Over at Disney Baby and Team Zoll , I’m starting an experiment in gratitude this month, specifically as it relates to my son. But I want to take a step back and think about the broader concept of gratitude.
Because believe me, I know how hard it can be to be grateful during infertility. It can be so hard to focus on the idea of abundance in our lives when it feels like you have anything but abundance when it seems like everyone around you is having babies and you feel left in the dust.
That’s the thing about gratitude: it’s about finding, naming and owning that abundance. As trite as this sounds, as much as we want to reach our desired destination, there’s gratitude to be found in the journey. I have said many times before here – if I could wave a magic wand and make my infertility go away, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t take it back.
Because, let’s face it: if it weren’t for infertility, I wouldn’t have the son I have now. Judah, as we all know him, wouldn’t have existed in the first place. Sure, if I didn’t have infertility I would probably have a child now (and probably a lot earlier) – but it wouldn’t be him. And I can’t imagine my world without him.
But I’m grateful for so much more. I’m grateful for a loving, kind, rockstar husband whose work ethic puts mine (and most people’s!) to shame, whose energy borders on the herculean, whose intellect challenges and humbles me.
I’m grateful to have found work that fulfills and sustains me. If I could go back in time and visit my second semester college-self and say, “Hey, did you know you’re going to grow up to be a professional blogger?” I would have first said, “What’s a blog?” and the probably laughed once I explained it to my past self.
But there’s gratitude for the even smaller things. I’m grateful for the sound of crunching leaves as I walk outside in this splendid New England autumn. I take it a step back: I’m grateful for the gift of hearing, that I can hear the sound of my husband’s heartbeat at night when I snuggle close, the sound of my baby’s giggles, the sound of my favorite songs on Pandora, the sound of my cats purring, the sounds of rain and wind and the ocean.
I’m grateful for anyone who took the time to even read this post, who’s still hanging around here as this space slowly but surely comes back to life.
And so I invite you to join me for the #ThanksgivingProject, for a 30-day experiment in finding abundance in your life, wherever it may be.
Gratitude can buffer the heartache of infertility. The heart aches from emptiness, from loss, from grief. Gratitude scoops up all the good, however small or fleeting, and replenishes the heart’s reserves. Gratitude gives us the mindfulness to stop and take stock of our lives, of this very moment in time. Gratitude heals. Gratitude begets abundance.
And yes: gratitude is possible when you’re dealing with infertility.
You can start right now by naming one thing right now for which you’re grateful right in the comments!
I hope you’ll join me this month. Follow along here; I’m hoping to do weekly gratitude roundups and prompts every Monday. You can also share your moments of gratitude over on Twitter with hashtag #ThanksgivingProject .