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Two Words I'll Be Saying More Often This Year

Photo by: iStock

I sat amidst the chaos. Wrapping paper coated the floor, brand-new toys scattered throughout, dirty dishes piled high in the sink, half eaten food haphazardly left on the dining room table. There was a basket of unfolded laundry on top of my bed, and my dresser was filled with random knick knacks—a vase of flowers, a stack of unframed pictures, and invitation to a party.

To say the house was in shambles would be an understatement; it looked more like a ransacked mess.

And yet here I am, sitting in the middle of it all—calm yet exhausted, content and happy.

I could say that I’m tired. Mingling with family and friends while keeping my 2 year old entertained is draining.

I could say that the house is filthy because throwing a birthday party for a two year old has its fair share of messes.

I could wallow in the pits of today’s mishaps—the fact that the weather was unseasonably warm left the house slightly uncomfortable for my guests, the food wasn’t ready in time and everyone had to wait an extra half hour to eat, the birthday girl, despite my best attempts, skipped her nap all together and was in rare form by the time dinner rolled around.

But I won’t. Not because I’m denying the reality of it all, but because I can’t justify it; I can’t complain.

Because despite my exhaustion from the day, I had a chance to spend time with my family; my daughter was able to see just how many people love her outside of mom and dad. And despite my home’s current disarray, at least we had space to host a celebration that was both simple and joyous. Yes, the weather was too warm for winter, but being able to enjoy the backyard at this time of year was rare gift for us all, and though the food took long to prepare, at the very least we had something to eat, and we were able to share such a rare moment of camaraderie between two families.

Not everyone can be so lucky.

So, instead of saying, “I’m tired” instead of groaning about the food stains on my kitchen wall, or begrudgingly scrubbing the stubborn stains on pots and pans, I sit here, my home at the brink of pandemonium with only two words in my head: “thank you.”

Thank you for this beautiful day to celebrate my daughter, for the gift of family and friends, for a wonderful home and a loving life. Thank you to it all.

Gratitude in the midst of chaos is often hard to decipher. We’re so caught up in the busyness of things that often times we overlook the simple matters that are already within our grasp. However, if we pause for a moment and look around, we’ll realize just how fortunate we truly are. Family, home, love—these are things that should give us the biggest joy. And it matters not what comes before, during or after it. Amidst the chaos and aftermath, the important things should remain. And we should be thankful for that very fact, because some of us aren’t so fortunate to see it, let alone to have it all.

So as I ring in 2016 and welcome a new year, I’ll make a point to pause more often. To take a breath, to gain perspective, and to just to say “thank you”—for the little things that matter most: my daughter enjoying her new toys, my husband humming a silly tune, the warmth of my bed, the comfort of my home. Because these things that are often overlooked are the ones that boast the greatest meaning, and the most valuable treasure.

Maria is a mother, a wife, and a writer. She’s an avid collector of life’s little and big moments, and enjoys chronicling her first time parenting adventures on her blog, Collecting Moments. In between play groups and nap times, she spends her time wishing for more sleep and willing time to slow down just a bit (she’s yet to be successful at either). You can also visit Maria on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

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