The Life-Changing Power of Gratitude by Becky Vollmer - Karen Salmansohn

The Life-Changing Power of Gratitude by Becky Vollmer

power of Gratitude
Note: This is a guest essay by Becky Vollmer

Snow day in St. Louis yesterday = a practice in gratitude.

I will confess that gratitude was not my first instinct upon hearing the news.

No, Step One was resisting the urge to scream into my pillow.

Step Two was to post something kinda snotty in a FB group for fellow moms.

I wrote the following words:

“A good mom would RELISH the chance to stay inside with her wound up kiddos all day, right? A good mom would have all the ingredients for homemade chocolate chip cookies on hand… and then happily entertain a flour fight as we all got dough up to our elbows making memories, right?”

I mean, that is how they do it in the commercials, right?

And then the mamas started weighing in.

The working moms who don’t get nearly enough time with their kiddos and were thrilled for a day together.

The stay-at-home moms happy for their hubby to have a day home with the family.

The teachers (saints) who so desperately need (and deserve) a break that means spending a day with one child (their own) instead of 20.

The moms whose older kids have flown the coop and would do just about anything to have one of those old days back.

And then this, from a sweet friend not afraid to tell it like it is:

“Sorry to poo on your party… but sounds like a great day for gratitude. I never had kids and would have loved to have had snow days. They might be really excited to be home with you cause you’re so much fun. I have another friend named Becky. We call her Fun Becks. Today, be Fun Becks. Sounds like a great day for acceptance and stretching. Or not. Love you.”

Gratitude. Acceptance.


Instant shift in perspective.

I looked into the bright side and thought about how my girls were gonna freak out with joy when they saw all this beautiful snow (which they did). How I have full power and heat and a fridge full of food.

power of gratitude

How there’s brownie mix in the cupboard, and friends down the street to go sledding with.

How we’re all healthy.

How I have the flexibility to put work off for another day.

How this time is zooming by so damn quickly that the only thing I can do is grab it with both hands and appreciate the hell out of it in this moment.

I love how the writer Melody Beattie, author of “Codependent No More,” talks about gratitude:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

I see it now.

A blessing in disguise.

Because I put on what the writer Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery geniusly calls “perspectacles.”

(Read this, people. It’ll change your life.)

Thank you friends.

Thank you snow day,

Thank you process.

Thank you, bright side.

Fun Becks

Note: This is a guest essay by Becky Vollmer. More info on Becky below.

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Becky Vollmer

Becky Vollmer is a mom, writer and founder of You Are Not Stuck, a community that reminds the dreamer in all of us that we are lucky to have choices, we just have to be brave enough to make them. Becky became “unstuck” three years ago after trading a nearly 20-year career as a newspaper reporter, political strategist and PR executive for a life (mostly) in yoga pants. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Becky teaching yoga in her hometown of St. Louis, Mo., where she lives with her two energetic young daughters, insanely patient husband and by the motto: No BS, just love. She is working on her first book.

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