By: Cassie Van Der Hyde
This has been one busy summer. All the things I was daydreaming about back in the chilly days of April: sitting on the deck while the kids play in the sunshine, day trips to the beach, getting together with friends most days of the week, taking a little time off of work. Well, most of those things haven’t happened in the way I had hoped. Instead, we have had some sick days; some days I’m very overtired in the mornings after getting home from work and not up to driving around; a day surgery; some days that are too hot to play outside in our pool-less yard; and a lot of stuff going on for my baby sister’s wedding happening next month.
It’s always tempting to me to over-romanticize the next thing in life. The weekend, the next season, the days when my kids are a little older, whatever! I have to constantly and consistently remind myself of the important work that goes into the everyday stuff of life, especially with smaller kids in the mix these days. Some of those days just seem endless and the tasks repeat over and over. Does it ever seem like the laundry is just…never…finished?! Maybe it feels like that because it isn’t!
One of the things that most helps me in this current spot in life is just to practice thankfulness. Write out my blessings, speak them aloud, talk through them with my kids and husband and friends. Thankfulness for a job that can really take it out of me, because some moms can’t find a job that fits into their lives well. Thankfulness for piles of laundry to fold to clothe us. Thankfulness for a dirty home that is lived and loved in. Thankfulness for overtired, cranky kids after a busy day of doing fun things. Thankfulness for money to pay for big, ugly, unexpected car repairs. Just thankfulness for all of it.
When I was growing up, I never knew the times my parents had very, very little money. I didn’t think of our tiny home as smaller than most. I heard my parents speak thankfulness for the food, home, things, and jobs we had; and it made a huge impact on me! The attitude lived and spoken by my family made it possible not only for us to make do with much less than some—yet still much more than others—but also for me to realize in adulthood that it’s not things, money, jobs, or even perfect health that make a happy home. Sometimes a happy home and a full, fulfilling day is mostly all about making things work with the resources I have and practicing speaking out thankfulness so that my own attitude changes for the better.