Gratitude

#SOL21 March 2

I’m hoping to blog every day of March for Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers.

Day 2 Gratitude

Every day my fourth grade class begins by saying good morning to each student, out loud and in sign language. Each responds with good morning and then a one word check in. (Well, it’s supposed to be one word, but J often says something like, “Good morning. Today I feel happy-slash-tired.”) I would hazard a guess that over 95 % of mine are either “Today I feel grateful” or “Today I feel thankful.”

Now let’s just pause a minute and think of all the c-r-a-p going on in our world and our country. I know I don’t have to name all that crap as most of us know it already. Why in the world would I pick the word “grateful”? This morning I started thinking more about this, and wanted to share those thoughts with you.

A little over 5-6 years ago, I had one of those years. In a 12 month span I got divorced, moved, found out my mother had stage 4 lung cancer, and my cousin committed suicide. In one of the books I read during that period, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, it suggests gratitude practices as a way to rediscover joy.  “If the opposite of scarcity is enough, then practicing gratitude is how we acknowledge that there’s enough and that we’re enough.” (Brown, p. 124) By the way, I ran to the other room, grabbed the book & found this quote in about 3 minutes…I think I found this so quickly because I need to remember it.

During this tough, painful year, most evenings as I curled up in my bed, I jotted down three things I was grateful for that day. At first it was like pulling my fingernails out. What I learned is that over time, I started to look for reasons to be grateful. Finding reasons to be grateful, acknowledging the good stuff as well as the hard stuff, focusing on what I had instead of what I wanted is part of what got me through that year. 

This brings me back to this morning on Tuesday, March 2. “Good Morning. Today I feel grateful.”

Yes, I do.

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By Greg&Linda

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6 comments

  1. Every day my fourth grade class begins by saying good morning to each student, out loud and in sign language. Each responds with good morning and then a one word check in.–I love this morning routine! The jotting down of three things you’re grateful for is something that sounds so hard at first sometimes. But overtime it becomes easier and some days the things you notice and are grateful for surprise you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is lovely. What a great way for your class to check in with each other and you. They are lucky to have you!

    I too have found thankfulness as a practice to keep depression at bay and sanity at hand.

    I LOVED the spelling of c r a p. Not because I’m easily offended but because in it unheard a voice that was distinct. You were shining through with that choice and I really appreciated that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sgrateful for your effort to share the quote. I also appreciate your honesty. Your slice starts with this easy-going classroom ritual. Then as you tell about it’s origins we learn about that year, a new ritual you began inspired by a book, more honesty. I especially like the line like pulling my fingernails out. Then end back in the classroom with your share. As I read your final dialogue line, it moved me. Thanks for sharing. Your story may push me to go looking for reasons, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This slice is so powerful. I love how it moves from today to 5 years ago – deep into a vulnerable place, and then back to today. It is inspirational too … that the gratitude helped. I think we all need these stories of when people got through. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looking for things to be grateful for has helped make it easier to find things to be grateful for. It helps give perspective, even in the darkest and painful times. Kids are magical. It’s funny. We’re supposed to teach them, but they have so much to teach us. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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