I woke up this morning very grateful. Grateful for Mother’s Day cards and fish kisses from a 2 year old. Grateful for you sharing my post on Friday about being More Than Mom Enough in response to the front cover of May’s TIME magazine article. And grateful for the positive response to the Sunday Stories series, where you my readers share your stories and life lessons.
Yesterday, I left the house grateful to be heading to my happy place, the swimming pool for the final events of a 3 day swim meet.
I have been spending a great deal of time everyday focusing on gratitude. As a result, I’ve been a happier person. I spend a great deal of time looking through photos, writing lists of what I’m grateful for, writing letters to my children every week, and writing letters to people who influence me and my family.
As I was sweating my tail off at the swim meet in 100 degree weather, I found myself getting a little bit irritated. My family will tell you that I have 3 triggers to getting irritable: heat, hunger, and ungratefulness. So when it hit 11:30 am, I was sweating in places that I won’t discuss, was hungry for a snack other than poptarts from the snackbar, and one of my children complained with a thankless spirit. I could feel that hot head rush and knew I could blow at any moment.
Thank goodness I recognized this trigger and told myself to take my camera and flip through pictures. Immediately I became grateful. Grateful for healthy children, grateful for being in the swimming environment that makes me feel energized and at peace, and grateful for a miracle child after cancer. I also realized how I have 2 amazing coaches who not only teach my children stroke technique, but also encourage my daughters with invaluable life lessons. All of a sudden the hunger seemed to vanish and I didn’t mind that my two thighs were now possibly stuck together from sweat. Why? Because I simply chose to be grateful.
I don’t know about you but I love to get a letter in the mail. Sometimes it’s even nicer to be told publicly how much you mean to someone. So I’ve decided to share with you my letter to my daughter’s swim coaches, Mo Rankin and Lindsay Borman of Phoenix Swim Club.
Dear Mo and Lindsay,
Jeff and I are extremely thankful. Emily and Rebecca love swimming in large part because of you both. Jeff and I realize the importance of sports. We both have loved swimming and golf and have many fond memories of our teammates and coaches. Our girls spend over 10 hours a week with you in practice and listen to every word you tell them. They come home encouraged and excited for the next practice.
Mo – Emily repeats every word that you say. She clings to your encouragement, praise, and constructive advice. She is highly competitive, yet I believe you have encouraged her to remember to have fun and be a cheerleader for her teammates.
I was thrilled at your talk with her about the value of being in a group with kids her own age. I personally am in no rush for her grow up any faster than is already happening. When I asked Emily what her favorite thing about you was, she laughed and said, “Well she is really nice, I can see her cheering me on at meets with both her hands up in the air when I’m swimming, and she’s a great triathlete. She also offered my friend grace when she made a mistake. That was pretty cool.” Awesome.
Lindsay – When Rebecca got moved up to the Red Group, she expressed fear of leaving Coach Mo. She said that she was comfortable where she was at despite being in a group with kids who were younger than her. We knew she lacked confidence since she started swimming at age 13. We encouraged her to move up even though she was reluctant.
Now it’s all about you. She adores and respects you. She loves your sense of humor, thinks you are pretty, and loves how you get after the group when they are goofing off. She comes home energized that she sometimes leads her lane after initially getting lapped only months ago. Rebecca is possibly the best judge of character and the most loyal person I’ve ever met. She is very hesitant to open up to people and is a pretty reserved person. So when I asked her randomly this week while driving in the car who some of her favorite people are and she mentioned you and Mo, well it filled my heart with such gratefulness and contentment.
Parenting is hard work. And I have 2 very different daughters that I desire to grow into healthy, well adjusted young women. Both of them are taking different paths as their personalities are so different, but I’m confident that they will arrive at the same destination. Thank you for having such strong, positive influences on my girls. You both have made a difference in their lives. As a mom, I can’t think of anything more powerful.
Thank you – Jenny (otherwise known as Rebecca and Emily’s mom)
To read Jeff’s favorite post of mine ever about Emily and Mo, read this.
I challenge you today to choose gratefulness. Try it, I dare you. Pick up the phone, write a letter, surprise someone with a cup of coffee or a cupcake. It doesn’t take a lot of money or time. Keep it simple and do it today. My guess is that you will feel terrific, even for a Monday.
Blessings sweet friends – Jenny
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