February is such a strange month for me. It is a month where we could experience freezing, frigid weather or we could have days tricking us into thinking that it is springtime.
Many customs worldwide, including Groundhog Day, la Chandeleur and Mardi Gras, make us feel superstitiously hopeful for the days of Spring to arrive. The days get a little longer, although I know we still have some Winter ahead before we can expect Spring.
Personally, February is a month full of losses, too – I started to list them out here, and we literally have a handful of family, including my dad, who have gone before us.
Yesterday was a wash for me – literally – I didn’t check anything off my to do list. But I had the opportunity to do something bigger. My uncle came over and he helped repair our hot water heater, as one of the elements had gone bad. Typically, this would have been something I had called Daddy for. I was freaking out about the impending ice storm, the loss of power that would surely happen, and all the household chores requiring hot water that I wanted to do before said loss of power.
My uncle put his whole day on hold, came over, and in just a couple of hours was able to fix our hot water heater like it was new. That’s something Daddy would have done, too. I stood close by while he worked, offering help when I knew I could and staying out of the way and observing the process otherwise. I always loved helping Daddy because I was learning something new and getting quality time with him. I enjoyed the same yesterday, as I learned about how the water heater worked and was able to visit a little, too.
Despite not tackling anything on my list, I was grateful for the time I had with my uncle yesterday. And getting back to the post, that’s what I’ve made this whole month about – practicing gratitudes and sharing out. I knew what a strange and bittersweet month it was for me, and I hoped that I could make a positive impact on others who may be feeling the same.
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.Albert Schweitzer
Gratefulness challenge updates
We (I say we, because I know there is at least one other person who has taken this challenge with me – thank you!) are two weeks plus into February’s challenge. What is gratefulness if it’s not shared? I think it always brightens someone’s day, and who doesn’t need that? Here’s a quick update on how I’m making it happen, the two-way feel-good vibes, and who I’m reaching out to.
Making it happen:
I made a cheat sheet, and that has really helped me give specific examples of why I am grateful to the person I am thanking. It has given me the intention to reach out to those people and helped me find the words as I send them my note of gratitude.
Cheating a little
Let’s be real here. Some days I did not send a gratitude note. I spent the day with the kids, I was in a funk, or I chose a shower and self care over reaching out. And I gave myself the grace to do or be all of those things.
A routine of being intentional
After missing a couple of days a few times, I decided to make choosing a person part of my morning routine. By setting the intention to contact that person that day, it has helped me to get caught up and even ahead.
Feel good vibes:
Some letters I’ve been able to sneak deliver, or I’ve sent through the mail and it’s been a happy surprise for recipients. Others have been out-of-the-blue texts. It’s helped me reach out to people I haven’t talked to in a while, and it’s been nice to reconnect.
I feel good just knowing that I am sharing my appreciation to these people. It’s been very gratifying and a positive boost for me to touch base.
Whether it was an act of service, or having a positive mindset, something specific that was said or shared, all of these people in some way have positively affected me.
I have such a variety of people that I have or will be reaching out to – ranging from family to friends, pastors to colleagues, and doctors to influencers – these people have all in some way shaped, influenced, or otherwise inspired me to be the person I am today.
They helped me in my season of grief with the passing of my father and Millie, they have inspired me to go after my dreams or they have shown me what it means to have grace (I’m trying!).
How is your February going? Are you leaning more into Winter or Spring?