Gratitude Journal

March 2023

Day 1: I am thankful for puzzles. I teach kids who on a good day struggle with regulating their emotions. This week we have been testing, so a lot of not good days already. We made it to 11:30 and I had two permanant students for the day because reulating emotions wasn’t going to happen appropriately in the other classrooms. Instead, we broke out the Periodic Table puzzle and worked on some social skills. Then we chatted about why the element characters might be doing the silly things in the puzzle — like why Mg is looking afraid of the water hose and not the fire on his shoulder, or why Po is chained to a lead pipe. Learning was happening. Just not the learning we anticipated today. I’m thankful that my classroom offers the safety and freedom needed for these off days.

Day 2:

Day 3: I am thankful for GNO’s! I do not get enough time out with my friends, and tonight was a much needed night with my bestie! We got to go to dinner and then see a play that one of my former 5th grade students was in. I totally miss seeing my big girls on the stage; miss them practicing lines and dances and songs through the house. I’m thankful for the time I had them and that they are now grown. Thankful I was able to make some new memories with Jodi.

Day 4: I am thankful for rest days. I’ve been working hard at hiting my weight goals and exercising, but I must have overdone something this week. My hip (or my knee?) has been hurting all week, and today I could barely walk wihtout wanting to cry. It was good to have a day where I had no appointments so I could just sit and ice/heat it and relax.

Day 5: I’m thankful for brunches with my kids. Today I got to hang with C before she headed back down to school. We chatted abotu what has been going on with school and rehersals and roommates for her. I caught her up on the boys and what we have been doing. We both talked a bit about future plans and dreams. I realize these moments I get with her — wiht any of the kids — are getting to be fewer and farther between times. I’m thankful for all the moments I do get.

Day 6: I am thankful for my family. Dad had his birthday last week and today we got to gather to celebrate. I love when my kids and the cousins can get together and play. K isn’t sure she likes it at first since she is the only girl — my brother has four boys on top of my two. But once they get warmed up and going the house is noisy with laughter.

Day 7: I am thankful for trainings I get to attend. I like growing myself and doing what I do better. Each Monday my book busness has a team meeting to discuss new things and how to push past insecurities and fears that come with our business. Tuesdays I get to watch the repaly since I’m teaching when the live meetings happen. I also just enrolled in a course to expand my knowledge for school. And I’m finishing up two SPED courses in the next month or two. I’m also thankful the boys understand that these classes help me to grow as a mom and do a better job with them, so they give me the space (usually) to do them.

Day 8:

Day 9: I am thankful for the strange things Baby says (he says I need to come up wiht a new name for him here since he isn’t a baby anymore). He makes us all laugh often, and I’m thankful for the way he looks at the world around him.

Day 10: I am thankful for the rain and tomato bisque soup. I love a good rain storm, and after school one came. On the way home, I got a craving for tomato bisque, but I don’t have a good recipe for it. I was thinking about going out to dinner for completley selfish reasons. When I asked the boys about dinner, they suggested the same place I was thinking! So we headed out and I hoped my soup was on the menu. It was! We got plates of food, chatted, ate, and had a good time watchign the rain and beign together. When we got home, we put on a movie and did some puzzles together.

Day 11: I am thankful for window shopping. Took the boys to IKEA for their first time today. We wandered the areas, played with the desks that went up and down, and took notes of items that would be nice to have. I’ve got my eyes on some chalkboards for the kitchen — still deciding. R got some items to add to his birthday wish list. Baby asked me to buy a million things! We ate chicken tenders and meatballs and then headed home. It was nice to just hang with the boys and dream about little things we want. It is strange to think that even three years ago I wasn’t able to dream little and forget about dreaming big! Now we are planning vacations that involve airplanes! I’m thankful for the personal growth I’ve had and that we are starting to learn to dream together as a family.

Day 12: I am thankful for people with skilled trades. My van has needed to be registered for a few weeks now — I went the last week of February, but it didn’t pass. I have bought some parts and tried what people told me to try. The second time I went, it still failed. Today I had a friend who used to be a mechanic in a different life take a look. He cleaned plugs, checked wiring, and did all the things to find the problem. We have a part on order and I have temp tags in hand.

Day 13: I am thankful for the ability to do things scared. This month I’m doing a book drive, but I’m doing it 100% on my own. The people I normally reach out to to help me are not able to help this time. So I get to break out of my comfort zone and go bigger. Instead of asking people to donate $35, I’m going to ask businesses for $100! I got the first three asks done on my way home from school. No takers yet, but I got the first three done. Headed home to feed the hungry children and watch a quick webinar. I’m going to practice my shpill in front of the mirror until I stop sounding terrified and then I’m heading out again!

Day 14: I am thankful for the ability to bake and cook. Today was super busy and long. I usually make homemade chicken pot pie and apple pie on pi day, but it didn’t work out that way this year. We did stop at McDonald’s after group therapy for pies (and ice cream). S was upset because we weren’t going to be eating together and she didn’t want to miss out on pie. I promised all the kids that next week we would have a re-do and I would make pies. I’m thankful for the skills I’ve learned and that my kids are excited that I cook for them. I hope they carry the memories we make in the kitchen together with them as they grow up.

Day 15: I am thankful for movies. Okay, we all know I prefer books to movies, but last night R and I went out on a date to a movie of his choice. He held the doors open for me, paid for the tickets, and was a gentleman. We watched Jesus Revolution. WOW! I laughed and cried and was totally moved. It sparked a great discussion on the way home. R has asked that we buy the movie as soon as it comes out on DVD. I’m grateful that it touched him as deeply as it did. I’m thankful he has given his life to Jesus and tries to live up to that.

Day 16: I am thankful for field trips at the school. Especally when I’m not on them and have time to focus on fewer students. I was hoping to get some testing done (I have 11 kids in the evaluation process that have to be finished by the end of the year!), but then realzed most of them were on the trips! I finished up to of the three in the elementary. Then I got to spend some time with a student who has been having a hard time regulating his behaviors in class. We were able to knock out most of a term of ELA work. I got through the pile of papers on my desk and got most of them filed. The class I was enrolled in for this afternoon was the one I’ve been looking forward to all year — finally got some major questions answered! All in all, a productive day at school.

Day 17: I’m thankful this holiday fell on a teacher work day. I still wore my Shenangians Coordinator t-shirt, but I sat quietly in my room and worked on progress reports. We got to have corned beef and potatoes earlier this week — that os one of R’s favorite meals. I had leftovers and hung out after work. Kind of a quiet but productive day.

Day 18: I am thankful for comfort zones and excuses to break out of them. I’m working on a book drive for a local Early intervention school. I haven’t been getting a great response by reaching out to individuals, so I decided to try something I haven’t before — asking companies to sponsor kids. I got my super brave pants on and visited a handful of stores to ask them to donate. Can I tell you how terrifying that was? I chickened out after a handful. Came home — talked to my BFF — and started to make calls. That got a muhc better response, and I ended up getting a few sponsors! Now I have another bit of evidence that I can do hard and scary things!

Day 19: I am thankful for connections. I’ve been feeling rather down lately and realized that I’m mostly communicating wiht people under the age of 15. Instead of moping about it more, I decided to finally take action! I invited 15 amazing women who I look up to to join me for breakfast. Three of them showed up and we agreed that we need to have this group. We talked about books (Hello! Food and Books are my love language!) and decided how we wanted to do this so we can help each other. I’m excited to see what — an who — next month brings us!

Day 20: I’m thankful for the sunshine we had over the weekend. It made the new snowstorm that came today managable. I’m so ready for sunshine and birds singing and flowers! The adults keep getting side tracked talking about vacations and upcoming plans for spring break. My boys will be out of town with their dad, so I’m on my own for a week. I need to come up with some plans or I know I will end up spending the time cleaning and getting into my head — not a great idea for a week.

Day 21:

Day 22: I am thankful my boys are easily entertained. I had meetings back-to-back after school today, and they had to come with me. I understand it is not always easy to be hauled places you don’t want to go and find ways to amuse yourself during that time. But they do it with ease (most of the time) and are good about it. They quietly play games, or read, or watch phones. They found ways to amuse themselves and got along so I could focus on the matters I needed to.

Day 23: I am thankful for life stories I get honored to listen to. Tonight a friend came over to chat about a position at my school that is open. We got to talking, and she told me her life story – teen pregnancy, runaway, abuse, single parenthood, getting a college degree, and how she started teaching. I love hearing life stories! It makes me appreciate them so much more when I understand the journey they have taken. I’m thankful she felt safe enough with me to tell it to me.

Day 24: I am thankful for a supportive and grounded school team. The day started off with some bad news of a student who made an extreemly poor choice. The choice will have some major consequences, and that makes me feel sad for him and angry at him all at the same time. It is hard to watch someone you have invensted time and energy into to help them with decision making skills NOT listen to what you have been working on for years, and throw away a lot in one evening. As a team, we had to come togher after school to make sure we have done all we needed to be doing to provide a safe and appropriate educational situation for him. Since he was primarially my student (on my caseload) it falls on my shoulders to prove I did all I could for him. The team decided that given the paramaters we have to work in, everythign was done to the best of our ability. I’m thankful that they agree with what I had in place, and we are looking forward to next year and what we need to do better to support our students.

Day 25: I am thankful for birthday parties. R turns 14 next week, so this weekend we had his friend party. It has been a hot minute since I have done a party for teenagers, and I’ve forgotten how silly they can be when left in an unstructured time frame. Even though it was cold (it has been snowing here off and on still) they went and jumped on the trampoline and played basketball. They joked and ate nachos and drank soda. We laughed so hard! I’m thankful my oldest son has good friends who build him up, understand him, and care about him like they do. He was telling me earlier that he feels bead because he doesn’t ahve a lot of friends. I reminded him that those he has are the people he needs. Watching them together, he put down his guard and was able to just be himself. They will probably never know how much that means to me.

Day 26: I am thankful for tiny ice cream. Little Man (formarly Baby) love to be in the kitchen. He has been my best helper who likes to be involved. Earlier this year when my business got the SmartLab toys, he was all over the Tiny Baking, and we have had some fun adventures with that. This morning he took my breakfast order and made the eggs, toast, and his smoothie all by himself! Tonight we broke out the much anticipated Tiny Ice Cream and he made dessert for us all. I’m thiankful that he is invested in what he eats and is adventerous in the kitchen.

Day 27:

Day 28:

Day 29:

Day 30:

14 thoughts on “Gratitude Journal”

  • “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus

  • “Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” – Lionel Hampton
    “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
    “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick
    “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Sometimes in Life, it is difficult … maybe almost impossible … to find things to be grateful for. I suspect this current period of your life is such a time. May I share some things I am grateful for?
    I am thankful for good, happy memories and the chance to make more
    I am thankful for indoor plumbing
    I am thankful for your minutes
    I am forever grateful for your Kids – ALL of them – even the one who has out grown me
    I am grateful for Retirement
    I am SO THANKFUL for My Children and my kids
    I am grateful I loved and was loved by someone who looked past my looks and saw ME
    I am Eternally Grateful for YOU – I wish I could open my heart & soul so I could SHOW you how warm & bright YOU make me feel
    I LOVE – ADORE – CHERISH – and Marvel at your words
    I am grateful for your Faith and your Prayers and your Compassion and your Friendship
    Thank you
    I love you
    You are ENOUGH!!

  • You are Amazing!
    You are ENOUGH!!!
    I miss your words …. I worry when you aren’t writing something. I know life is chaotic and tumultuous (do I xcrdt for that word?) – but you are my favorite wordsmith and I miss reading your heart

  • “The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now.” – Oprah Winfrey

    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein

    “There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” – Ralph H. Blum

    Thank you for sharing thoughts and words the lift and cause me to think

  • “For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.”
    —Elie Wiesel

    “Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
    —Charles Dickens

    “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.”
    —Frank A. Clark

    “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

  • I am thankful you are my friend
    I am thankful for your minutes
    I am thankful you are Faithful & Prayerful
    I am thankful you are persistent & resilient
    I am thankful for your example
    I am thankful to be a Papa
    I am thankful for the adventures & memories
    I am thankful for you

  • 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. – Melody Beattie

    At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert Schweitzer

    Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality. – Jen Sincero

    ‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. – Alice Walker

    Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.

    One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.

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