I don't know about you, but the day after Halloween was an anxiety-inducing moment for me. I was at a local shopping area and noticed that they were putting up the Christmas decorations on all the light poles outside. The sight of holiday swag and colored ornaments on November 1 immediately set me into panic. Why? The holidays caught me by surprise, yet again. Didn't I just put out a pirate skeleton by the front door and decorated our porch with tombstones and spiders? Now I have to put all that away and take out my Holiday stuff? And figure out Thanksgiving plans, plan social events, buy fancy outfits for myself and the kids, get the Holiday photos taken, order the Holiday Cards, buy presents for friends and relatives, find those Elves on the Shelves that I stuffed in a box somewhere....you get the picture. So if you're looking for me, I'll be hiding behind the yule log until January, ha!
I recently ran across a 30 days of Gratitude Challenge on The Glitter Guide (blog) which starts November 1st and goes through the month of November. The idea of the challenge is that every day there is a suggestion of one thing you can do to show gratitude to others, to yourself, and to spread positivity, especially in light of all the sadness and devastating events that have been happening in this world today.
I love these ideas- some of my favorites include: Write down 3 strengths you have, Purchase flowers for yourself (because you're amazing), Let a car in front of you when driving....all those are very small gestures or activities but add a pause of reflection and conscious behavior changes to add positivity to your day.
A recent incident this idea was put to the test was when my sons and I were having dinner at a casual restaurant the other night, and I noticed that an older gentleman in the booth behind us would occasionally turn around and glare at us. Were my boys being too loud, or unruly? I didn't think they were. Finally, when he turned around again after a few more times, I looked and him in the eyes and said, "May I help you?!". I was pretty annoyed with his demeanor and wanted to ask him point blank what his problem was. He responded, "Your son keeps kicking the booth and it's bothering me". I was at first angry, but surprised myself by responding, "Oh! That bothers me too! And yes, he does do that all the time!". His wife sitting across from him had an embarrassed look on her face and smiled at me sheepishly, as if to say, "Yeah, my husband complains all the time and it's super embarrassing". I looked at both of them. It was nice, seeing an older couple enjoying a night out together, trying to enjoy their dinner...long story short, instead of my first impulse of being reactive, I bought their dinner too.
Could I have reacted negatively in that moment? Sure. But what was neat about that incident is that it started a conversation in the car with my kids after dinner about kindness, about understanding, about positivity and the idea that if you give to others you are really giving to yourself. I know, lots of hokey stuff but such a great learning lesson for the kids and really what gratitude is really about.
You can find the 30-day Gratitude Challenge here:
What are some of the things you do to show your positivity and gratitude? How do you keep your peace and calm during the bustle of the holidays?