I read yesterday that if you write three things you are grateful for consecutively for 21 days it changes your thought patterns. I had a gratitude journal where I used to write three things down daily but I have lost the journal which is hugely frustrating. I really try to be a grateful person, it is important to me. I don't feel as though my thought patterns are or have changed. That is another frustration for me. I feel like I constantly battle negative thoughts - not about the world around me, but about myself - and I'm pretty ready to be over it!
I know that 21 days is the "threshold" used frequently when describing the formation or the breaking of habits. So far my experience is that this is not necessarily true. It take long term dedication and RE-dedication to make and keep habits (or break habits as the case may be).
I'll try again with the gratitude thing - though I don't commit to writing them here every day.
Here is what I am grateful for today:
1. The sun is shining, this morning it was snowing and I am not ready for the snow, so the sun is a welcome break in the weather pattern!
2. The gas and water and electric are hooked up to the trailer so the big boys and I are sleeping there even though it is not yet attached to the house. It is awesome!
3. There is a plan in place for CJ to return to school. Who knew I would having this much stress over kids and school?! I LOVED it so I never comprehended that anyone couldn't love it also. Such is not the case for my boy.
1. Who did you spend at least two hours with today?Ummm. I work alone, and I wasn't awake for 2 hours before I left home this morning, so no-one has yet had the joy of spending 2 hours with me today - but tonight I will be at least two hours with my kids. 2. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks? Hopefully I will be getting a tattoo at the Calgary Tattoo convention in October. 3. Who was the last person you called? My good friend. 4. What were you doing at 12am last night? I was awake, writing in my journal I think.. 5. Are your parents married/divorced? Divorced 6. When did you last see your mom? May of this year. 7. What are you wearing right now? Black Jeans, Birkenstocks,and a blue Restorative Justice t-shirt. 8. Where is your favorite place to be? Happy 9. Where is your least favorite place to be? Unhappy 10. Where would you go if you could go anywhere? Someplace warm 11. Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years? I will have a masters degree and I hope I will be doing some kind of consulting. When I win the lottery tonight this answer will change. 12. What was the last thing that really made you laugh? I can't remember 13. What cities/towns/villages have you lived in? Gweru, Sydney NS, Saskatoon SK, Edmonton AB, Everett WA, Provo UT, Ogden UT, Bellingham WA, Maple Valley WA, Oak Harbour WA, Brier WA various places in Alberta.. 14. Are you a social person? I can be, but typically not. 15. Do you sleep alone? I start out sleeping alone but usually I am woken when kids climb into bed with me.
I have insurance on my cell phones because, well, I have five children and my experience has been that they will find my phone and drop it into the toilet, or the tub, or the glass of chocolate milk next to the bed. Wait. That last one was what Shelly did with her own phone LAST time.
ANYWAY. The point is that I have insurance on the phones. So when Shelly's phone was dumped into the water I knew that I was covered. I thought I knew. I was apparently incorrect.
Telus, the company whom I have my service through, has outsourced the phone insurance to another company, so they cannot assist me.
I called the other company. They said my claim was denied but that it was "just standard" for the claim to be denied and to call back in 48 hours. I called back in 48 hours. I was told that Telus was reporting the phone as inactive, which they were - because I called and told them that the phone was not able to be used and they said they would change the status to inactive. They said I needed to call Telus and tell Telus to call them and explain why the phone was inactive. Seriously?
The call was a HUGE frustration and at the end of the call they said I would have the opportunity to participate in a one minute customer satisfaction survey. I waited for the survey. The first question was "How satisfied was I with the service I received?" and I was to push number 4 on my touch tone phone if I was dissatisfied. I was. I pushed the number four, AND I WAS DISCONNECTED!
That's an awesome survey. If you are dissatisfied you don't get to participate.
It has been a week and I still have no resolution. Telus and the company they outsource to BOTH suck. ( Yup, I said "Suck" and I know my mom hates that word. I feel strongly.)
I started this AGES ago, and got as far as day eight. (So much for follow through Julie!)
I thought I would try it again, I debated started again at the beginning but decided to just pick it up from day 8 where I left Off. Here is what I have left.
Day 8 - Something Orange
Day 9 - Favorite TV Show
Day 10 - Something Green
Day 11 - Turning point in my life
Day 12 - Most Recent accomplishment
Day 13 - Comic
Day 14 - Favorite Fairytale
Day 15 - Family picture
Day 16 - Inspiration
Day 17 - Favorite plant
Day 18 - Just a doodle
Day 19 - Something New
Day 20 - Mandala
Day 21 - Something you want
Day 22 - Something you miss
Day 23 - Something you Need
Day 24 - A couple
Day 25 - Scenery
Day 26 - Something you don’t like
Day 27 - someone you love
Day 28 - anything you’d like
Day 29 - A place you want to go
Day 30 - A congrats banner for finishing the Challenge
I try to practise daily gratitude and think of the things
each day I am grateful for. Some days it is more difficult than others, and
some days it is easy, but it is never as easy to think about the things I take
for granted as when they aren’t working.
This weekend we had problems with the septic tank and our
grey water was filling up the basement. The washer wasn’t working well and the
dryer wasn’t working at all. I was EXTREMELY aware of the things I take for
granted as the basement was filling up with water. Electricity, running water,
heat, a septic system that works – all of these things I go through many days
without thinking of how convenient they make my life and what a hassle it is to
live without them. I am SUPER grateful for modern conveniences. Life without
them is difficult – to say the least.
Today I am also extremely grateful for the phone – I made
lots of important calls today (including the plumber who went out and fixed my
septic mess) and was also able to spend time talking with a friend who lives
too far away to visit daily, but who makes my day brighter every time we talk.
THANK GOODNESS FOR PHONES!
Current mood: melancholy over Maxies birthday, but excited for the rest of this month to pass. I am HOPEFULLY getting a tattoo in October at the convention in Calgary and October is my birthday month! YAHOO! Current movie: I haven't watched a movie this month, but maybe I should get onto Netflix and watch something. Current TV Show: Ditto for television. DOH. I used to be such a television addict! What am I doing with my time?! Current book: I'm reading two books currently, enjoying one and not the other. Current song: Try by Colbie Callait Current album: Listening to radio from Calgary more than I am listening to any album really. But Max took my earphones from my office so now I can't even listen to music at work. Sometimes that kid........ Current food: I made wontons for wonton soup but I don't think I like wonton soup so I may end up giving them away Current drink: I have almost totally eliminated pop from my diet so no Dr. Pepper for me! Pour me another coffee though. Current color: green Current Beauty Product: I don't know if it is a beauty product, but I have been using spiced vanilla cream on my elbows from the body shop. My elbows should be beautiful.
Current celebrity crush: Laura Prepon. Can't get enough of her.
Current Project: Masters degree project. I dont think this thing is ever going to end. Current need: I drastically need to alter the energy in my life. Current guilty pleasure(s): Hmn. Smoking makes me feel both guilt and pleasure, so I'll go with smoking. Current annoyance: the things in my home that keep breaking. ARGGGGGG. Current excitement: looking forward to September 29 when I will both see a friend I am missing AND get my haircut from Amy. Current triumph: Oh - I don't think I am feeling triumphant over anything at this moment in time. Current anticipation: Moving into the new trailer once the electricity gets hooked up. Photo I took this month:
Birthdays aren't meant to be sad days but today I am sad and it is my sons birthday. He is 9. He has an organic brain injury which for him means that the change in schedule is overwhelming. The fact that he had a birthday party today - the first one he has ever asked for in his life - was simply too much and he spent most of the day crying.
His younger brother - also with organic brain injury - is overstimulated by noise and lights and people. He spent the party hiding under their tables, until he ran away.
I wish my kids could have "normal" birthdays full of fun and laughter. Unfortunately that is not the way our lives have unfolded. I'm going to spend a minute in this sadness
I absolutely love travelling. I used to travel more and I haven’t
in the past few years gone anywhere really interesting. I love Singapore,
Seattle, San Francisco (maybe it’s a thing for places starting with the letter ‘s”)?
The reason I am not going to write about any of those places
is because I think lots of people like them and there’s probably lots and lots
of information out there about cool things that have to do with those places.
I decided instead to write about Bellingham. Why Bellingham
you ask? Well I love Washington state for one, and I lived there for a number
of years, first as a missionary and then I returned and lived there and taught
karate. I lived in a number of places north and east of Seattle and loved all
of them, but Bellingham was one of my favorite places.
Bellingham is about 90 miles north of Seattle, 21 miles
south of the Canadian border and about 52 miles south of Vancouver, B.C.it sits right on the north Puget Sound and
the San Juan Islands are further to the west ( I also love the San Juans). The
North Cascade mountains are east. I love the combination of ocean and
There are parks, trails, two community colleges, a
university all in Bellingham. I absolutely LOVE it. I am grateful that I was able to visit Bellingham. I would never have known what a great place it is. For a long time I wanted to live there. Now I am in Canada and will never live in the USA but I would be very happy to visit Bellingham again.
I had a meeting at my local bank. I LOATHE the bank – I
obviously have some work to do with regards to my feelings about money. The
bank manager at my branch is someone I have worked with for many years and for
years before she became the branch manager. She is a great person and has been
extremely supportive of me over the years – which I am grateful for in and of
We were talking while completing the transactions she was
assisting me with and we lighted upon the topic of spaghetti squash. I love it
and she was making it. Jokingly I said she should bring me leftovers and out of
the blue she called me to say she had leftovers for me and was I coming to pick
them up!I am extremely grateful for
kind people. This made my day today.
Today I am grateful for my Blender. I started exercising ( in June ) and try to do it daily. I have always been terrible at eating - I don't eat breakfast and most days forget to pack a lunch for work so I will usually go all day without eating and then when I get home in the evening I am STARVING and don't stop eating all evening. I decided to start drinking a shake as a meal supplement at work so I got a blender which I keep at work and I make sure I have a shake every day while I am working. I am SUPER happy I have it and I use it daily. (I am struggling presently with working out daily - I was doing REALLY well for two months and then in August was away lots and in September have been away a fair bit. Getting into the habit of working out every day again is a struggle).
When I started this challenge I was supposed to write something I was grateful for every week for the entire year. Well I made it to 8 weeks and then fell off the bandwagon, so I am now jumping back into it but I have 30 weeks to catch up on!
I think there is nothing that I DON’T like about the summer.
We have LONG days and they are warm and beautiful. The kids are not in school
which I love. I like mowing the lawn. I like trips to the river. I like visiting
my mom or having her come here to visit. I like making fires in the evening and
sitting around them with my family. I have always had a difficult time deciding
which season is my favorite because I like spring, summer AND fall . Having
said that I dislike the mud of spring, and I am always sad in the fall at the
frosty mornings – I feel like summer passes too quickly, so maybe summer is my
favorite season after all. I love summer and I am grateful for it.
School is back in session and we have moved the kids to a
different school this year. It was one of the most difficult decisions to make,
but I am glad we chose to. Max is doing so well, better than he has done
before. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for my number two boy. He has never
liked school and it was a HUGE struggle at the end of last year to get him to class
every day. He was absolutely miserable. Well he is just as miserable, only older
and acting out more. Thankfully this school is dealing with it phenomenally and
his teacher and two of the school aides are away today and tomorrow in training
specifically to deal with him. UNFORTUNATELY they have asked us to keep him
home the next two days because the sub teacher simply cannot deal with him. I
am at a complete loss. I have no idea what to do. I don’t know why he is acting
out – and since I have no idea the origin of his loathing of school I feel
helpless in finding a solution. All I know is that it is hard. Hard on him,
hard on us, hard on the teacher and the aides in the classroom. I hope we find
a solution soon or its going to be a LONG year.