thanks

10 Nov

As most of you know, we’re rapidly approaching a year since we moved from Maine. We officially arrived in Georgia on December 5, 2009. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a really tough year at times. It’s been trying for our marriage, our finances, our families…it’s really been trying on all around. I’ve spent a lot of time crying and wishing I’d never gotten in the car that snowy December morning. I’ve also spent a lot of time bursting with pride because finally, I made the right decision and I didn’t screw it up, as I so often have in the past. I’ve watched as the kids made friends and became adjusted and stellar students, really excelling in ways I’d never seen before. Our marriage is stronger than it ever was before, we learned that we have to rely on each other, instead of always looking for an excuse to take the easy way out. I’ve changed so much, grown so much, I’m really much more awesome than I was before.

I thought it’d be cool if we could end right back where we started, in Maine. We’ll fly back for Christmas! But then Chris couldn’t get Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas off. Even though he asked last January (which is how long I’ve been planning on this trip), he didn’t get it off. Discouraged but still optimistic, we figured we’d just go the week before Christmas. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen either. With just one income, it’s just not feasible right now. And I’m bummed. Like a lot. The kids were too. We were REALLY looking forward to this trip and have been talking about it for months. I spent Sunday afternoon pouting and most of Monday feeling sorry for myself.

Today I was starting to feel a little more like myself again and felt like catching up on some of my blog reading, and was reading Young House Love (one of my faves). They made a “thanks jar”, and etched the glass, it’s a really cool project, totally worth checking out. I didn’t have the etching stuff, so I put the idea in the back of my mind to try another time. But it was the idea of the thanks jar that really started to inspire me. Then I really got to thinking about it, WE could use a thanks jar. We’ve all spent the last couple days just moping around feeling sorry for ourselves when we have so much to be thankful for. We spent Saturday morning volunteering at a soon-to-be thrift store that’s going to benefit the homeless community in our city, trying to teach the kids about helping those less fortunate than us, and by Sunday we’re sitting around pouting because we can’t spend $2000 on a trip to Maine? For real? How selfish can we be? We have a wonderful life here, we have SO much to be thankful for. I thought, maybe it’s time we all remember that…

SO. I made my own thanks jar. I still didn’t have the etching kit, but I kind of did my own spin on it. I didn’t spend any money, this was all stuff I already had. I wrapped the mason jar in some double-sided scrapbook paper, taped it down and trimmed it with some brown ribbon I had in a drawer (I knew I’d been saving it for something!). I used scrapbooking letters to write out “thanks” and cut up a couple of large sheets of scrapbook paper to write our “thanks” on.

Not fancy, but it works! We decided that we wouldn’t put names on the notes, and we wouldn’t read any of them until the end of the month. At the end of the month, we’re going to have a big dinner, just the four of us and read the contents of our thanks jar. We wrote extras to make up for the days we missed (since we’re 10 days into the month), and it was pretty cool watching the kids each write what they were most thankful for. David asked if it he was allowed to be thankful for video games, I assured him he was.

In the upcoming holiday season in which we’re SUPPOSED to be thankful, it’s sometimes hard to remember how fortunate we are, especially when we’re dealt life’s inevitable blows. But in this holiday season, in this season of my life, I am truly thankful. And even though right now, I may need the literal daily pen-to-paper reminder to keep me from going into a funk, I’m thankful that I haven’t lost sight of what matters. I’m looking forward to the end of the month to see our jar overflowing with thanks, I know my heart is.

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One Response to “thanks”

  1. Amanda November 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    What a great idea!!!!

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