A Grateful Mind, Whatever the Reason

Hello all! Before we even start I want to thank you so much for reading this Mindful Monday post. This is a very special one because it actually marks a full month since I've created this blog! I've been loving writing these and can't believe it's only/already been a month. Nothing I've taken on has felt quite as natural as this has and I've enjoyed so much sharing my journey with the world. I'm so thankful for all the opportunities this blog has brought me already and am even more excited for what's still in store! Thank you for all your continued support!

I spent a majority of the last week in the dark hole of my bedroom. Under covers, sunglasses on at times, hiding from any inch of light creeping through the curtains. While I'd love to say I was partaking in some weird hide-and-seek game, I was actually fighting a migraine. If you've never had a migraine, just imagine the worst headache you've ever had...times 50. Oh yeah, and any ounce of light makes you sick to your stomach. Let's just say it isn't fun. It's actually debilitating. It removes you from life itself and transports you to a different world where the only thing you can think about is how to avoid getting worse.

I missed out on so much the last few days: some family events that I wanted to support, the last moments of summer I could have spent at the pool, and all the in-between moments that make life what it is. While I'd happily go through life without a migraine ever again, I do try and use these experiences to identify what the world is trying to tell me and why I ended up in this state instead of at the pool.

At first, it's hard to answer that question. The obvious answers are "there is no reason" or "life isn't fair," but those aren't true answers. Truth is, this time I couldn't pinpoint a trigger, but I know I don't have a migraine because life is out to get me. Yet I couldn't figure it out. Couldn't figure out why I was destined to hole up at home while all my family and friends got to go on with their lives. So I stopped thinking about it (honestly, it's hard to do deep thinking with a migraine anyway) and I started waiting. Waiting for time to pass, waiting for pain to pass, until I started to feel some relief.

I woke up today feeling cautiously better so I started about my morning routine very slowly. Shower, meal prep, some writing, lots of water, healthy breakfast. I walked slowly to the shower, stayed in there a little longer feeling the water on my face, cut some potatoes without any music or podcasts. And it hit me, this is why I had that migraine. I am so happy to be doing my normal tasks without any distractions, I am truly in the moment. I've never felt greater to be cutting potatoes or hearing the oven preheat. I am so thankful to just be doing what I normally do, that I don't need anything to distract me. Not like a few weeks ago when I was chopping so fast I nearly cut my finger off because I was too distracted. Not like the other time when I downed my coffee the moment I woke up and was running around like a mad woman trying to get my entire to-do list done before 8am.

Yeah, that migraine sucked, but I wouldn't be feeling the way I am today if I hadn't had it. I wouldn't be taking my time, stopping to really look at the beautiful foot-long sunflowers Eric brought me home yesterday.

That's right - I had a literal cliche "stop and smell the flowers moment" - I even had to laugh when I realized I was doing it!

When I think about the last few days, I remember the intense pain and frustration, but I also remember my husband lovingly hugging me, bringing me the flowers, and telling me how fabulous I looked on the couch in my polarized sunglasses. Such silly moments that actually make me so thankful to have had them at all. I feel so lucky to have family that takes care of me when I'm sick, to have the ability to not work on a Friday afternoon because I can't bear to open my eyes, and even to spend some time in our beautiful place (let's be real, that West Elm couch was not cheap...).

Life takes us on a crazy ride sometimes, and if we're being honest, it's so easy to dismiss the things we don't like. So easy to have a bad day. So easy to fall victim to our surroundings and experiences. We all have our migraines, whatever form they take in our life. We can be sad about them, mad that we had to go through it or, we can use them as teaching moments. What have you been taking for granted? What haven't you noticed lately? What is life/this moment/your body trying to tell you?

For me, it was bringing me back down to earth. It was telling me that I haven't been mindful enough, I haven't gone with the flow enough. It's appreciating all the moments, even the not so great ones. Like now, the oven timer is going off and I'm realizing it's truly the most annoying sound I've ever heard. But I'm thankful that I get to hear it, get to laugh at how much it annoys me instead of not hearing it at all.

This week try to have a grateful mind, whatever the reason. Be happy you get to experience all the good moments and take the not so good ones in stride, knowing that you're there for a reason. Try and figure out what you're getting from that experience and be thankful for it.

Have a great week!

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