‘Tis the season for being thankful, and I believe that a high level of gratitude is, indeed, one of the things that makes a person happy. If you are grateful for what you have, it’s harder to be unhappy. I also think this goes along with finding wonder and awe in the world.
My suspicions were confirmed recently as I was doing research for my next feature article in home / school / life magazine, which is on the science of happiness. It seems that happy people do tend to be more grateful. Another value of a happy person is “Learn until the day you die….” as Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., wrote in her book, The How of Happiness, which draws on real scientific research in this field.
Ah-ha….perhaps we homeschoolers, who often tout the words “life-long learning,” are on to something.
I became a more grateful (and happier) person after I had children. They have shown me more wonders than I had ever seen before, but I admit, I’ve created an environment for them in which finding treasures in the simple things of life are appreciated and even revered. This has had a wonderful effect on me too. As I’ve learned along with my children, I have grown ever more in awe of our world and universe. And in turn, I’ve become so grateful for this life I’m living.
I feel like I could write an endless list of things I’m grateful for right now, but since I don’t have space for that, I’ll write ten things, and then I invite you to write a comment telling me what you’re grateful for, whether it has to do with homeschooling or something else in your life.
- I am grateful for living in a loving house with two creative, fun boys, and a helpful husband.
- I am grateful for this opportunity to homeschool my children, be with them all day, learn, play and relish life with them.
- I’m grateful for our ventures into nature. How we all stop to look at small bugs, lizards or plants. How we’re always on the lookout for a snake…and sometimes we find one!
- I’m grateful for my sketchbook, which is purely for fun, and for my son who loves to draw and got me in the habit.
- I am grateful for this warm house on a rainy day and handmade mug for my coffee.
- I’m grateful for technology because it brings me closer to like-minded people.
- I am grateful for friends who make time to meet with us regularly.
- I’m grateful for the friendship of Connie, who lives in Australia, but we have e-mailed regularly now for 15 years. She’s the first and only person who kept her promise with me when we said, “Keep in touch.”
- I am grateful for the view of trees out my window.
- I am grateful that my gratitude for these things rarely wanes. Instead, I often marvel at them. Perhaps this is the result of being unhappy once, which might be a case for saying that a little unhappiness isn’t a bad thing.
What are you grateful for?
SHELLI BOND PABIS is home | school | life magazine’s senior editor. She writes about her family’s homeschooling journey at www.mamaofletters.com.