January 23, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude

TJ was driving us home from a game recently and I was motor mouth complaining about how tired I was. How I just wanted 15 minutes to catch up on personal emails, 15 minutes to write a blog post, 15 minutes to paint my nails, 15 minutes to take a bath, 15 minutes to take a nap, 15 minutes to just breathe.

And do you know what that boy did?

He totally put me in my place.

After half listening to me throw myself a pity party he flatly responded and said "And last year you were complaining that you couldn't work and that you were bored. You're never happy."

I admit that I've been challenged lately to find happiness. My mind has been forced and pulled in several different directions. I've been go-go-going for the past month, fought with an incredible tension headache last week - and while I do need those "15 minutes", what I need more is to appreciate and be thankful for the little things that don't require an allotted time slot.

My bestie came to the rescue again and sent me a fantastic article that her mother sent her. The article has completely changed my way of thinking and provided me with a much needed attitude adjustment. I'm going to share my favorite exerts from the article by Murry Page below, but I encourage you to read it in full.

"Studies have proven that if you are grateful for the things in your life, you will be significantly happier. Adults who feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They are also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics."

Now, I know that these findings are not rocket science, nor are they entirely surprising. It's common sense, really. But how many of us actually put into practice the act of having a grateful heart?

The article goes on to explain the findings of three studies where participants were asked to write down the things that they were grateful for that week. Here are the results:

  • Participants in the gratitude group were a full 25 percent happier and were more optimistic about the future than the participants in the other control groups. 
  • They had fewer symptoms of physical illness and health complaints than the other two groups.
  • The gratitude group exercised 1.5 hours more than the hassled group.
  • Participants in the gratitude group reported more hours of sleep each night, spending less time awake before falling asleep, and feeling more refreshed upon awakening.
  • The gratitude group also reported more satisfaction with their lives as a whole, felt more optimistic about the upcoming week, and felt considerably more connected with others than did participants in the other groups.
  • Spouses of the participants in the gratitude groups reported that the participants appeared to have higher subjective well-being than did the spouses of the participants in the other groups.

That last factoid really struck a cord with me. Gosh, is this Negative Nancy of a person that I have become lately the person that I want TJ to marry in July? Heck to the no. 

We laid in bed Friday night and I proposed the idea of ending our days by saying aloud the things that we each were grateful for that day. Saturday night and last night we had to do this new ritual via text message because he had an away game.

The results? 

I honestly feel happier. I feel healthier. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I feel that even though I am overwhelmed and at my crying/breaking point with exhaustion and overworking myself, I am better prepared inside to handle the stress that this week has in store for me. 

I know it's only been three nights of "change", but I'm telling you - this conscious practice of appreciation is life changing. 

"Happiness is a state of mind." - Unknown.

It is said that the more positive energy you send out into the world, the more you'll receive. The same goes for negativity. Will you join me in creating a daily habit of appreciating the good? I challenge you tonight before you fall asleep to say aloud or keep a journal of a short list of things that you are grateful for today. I promise you - when you begin to truly understand and appreciate the good, the bad doesn't feel so bad after all.

Images 12 . 3 . 4 . 5 . edited by KY

January 4, 2012

Wedding Wednesday | Our Save the Dates

Lindsay from Scenic Glory created the custom design for our plane ticket Save the Dates, and I couldn't be happier with how they came out! Aren't they lovely? The idea matches our traveling lifestyle pretty well, don't you think?

While we don't have an exact "theme" per say for the wedding, we are incorporating a few different vintage travel elements into our big day, such as the vintage stamps I found on Etsy, the plane ticket Save the Dates, and a few more ideas to come as the next six months unfold.

After a few short email exchanges and one simple revision to the design, Lindsay made my vision come to life. She was so easy to work with, and she exudes so much creativity. I highly recommend Lindsay to anyone who is looking for a custom blog or print design - and don't just take my word for it! We mailed the Save the Dates late last week and have already received the nicest compliments on the design, such as how they are "an unforgettable and perfect keepsake", and the "most original Save the Date" ever seen. Many thanks go to Lindsay!

January 3, 2012

Make The Most Of Who You Are.

Gosh, the things we can learn from sweet Ricochet. 

With the feeling of renewal associated at the start of a fresh new year, let's remember to exceed our own expectations, not those that others impose on us. 

Relax and be joyful. You are your own possibility.

To learn more about Ricochet visit her website.

January 2, 2012

And on the 2nd day, God created me.

Last night TJ and I enjoyed a birthday dinner of yummy sushi, and tonight I think I may just be in the mood for some Domino's pizza and a glass of wine. Classy, right? 

This is the first time in five years that TJ doesn't have a hockey game on my birthday! As we've gotten older we've learned to appreciate just snuggling on the couch with our pup and a movie instead of going out for some elaborate fiesta, so that is how I'm looking forward to 'celebrating' tonight. Maybe we'll throw in a game of Monopoly, too. Man, we're getting old ;)

Images . 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . edited by KY

January 1, 2012

A New Year Challenge

Whatever caused unnecessary pain, struggle, trouble or worry in 2011 - let it go today.

Was it....

A possession?
A resentment?
A grudge?
A miscommunication?
A judgement?
An expectation?
A negative connotation?


2012 has so many incredible things to offer, 
why carry a burden into such beautiful possibilities?

Let go, and breathe easy. 

"If you look back at your challenges from last year, you will notice that they are not as big and as scary as they used to be. If your past challenges seem smaller, it's not because they shrank but rather because YOU grew. You are not today, who you were yesterday; nor will you be tomorrow who you are today. Everyday you outgrow many of your old scary challenges. Everyday you will be able to do something, which you couldn't do before simply because you've grown. If you couldn't do something yesterday, it doesn't mean that you cannot do it today. For who you are today is not who you used to be." - Andres Lara

Images . 1 .  2 . 3 . 4 . edited by KY
© Kym Fox | Our Fox Tales