The background. Gratitude is powerful in many ways. Expressing gratitude is important to those whom you’re grateful to/for because it lets them know that they’ve made a positive impact, and that’s a nice thing to know. It’s important to you (the grateful one) because it solidifies that positive impact, and that feels good. Knowing nice things and feeling good are both capable of enhancing people’s lives. So recognizing and expressing gratitude has the potential to enhance our lives and the lives of others; it’s a win, win kind of situation. Thursday seems like a good day to express mine because I’m an elementary school principal, and elementary school principals really appreciate phrases like “Thankful Thursday.” So welcome to my inaugural “Thankful Thursday.”
The situation. As much as I drone on about how important the consistent integration of core values into words, actions, and decisions is, I sometimes miss that mark in my own life. It’s one of the hazards of being human. We don’t always follow through even with things that we genuinely believe in. One of my core values tells me that I should be patient and thoughtful even and especially when I’m frustrated. I think that we each have the capacity to treat one another well even in the most challenging moments. I feel strongly that it’s important to be reflective about frustrations. In heated moments, I think that we need to closely monitor our words and actions so that we don’t let heightened emotions spill out into negative impacts on other people.
Yesterday morning I was frustrated. Additionally, my frustration had nothing to do with my wife or my kids, but, for about ten minutes while we were gathering our stuff to get out of the door I was short with all of them. I projected my frustration. I had a cloud of it hanging over my head and hovering around my body. Not ideal for a positive start to the day, not fair to my family, and again, not aligned with my core values. Also, I’m pretty hard on myself, so my initial frustration combined with a plummet into negative energy generated additional frustration. I tell people not to wallow, and I wallowed.
Later, when I was beating myself up in reflection, my incredible wife reminded me that we all have moments of deviation from our core values path. She told me that one of the best parts of being a family is the part in which we all love each other even during those moments. She talked to me with clarity and wisdom about integrity and self-awareness, and she suggested that multilayered frustration could be turned into an opportunity at any moment during any of the layers. She reminded that there is no wrong time to come around to learning and growth. She was positive and patient even thought I was considerably cranky.
The gratitude. I’m thankful to be married to a woman who knows me as well and seemingly even better than I know myself. I’m thankful that my wife has the amazing ability to consistently direct and redirect me toward my best self. I’m thankful that she’s kind, compassionate, and able to keep our ever-growing family glued together so well. I’m thankful that she exposes me to beauty and wonder in places that I might never have looked for either. My journey has been so profoundly enhanced by her love and partnership, and on this my first “Thankful Thursday,” I am feeling truly thankful for my incredible wife!
Live. Learn. Lead.
Dream Big. Work Hard. Be Well.