Last week I wrote about some of the negatives of being childless, and as I write this the sun is shining (albeit briefly) so I feel that it’s a good day to feel grateful for what I have in life. My life didn’t turn out exactly how I expected it to, and I plan to make the best of what I have.
I’m thinking of the Monty Python song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and I try to do that. I know that it’s easier said than done, and it has become easier for me over time.
Research tells us that those people who have a more joyful life actively practice gratitude by writing a journal, doing meditation, etc ie having a specific daily practice to note what’s good in their lives. Other ways to do this could be to keep positive mantras and/or photos where they are visible or listen to your favourite songs, whatever is the easiest way to connect with what’s good in your life. I’m sure there are other ways you can think of.
Taking small steps
The road away from the negative feelings of childlessness can be rocky and one way to begin is to start with small steps. In the early stages I found that keeping a gratitude journal really helped me to have a more positive mindset. I regularly spent time noting what I was grateful for and looking at those notes really helped me whenever I felt down. I also have great photos next to my computer which remind me how grateful I am for the people in my life.
So what am I grateful for?
- I’ll start with some big things like having a roof over my head and enough food to eat.
- I’m grateful for my family and friends, especially my childless friends who have travelled this rocky road with me and who I wouldn’t have met had I had children.
- I’m grateful for the skills that I have and those I have learned, for the people who have helped me especially in the past couple of years.
- I’m grateful for the great life I’ve made, especially being able to do lots of things which many people can’t do because they have children.
- I’m grateful for the ability to be flexible with my work, so from tomorrow I’m taking a few days off to see family and friends.
There are many other things I’m grateful for and I’ll leave that for another time.
I would love to hear whether you’ve kept a gratitude journal and how it helped, and also what a difference it makes when you start.