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This is the time of year that we express gratitude for big things we have like family, friends, and food. It’s also a time when we compare ourselves to others. Choosing to focus on what we don’t have when we see photos on social media. THIS ISN’T HEALTHY!
It’s too easy to forget that what we see online is a moment, a snapshot of “perfect” that is chosen to be shared. And scrolling past, you think something like, “Wow, they are so successful”. Or “Man, do they have their life together.” But what we don’t see are the pictures of laundry piled up on the kitchen table, toys all over the floor, and multiple pet stains on the carpet. We don’t often see pictures of dinners that someone “failed” to plate beautifully because they aren’t on Masterchef and/or their kid won’t eat it if everything is touching.
I’m guilty of it too! If you follow my Instagram, you’ll see photos of my food that after cooking, I take upstairs to my makeshift photo studio. I’ve got “backdrops” that I make from wrapping paper or that I hand-draw. It’s all set up on an old side table that is sitting in front of a window so that I can take pictures without spending money on expensive lighting setups. Then I edit them to make sure the shadows aren’t too dark or the light isn’t too bright, and that the color isn’t washed out.
The meals I make for my boyfriend and I, are a combination of about 12 different meals. (Taco Mac and Cheese and Rainbow Chili make regular appearances.) And I rarely photograph what we eat most nights because our lights STINK! So, let me say this again: “The pictures I post on my Instagram are CRAFTED AND EDITED to be composed…Something that’s not quite true of my normal, everyday life.” Do you want to know what you’d see if you were to take a snapshot of me right now? You’d see me laying in bed in sweatpants, a hoodie, and mismatched socks. Laying around me are my two dogs and there’s a noticeable layer of dust and clutter on my bedside table. No makeup, no manicure. No shower.
It’s 7 am and I’m writing this post before I go to work. And while this exact moment may not seem picture perfect… I choose to focus on what I have that is making it perfect for me. And that, my friends, is gratitude.
Here are just a few things I’ve got going on for me right now. I just returned from visiting my mom and sister, whom I’ve not seen since May. I return to the second week of my new job. My new office is only 8 minutes from my home! There are leftovers in the fridge. So I don’t have to go to the grocery store for at least another 4-5 days! And have my boyfriend, who woke up with this dogs so that I could catch a few minutes longer as I recover from my whirlwind trip.
Keeping these in mind, I can’t think of a better way to wrap up 2018 than with a gratitude challenge! So grab a journal, your favorite pen and commit to finding gratitude in everything around you for the last 30 days of the year!
Here are the rules. Each day you’ll be prompted to find gratitude in a specific aspect of your life. Dedicate 10 uninterrupted minutes to writing down everything that you’re grateful for in regards to your topic of the day. Some days prompt you to write about material things and some about people in your life. If you’re looking for a little extra challenge, I encourage you to mail a copy of what you write about someone to them. Imagine the impact they’d feel knowing that out of the blue, someone thought so highly of them! Gratitude is contagious! Keep the graphic below easily accessible so that you know your prompts each day. Or, follow me on Instagram. I’ll post each prompt every day at 1:00 pm ET, starting December 1 (SATURDAY!)
I know this post comes very last minute but I’m grateful for all the changes happening in my life. I’m grateful for you, for reading this post. I hope this gratitude challenge helps spark a light that stays with you through the holidays and throughout the new year! 2019 is your year! I can feel it!