know what your positive things have been today.


Positive Daily Three – Staying on the Light Side

Today was one of those days where I felt like I had to fight with all my might to keep a positive beat, and I still had difficulty maintaining a positive light.  I woke up not feeling well.  I thought I slept well, but I woke up tired and grumpy with a headache and my stomach not feeling well.  I drank coffee, which did not help my stomach, but we managed to get out the door without too much trouble.

I kept playing the Moana soundtrack for the kids because they asked for it, and secretly because I was hoping the music would help lighten my mood.  It did at times, but I felt like I was wrestling all day.   I had to skip my workout at the park today because I just couldn’t get my energy up and could not calm my stomach down.  When I got home from school drop offs, I let my youngest watch a couple of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes and I laid down and rested.  I felt better after the rest, so I pushed myself up and made us lunch.  We put together puzzles and read books outside.  I was feeling pretty good by midday, but was still having trouble shaking my crankiness.

We went to karate tonight and I was still short-tempered with the kids, but I was catching myself before I let my crankiness get the better of me.  When we got home, I got the kids to bed.

I went for a run because my body was craving exercise.  As I ran, I began to realize that my crankiness was due in part to the fact that I didn’t get a run in on Monday, and I postponed my run today.  I wasn’t feeling well, I was out of my exercise routine, but also, I am really starting to miss my husband a ton.  It is the small things I am missing the most.  The sarcastic comments at the dinner table, the playfulness, his ability to just look at me and make me laugh, his knowing eyes when he sees me going negative, and his ability to help me see the bright side.  I miss the cuddles and the pillow talk and turning to him for balance when I am struggling.  Today’s technology definitely makes these times easier, but having a person physically in your life and virtually in your life are two very different things.  The time difference plays a role as well.  I forget half of the stuff I want to talk to him about when I do have him face to face on my phone.  I love that I can see him every day and that the kids can see him every day, I just wish I could be in his arms.  I am not complaining, because as a military family, we have to anticipate these separations and be prepared for them, but I am acknowledging that it’s not easy and that the absence of the one we love most takes a toll on us.  On the positive side of that, though, it is amazing to find that my capacity of love for him grows every day because I do think about and remember and appreciate all of the things he used to do to show me and the kids how much he loves us.  It is harder now because he is not here physically, but it does give me the opportunity to reflect on how we have loved each other and how we continue to do so, and how we can deepen our love for each other in years to come.

If your loved one is with you tonight, take the time to cuddle, to love, to talk and to be together.  If your loved one isn’t with you tonight, take the time to write them a letter and let them know what about them you love.

Positive Daily Three – Falling Into Place

Last week I had a few upsets that threw me off a little.  Today and over the weekend I was able to get a few things accomplished that have started this week off great.  I’ve finally gotten around to reorganizing a few things at the house, which has alleviated some stress and has allowed me to get some cleaning done in the process.  I was able to secure a babysitter for round two of attempting to go through the Resiliency Training Assistant Course.  I am looking very forward to going through this training, so I am very grateful that a friend of mine had time in her schedule to fit my youngest in.  I started the process of getting a quote from a local park for a special even that I am planning for August, so hopefully it won’t be too costly.  I accomplished more than I thought I would be able to today.  I even got a shopping trip in to Costco.  On the flip side, my youngest hasn’t been feeling great, so I had to skip my run today.  I am hoping to make up for it tomorrow.

Positive Daily Three – Zippity Doo Da

It wasn’t an entirely wonderful day, but I think there were more good moments today than there were bad.  The gap may be small, but still, it was a decent day.

I made it to the park to do my workout with the mom I met there.  My youngest got out and ran around for a bit.  It was a beautiful day with a gentle breeze that kept everything cool.

I didn’t sleep well last night, so I was pretty beat when my daughter went down for her nap.  I grabbed a chair and read my book outside in the fresh air.  I haven’t made time to do that in years.  It felt great.  Of course, now I wish I had spent the time cleaning the house, but it was great to get a little relaxation in anyway.

Today, the kids were all in fairly decent moods.  There was not a lot of negativity, which helped me tremendously.  My patience and frustration build quickly when I don’t sleep well, so the fact that they were all in pretty good moods made it easier for me to get through the day trying to stay focused on positive things.

Positive Daily Three – Then That Happened

Today kind of sucked.  I’m not even going to sugar coat it.  I successfully managed to prepare everything I needed for my training classes last night.  I got the kids all up and ready on time, and we even made it to my son’s school early.  I got him enrolled in safekey (before and after school care), dropped my oldest off at school, and then took my youngest to the care provider.  I made it to training, and was really enjoying learning about resiliency, and then we had our first break.  My youngest’s care provider was ill and had to take herself to the hospital.  I had to leave training and go get my daughter.  I was really bummed.  I really wanted to learn everything I could about becoming a resilience training assistant.  I was upset and frustrated that things were not working out.  I called everyone I knew to see if they could refer me to a babysitter.  In the end, I had to just accept that I wasn’t going to get to finish training this go round.  I guess it didn’t end totally horrible.  I was bummed, but I wrote to the RTA instructors and will hopefully get put into an upcoming class next week.  My youngest was very happy that I came to pick her up early, and it really wasn’t as bad as I was making it out to be.  It’s funny how I stress out about things that I have no control over.  I definitely prefer the care provider take care of herself, rather than possibly spreading a virus to the kids.  I think it all ended up just fine and hopefully my next attempt to complete the training will be successful.

I’ve learned that it is much healthier to roll with things, rather than fight against the current.  If things weren’t going to work out, I could just wait until it was better timing.  I still get frustrated and sometimes angry, but if things are out of my hands, stressing about it and getting upset are not going to make the situation any better.  I’ve learned to just look at additional possibilities and communicate with everyone involved to try to find the best solution.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!