This is an excellent article..
Gratitude is a mindset.
Gratitude is not a one-time event but rather a mindset that requires cultivation. A gratitude mindset can refocus your attention, pointing out all the small, easily over-looked things your partner does. It reminds you that your wife didn’t have to phone "just to say hello" or that your husband didn’t have to cook dinner after a long, exhausting day. The gratitude mindset silences anti-appreciative thoughts like, "She’s supposed to do that…" or "He’s just doing what any father should do…" When you embrace gratitude and make it part of your inner dialogue, you’ll hear yourself saying, "She’s such a thoughtful person" or "Our children are lucky to have him as a father."
This falls in line with being validating to our spouses, never forgetting to express the good, it's uplifting, encouraging.. a timely word can sometimes make all the difference in a day, the outlook we carry..to work, and within the home... Validating your Spouse
I think, because of my meager upbringing, also feeling a little lonely being an only child.......some of the things I have seen in my life.. what was taken from me.. having to go live with my Step Mom & dad where I felt I wasn't so wanted..... I had to keep my mouth shut & walk a straight line , I feared her!..... I was so far from being spoiled... I mean, my needs were met (I had food, shelter, a room, friends, schooling) .....but "wants"...what was that?
So when I met my husband in 10th grade... the way he treated me.. he made me feel very special...he took me anywhere I wanted to go, took me shopping for clothes at the mall (I remember feeling guilty for this)...but I was so thankful...
Looking back.. those experiences built Gratitude within for even the smaller things in life ...I never had high expectations materially ...We just wanted to make it on our own...find a little place in the country, We had each other & our dreams...so much like the words to Danny's song
People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one,
And we've only just begun.
Think I'm gonna have a son.
He will be like she and me, as free as a dove,
Conceived in love.
Sun is gonna shine above.
And even though we ain't got money,
I'm so in love with you, honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning, when I rise,
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.
Those are the words of Gratitude....
Then we couldn't conceive...I got a lesson in just how precious children really are ... we should never take them for granted.. so many times over the yrs, when I am tempted to pull my hair out
... I remind myself .. We may have never had any dirty finger prints on the wall, muddy floors, cleaning throw up out of the carpet at 3am, or gum out of their hair...but I
...and call it all JOY...
And the moments like this...
...following me around on their Power wheels as I mow the lawn....hauling buckets of water to the sand box -working as a team to build a river.... 2nd son will graduate this year , then his brother following right behind ...(in 2 weeks I will watch their last march on the football field together as drummers side by side) So thankful for the years we've had....I so often tell them what they mean to us..how much we love them.
If there is any redeeming purpose to our struggles & hardships along the way of life.... it is in realizing there is so much to be thankful for amidst them even....recognizing the little blessings...even when the transmission goes & the roof is leaking....but there is still moments to seize .....
~ Be open to your partner’s uniqueness. Remind yourself of all the reasons you are drawn to your partner. What is it about this person that made you want to spend the rest of your life with him/her?
Being on TAM, I have taken the time to write so much of this out...dissecting my own feelings...H doesn't really read my stuff.. but I so enjoy expressing these things.. it's never too much, it's something HE doesn't take for granted from ME.. I know it makes him feel very loved.
~ See things from a fresh perspective. He’s made you coffee every morning for the last three years; She’s stopped to pick up takeout each Friday after work for the last year; Rather than going the typical route of a bakery, he bakes your birthday cake each year (forget, for a moment, the fact that it tasted like soot)… It’s easy to get used to these repetitive, kind gestures and it’s even easier to rationalize them as something most people would do—take my word for it, not everyone would do all the special things your partner does.
So true ...appreciating the little things.. these ARE the things we will miss when our partners are gone.. notice while they Live..and Give. There was a song by Sammy Hagar years ago, called Give to Live
~ Communicate your gratitude to your partner in a way that feels meaningful to you. This can be direct (telling your partner how you feel) or indirect (doing something thoughtful for your partner).
This ties into the whole Love Languages, knowing what our partners are & how they feel loved ..we all have a primary love language or 2 competing with each other... Love Languages Personal Profile