When I was trying to create my family, grateful was the last thing I felt. Every day I seemed to experience things I considered graceless.
Negative pregnancy tests.
Facebook pregnancy announcements.
Estrogen levels that were too low.
My moods were low. I cried a lot. My thoughts were mostly negative.
I let these graceless moments take over my life, causing frayed nerves and hopeless despair.
I had a challenging time keeping myself in the present moment, and lost control of who I was. I looked outside of myself to define my happiness.
Because I was so focused on what I didn’t have, I failed to realize how much I did have, and how grateful I was for that.
Maybe the negativity had an impact on my lack of “success,” maybe it didn’t.
What I wish I would have known then that I know now, is the impact that feeling grateful has on your overall well-being. The way it can lift you out of a bad mood. Or allow the relentless negative thoughts to ease up, if just for a few minutes.
Feeling grateful gets us out of our heads and puts us in our hearts. It reminds us that in reality, our lives don’t actually suck. Maybe what’s going on at this very moment sucks, but if we step out of our own way for a moment, the clouds begin to part.
Perhaps it’s a sister who calls to offer her support.
Perhaps it’s a smile from a stranger walking down the street.
Perhaps it’s the unexpected check that arrives in the mail.
Perhaps it’s reading a book on the front porch with a cold glass of iced tea.
There are always moments, both big and small, to be grateful for.
After our failed FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer), I bought this journal, intending to document 5 things that I was grateful for…every day. On average it takes 21 days to establish a habit. It probably took this long to become consistent with writing every night, but soon it became a habit. Here and there I’ll miss a day, but I do everything in my power to get right back to it.
If something negative happened that day, I can almost guarantee that at least 5 positive things also happened. And if I can’t think of specific events that I’m grateful for, I write that I’m grateful to have eyes to see, or hands to touch, or something simple.
One of the small things that I’m grateful for is our dairy delivery service. This family owned business is in their 89th year of delivering milk, eggs, butter, and many other items right to our doorstep! This old school tradition allows me to avoid having to pick these items up at the grocery store. I am so grateful not only for that, but also that the orders are delivered on time, and are always correct.
On an early morning run today (neighborhood delivery day), I spotted the company trucks parked next to a local school. And the delivery guy happened to be in the truck. I ran across the street, said hello, and thanked the guy for providing such excellent and efficient service.
Why? Because I’m grateful. How often do we tell each other how grateful we are for one another? Especially strangers.
When he asked me where I lived, he said “Oh yes! You usually order a gallon of milk, brown eggs, and sometimes a half gallon of the Royal Rich.”
He was correct. Out of all of the houses and businesses he delivers to, he recalled my order. He cares about his job. And he therefore does it efficiently.
What can you be grateful for today?
A passionate infertility advocate, Jen Noonan destigmatizes the shame and guilt surrounding infertility and miscarriage. Her debut memoir, In Due Time, is available on Amazon at amzn.com/0996308601