You might have noticed that I've been in a deep thinking mode lately. One of my friends told me that my blog posts were very heavy. While I don't think she meant that in a bad way, it made me think that even in the midst of deep, heavy thinking there is always space for the light and easy.
Every night when our family sits down to dinner we all say 3 good things from our days. I can't remember when we started this ritual, but it has been with us for several years. There are days when the kids are feeling rushed and crabby when they don't want to participate. However, even if it takes reminders about things we knew were good (maybe the school lunch was spaghetti or french toast sticks, or maybe the school lunch was horrible and they brought a lunch from home) we can get them to come up with their respective 3 good things.
When we started this ritual there was the thought of saying the bad things from our days too, but we decided to leave those out. I think we all find space to complain about things pretty naturally and easily, but finding things to be thankful for can take more effort. Saying the things we are thankful for provides us with far greater benefits than complaining ever can. I won't pretend that dinner in our house is always sunshine and roses, or that saying our 3 good things has the power to reverse a bad mood. I do think it matters though, and I'm glad we do it. I hope when my kids are grown and they find themselves having dinner with each other that one of them will say: "so what were your 3 good things today?" I imagine they will both smile and laugh and say their 3 good things, or maybe just quietly remember how annoying their Mom was when she forced them to be thankful every night.