A November Welcome + Permission Not to be Perfect

The month of November holds a special place in my heart because it’s when I celebrate my wedding anniversary, my mom’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and cooler air with the most gorgeous leaves on our sugar maple trees.

In fact, you know that fresh-start feeling on New Year’s Day when everything gets rebooted – like a computer? You examine your health, habits, relationships, and any projects that had been sitting idle and nudge them into motion? I actually get this feeling now.

I try not to let the “bigness” of the upcoming holidays and busy schedules overpower me.

Sitting in the joy and gratitude of November is an awesome way to recognize the month.

I’ve seen lots of people take on gratitude challenges this time of year. In theory, this is a beautiful idea. And this is one of the best lists I’ve seen so far >>

30-days-of-gratitude

I have to admit that while I want to join the ranks and post something online that I’m grateful for each and every day, the thought of this challenge is both exciting and stressful to me. As someone who steps in and out of the grip of perfectionism, this type of activity can be a trap.

I’ll get all gung-ho…for a few days. I might even buy and new journal and special pen just for the occasion. But by the fifth or sixth day, I might miss writing something down. So I try to get back on schedule, maybe even backtrack. Then I miss another day. At this point I have holes. Holes that taunt me from their stupid blank pages. Instead of letting go, I leave. I ditch the idea altogether, because I feel like I failed. Then I feel guilty for messing up and giving up.

And this was supposed to be a peaceful and enjoyable experience…about feeling grateful?!

I do realize how crazy this sounds. It’s still hard, though. So I’m taking a cue from Brene Brown and am writing myself a permission slip.

“Kate, you have permission to mess up. Even with a simple gratitude challenge. You can skip a day, forget a day, or even not know what the hell to be thankful for, because it’s a tough day. You’re imperfect, and that, in itself, is perfect.”

So today I take on the challenge of sharing my thanks. I won’t promise to post something every day…or even once a week for Thankful Thursdays. I’ll simply start by sharing five things I’m grateful for today, on this awesome Friday. And let’s see where it goes from here. >>

{ONE} My mom’s 80th birthday

mimi-clark

My sweet mom, Mimi, is turning 80 years old this weekend! My entire family (all five siblings) will be gathering for the first time in we-can’t-even-remember-how-long to celebrate my mom and all of her awesomeness. I’m so thankful we’re able to pull this off, and I can’t wait to see my mom’s smile when she sees all of her babies in one spot!! 😉

{TWO} Friends I can lean on

friends

More times than I can count on my hands and feet, I’ve relied on friends to help me out. Whether it’s a carpool ride, point of view, beer buddy, listening ear, high five, or encouraging hug, I’ve been blessed to have the comfort of friends around me. Not all of them are pictured above, but this was taken at a recent GNO and shows a few of my incredible friends here in Arkansas. I love and appreciate them so much…they have no idea. <3

{THREE} The beach

beach-sunset

I’m still basking in the memories of my recent trip to the beach with Brandon. Sometimes if I’m quiet enough, I can hear the ocean waves and taste the salty air. I’m obsessed with the ocean and am so thankful B was able to score that lovely trip to Laguna. P.S. That picture has no filter.

{FOUR} This phrase…

contribute-more-than-criticize

Okay, so this is another Brene Brown reference. I was recently watching a video of her talking to Oprah, and she made this bold and tearful statement. More than anything, she wanted to be known for contributing more than she criticized.

It struck a deep chord with me, as I sometimes look with a critical eye at situations and even people. And as I scroll through my Facebook feed full of criticism about politicians and life’s situations, I can easily get caught up in the drama. So I’m thankful for this reminder – and motto.

How can I contribute instead of fanning the flames of negativity around me?

{FIVE} The right to vote

Speaking of politics, in a way, Tuesday is an incredibly important day. As a U.S. citizen, and more specifically as a woman, it’s our right to be able to vote.

There were many women before us who had to fight for this right. The ultimate sign of gratitude for their efforts is for us to stand up and voice our opinion through our vote.

No matter who you’re rooting for (or even against), that’s not the point. The ultimate message is to let yourself be heard. Take a moment to read up on the issues and get to know the politicians in your district, state, and country. Then get out there on Tuesday, if you haven’t already, and cast your vote. Your voice matters.

Okay, friends. That’s a wrap for this first friday of November. Here’s to a messy, mismatched weekend – that’s perfectly imperfect.

XoXo,

Kate

Fiveonfridayfriday-favorites-01-1 h54f2_zpsc7e1f4e7-2 

Share