I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. Consciously thinking every day about what I am grateful for. I try to ask the kids each day about what they are grateful for - often it ends up being "Rice Krispie treats" or "New Legos", but every once in awhile sprinkled in there are "warm mittens" or "nice teachers". Even though I don't like to declare a New Year's Resolution, I am going to have greater resolve this year to ensure that our lives are filled with more gratitude. Today, the thermometer is hovering around 0 degrees F.....easy one - grateful that we have a warm, comfortable home. That led to a conversation of the hundreds of thousands of people that don't have a warm place to stay on days like today. Gratitude brings out the positives in your life - makes it really hard to focus on the negatives with thoughts of gratitude bringing everything into perspective.
So, that being said, I feel like I have to start the New Year by making up some lost gratitude ground for the people around me....
I'm grateful for training partners like Gina - who answered the call to do a hill repeat workout that I described to her beforehand as being "probably less than an hour" that turned into brutal interval training run on really steep hills for 90 minutes....she hangs tough regardless of the workouts...even the surprise ones. Grateful that we've been learning the sport of triathlon on about the same timeline and that she is an amazing athlete with a really kind spirit.
For my friend Bob with whom long chats during long runs make the time pass by quickly, thankful for his jelly beans and favorite post-run (adult) recovery beverage.....and grateful that he also puts up with my speed workouts on occasion. Grateful that he gets me onto "the roads less traveled" whenever we can connect.
I'm grateful for Coach Eric who stays focused on my goals, doesn't let me whine (too much), and keeps things in perspective for me - even though that sometimes means pointing out my age and warning me against comparing myself to younger competitors....just to be clear - I'm not yet grateful for those comments - only the perspective :)
I'm grateful for my husband who helps me fit training in where I can - even though it means hearing me bump around early in the morning as I head out for an early AM workout, or waiting for me to come to bed at midnight after a late night workout in the basement.
I'm grateful for my kids who have taught me tons about myself as I teach them about navigating life. For the motivation they provide me to be a better mom and a better person. Obviously, I'm grateful that they are healthy - but equally grateful that they are learning about being healthy and understanding that much of "health" is within our control. I am grateful that, at relatively young ages, they are becoming skilled in two "life sports" on which they can rely into adulthood - swimming and tae kwon do. I'm grateful that they enjoy competing and working to be the best they can be. I'm grateful that, even though they sometimes have to do their homework sitting on the floor next to me while I'm on my bike trainer or have to wait for me on the pool deck while I finish a workout, they accept it as part of our lifestyle and rarely complain....unless, of course, they don't get enough TV/computer game time to balance it out! And, as most moms will confess, there are some days that I'm most grateful that my active kids also enjoy their screen time. Everyone benefits from a little electronic downtime now and then :)
As we hit the ground running into 2014, my hope for all of us is that we can maintain this attitude of gratitude......could be my new mantra, but more to come on that in a future post!