Choosing Gratitude over Stress and Guilt

In a group today a great panel of women talked about how to create margin in family life. This goal rose to the top of the discussion for me. It aligned with a goal I have set for myself of replacing the word gratitude for the word shame, or the feeling of guilt. 

I feel guilty at times I am able to be home with our children, when I stop myself and swap the words, it is a mind shift. 

I am so lucky to have this choice. 

I am grateful for this time. 

There is also the feeling of shame if I did a poor job with my day. 

I feel guilty if I didn't manage to find time to make that phone call (I hate making phone calls! Next year's goal) or if I missed an appointment or did not get the house tidy by the time my first child rolls in the door. 

To replace that flustered feeling of annoyance with one of being grateful is not easy. 

“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.” ― Roy T. Bennett

A gift of the everyday is my desired outlook. As simple as it sounds I am finding myself working diligently to replace the word "Stress" with "Grateful" in my day to day patterns. I am grateful to be healthy, to have energy to worry! How can I shift that energy into a more life fulfilling direction? As I work towards this goal I am finding small slivers of new space and energy for renewal.

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.” 
― Laura Ingalls WilderWritings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues

I am so grateful for these children, look at how they have grown from 
this pumpkin day eight years ago! 
I want to give thanks for hard bits and the amazing bits. 
May the busy they bring leave margin for exponential joy.


  1. I love this! As someone who lives life as one large to do list, I love the idea of changing my mindset to focus on gratitude and less on what I haven’t done, failed, skipped, etc. It’s a great reminder that happiness can be found in the middle ground (between failure and perfection) where we spend most of our lives. Thank you, Deirdre!

  2. Thank you! Happiness in the middle ground, great goal.

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