Sunday, December 29, 2013

#Gratitude365 Day 6

#Gratitude365 On Christmas Eve

I'm totally playing catch up for the last several days. I am not being hard on myself though because taking those days to unplug was just as rewarding as the practice of journaling my gratitude.

So, my husband had yet to do his shopping for me, and I for him. We are apparently at the bottom of the priority list when it comes to shopping for each other - but that has no bearing on our value and we both recognize that so there's no "You waited til the last minute to shop for me?" type of attitude... we both agree that our focus is first in giving our children a meaningful and blissful Christmas and quite honestly we don't always even know what we want!

Since I had the previous day off without the kids to get some important stuff accomplished, it was my turn to give my husband time to take the kids. I don't do so well planning out a long lit of items to conquer, I start to feel panicked and then regrettably fewer items get done on the list. Just as I've been applying the positive thinking messages and not worrying about "the how" I just rounded up the kids into the car and set off on a mission.

We wound up stopping at 8 stores in total. One was a mistake because I got REI and Roadrunner confused, but we still parked, unloaded, went in and then had to load back into the car, so it totally counts in how many stores we tackled. Two of the stores were really as a reward to the kids for doing SO WELL on a big errand mission - the Disney Store and Lego Store where they were rewarded (more on that later).

At some point I had a conversation with my husband who shared that a good friend of ours tipped him off to the Padres store having a 50% off the entire store sale.... and he is a big Padres fan. Anything Padres or Chargers that I've bought for him in the past has always been a hit - so how could I resist adding just a little extra under the tree? Off to the Padres store downtown we went - completely off track from the "sort of" goal I had outlined... but worth it.

On our way home on the 163 freeway coming the opposite direction there were NO CARS. I could sense we would see something bad. And that we did. I don't know how many police cars there were at the scene, but it was more than I've seen at any other accident scene. Traffic was obviously being diverted. First, I had a sense of sadness for whomever the victims family was, to lose a family member on the eve of Christmas seems unfathomable. Next, I had to calm the sounds of amazement coming from the back of the car as my kids were excited to see all these lights from sirens, and explain how tragic a scene this is and why we stop to ponder the loss someone will be suffering in place of being disillusioned by the lights. Third, I felt this sense of gratitude. Just insanely grateful that we had not been in the wrong place at the wrong time... that we would in fact be all safe and sound together for Christmas, something so simple that is easy to overlook. Something that I'm sad to admit is probably not obvious to me without seeing a tragedy to remind me of how closely and tightly to hug my kids on Christmas Eve.

The practice of focusing on gratitude is keeping me mindful of the PEOPLE who matter most and so it was an easy choice to skip blogging for a few days and be connected to them.