I’ve had an identity crisis before – post-birth suite – after having been up all night. Yep, the realisation that you are completely responsible for caring for another human being for the rest of your life can do that to you. Finally, but suddenly, you are holding a beautiful baby in your arms, who is totally dependent upon you for survival, and you are terrified. What a commitment! You are a mother now.
Then, you are feeding, sleeping, settling, washing, soothing, and bathing. All done sleep-walking.
Who am I? Who was I before ‘mother’? What do I like to do? What makes me happy?
I have no idea.
This confusion plagued me for months.
Are you in the midst of this blurriness?
Gratitude journaling was recommended to me as a way of helping to remember and rediscover who I was. You can piece-by-piece reminisce what makes you happy and what makes you ‘you’ as you thoughtfully notice all the wonderful little things that life surrounds you with.
Start with what is around you. The green grass. The sunlight. The food on your table. Your son’s laugh. It doesn’t have to be significant and you don’t need to search for it; just keep it simple.
My friend has recently decided to embark upon a project to take a photo of what makes her happy every day for 100 days (through the project at 100happydays.com). She seems committed to making the choice to be grateful and happy, and it is lovely to be able to share these moments with her as she posts them through social media.
Another friend did her own take on the 365grateful.com project in 2013. Labelled ‘365 days of love’ she decided to put up daily photos for a year onto social media which showed something she loved from each day. Being privy to her daily photos made me feel inspired and thoughtful about my own gratefulness.
The original 365grateful.com project encourages you to take a photo a day for an entire year of what you are grateful for – as you come across it – so then it becomes a moment by moment habit, rather than an end-of-day routine of trying to remember the moments you were grateful for in the day. I like the idea of savouring the preciousness of each moment as you are living it.
I loved checking out the photos of Hailey Bartholomew who came up with the 365grateful.com idea, as I love quirky photography, especially Polaroid shots, and anything that has a keepsake quality to it I am instantly attracted to! You can check out her album here. Her Facebook page has further inspiring and beautiful projects to be involved in.
When I started taking photos of things that took my notice, I unearthed my passions for nature, interior design and portrait photography. Finding the beauty in what is around you is fun and worthwhile!
If you feel time is an issue, instead of taking a photo just write it down on paper. Also there is no need to display it in a public forum if you don’t want to. No matter the forum or idea, as long as you have a tangible list or folder of photos displaying what you are grateful for, what makes you happy, or what you love, this will remind you of who you are and to appreciate your life.
If you are doing a hard copy version and like me, are all for the idea, begin it, and then fail to actually print out your photos and present them beautifully, perhaps get yourself organised with a journal before starting. From the Kikki K website I like the look of the 365 Days journal. This way you won’t lose any of your writing, you remain accountable for doing it every day, and can simply paste in your photos. Or if 30 days seems more achievable, check out the Photo a Day album.
Well there you go, I’ve inspired myself. Go for it!
*Photo by Benjamin EarwickerShare
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