Finding Time for Gratitude Amidst the Chaos of Everyday Life

November 1st, 2008

I normally approach the Green Moms carnival topics with gusto. Global warming? I’m all over it. Back to School? Sign me up. But when my bloggy friend Karen of Best of Mother Earth asked the Green Moms to blog about gratitude, I paused. I procrastinated. As the days ticked by and the deadline passed, I found myself making excuses. I’m sick. The boys are sick. DH has been away on travel quite a bit lately. I’m behind. I have major deliverables for three different clients due within a few days of each other. Oh, and we’re bidding farewell to our well loved nanny of six years and transitioning my youngest into a part time day care situation. I’m stressed.

Busy, behind, call it what you will, but I wasn’t feeling particularly gracious or full of gratitude. Sure, I went through the motions. In our family, we say grace before the evening meal. We go to church Wednesday evening and give thanks again. And sometimes, when we don’t oversleep, we all make it to church on Sunday.

But the fact is, when things aren’t going the way you expected, no matter how good things are – no matter how much better off you know you are than so many others – it can be hard to feel truly grateful. By truly grateful, I mean something deeper, simpler and more profound than that twisted form of  Schadenfreude that strikes Moms who  think “Well, the whole family has been sick for two weeks but at least it’s not cancer.”

At times like this I think of my friend and rector Margaret Guenther, who in her many books has written about the need to be still. You have to get away from all the everyday madness before you can look inside yourself and have the capacity to truly think, reflect, and yes, appreciate.

Perhaps that’s why one of my favorite green things (back to the Carnival theme!) is to steal away to my CSA. I love the simplicity of the place. The clean garage stocked with bins full to overflowing of fresh, mud splattered produce. Sweet beets, stocky carrots, fresh baked bread and more. A chalkboard with the day’s share carefully written for all to see. Old fashioned hanging scales ready to weigh our shares. I always feel refreshed by the time I leave there, canvas bag filled to overflowing with biodynamic produce. It’s like a trip back in time.

But that’s just one green thing for which I’m grateful. The other two?

That’s easy.

OrganicMania and the Community of Green Moms who participate in the Green Moms Carnival. Why? Because of the wonderful people I’ve come to know through both of these online communities.

And I know, I know…I have lots to be grateful for. It’s just that sometimes, it’s hard to stop and really, fully appreciate all that we have been given. But I did stop. Finally. And I do appreciate these three green wonders and so much more…

What about you?

Leave a comment and share!

And don’t forget to check out all the Green Moms carnival posts on Monday over at Best of Mother Earth.

– Lynn

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania

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9 Responses to “Finding Time for Gratitude Amidst the Chaos of Everyday Life”

  1. Mother Earth on November 1, 2008 9:25 pm

    Lynn, I too find that certain environments que me into a simpler way of being and in that space I am reminded to pause and am also filled with gratitude … I appreciate our bloggy friendship.

    Me too….thanks for stopping by today and thanks for hosting the carnival this month! I saw Margaret Guenther Sunday morning and told her I blogged about her…she was tickled! — Lynn

  2. Alline Anderson on November 2, 2008 8:27 am

    Ah, being still. Thank you Lynn, for the reminder. The ability to find a place to be still is what I love best about where I live, and yet I often schedule myself into a frenzy and am too busy to appreciate it. Your description of your CSA is absolutely lovely, and makes me all the more determined to start one here at (Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage) so that we can share our beautiful abundant produce with the wider community.Lastly, this post is proof positive that late can indeed be better. NOT “better than never”, but better than what would have come had you forced yourself earlier. Funny how life works!

  3. Anna (Green Talk) on November 2, 2008 7:34 pm

    I have to agree with Mother Earth. Sometimes it is the simplier life that bring us back to prespective. I too am grateful to you for helping form the Green moms since without you who would I be able to pose my many questions to with help from others moms and mothers of the earth? It is fun being surrounded by other women who get you! (Gosh, I hope so…)

    Yes, Anna, it is…and I think all Moms (myself included) with very young kids need to go easy on themselves….! In fact, we all do…men included. — Lynn

  4. Muthering Heights on November 3, 2008 6:54 am

    I do my best to live each day with a heart full of gratitude – sometimes I lose focus, but there is ALWAYS something in life that catches me off guard, and reminds me how blessed I am.

    I’m also very thankful for the blogging community! :)

  5. Sommer Green & Clean Mom on November 3, 2008 11:07 am

    Be still. I like that. I’m trying hard to finish stuff earlier in the evening or during the day to make time to be with my family and be more grateful for them. I like how you made time to write this and do some reflection. Some would just say they are too busy and not stop to reflect but you did. Pat yourself on the back for that.

  6. Jennifer Taggart on November 3, 2008 3:16 pm

    I was so with you this month Lynn about this post. It was hard to find the silence to be reflective. But I do have to say I am grateful for our blogging community – I love being in a circle of like minded women!

    Jennifer
    http://www.thesmartmama.com

  7. Diane MacEachern on November 3, 2008 5:51 pm

    It was hard for me to write this post, too, and for many of the same reasons (too busy, feeling overwhelmed, not enough help, etc. etc.).

    But a long walk with the dog helped clear my head and get some perspective. What DON’T I have to be grateful for, when I stop and think about it? Not much. I’ve made a pledge to take a minute every day between now and Thanksgiving and pinpoint at least one thing I appreciate. It’s a great exercise for providing perspective!

    Absolutely! And I love your minute-a-day pledge! Thanks for stopping by, Diane! — Lynn

  8. JessT on November 4, 2008 8:30 pm

    I love the description of your CSA. I feel that way when I am cooking (ok, cooking something engrossing, not mac n cheese), when I am walking in the woods with my kids, when I am at my great aunt’s farm in California. I have loved reading all the carnival posts!

  9. Beth Terry, aka Fake Plastic Fish on November 7, 2008 8:46 pm

    Getting still… In fact, that’s exactly what I needed to do in order to write my own post on the subject. Get still. Breathe. Then, the words just flowed.

    Turns out writing about the topic itself helped to create a sense of gratitude in each of us.

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