I am really grateful to have Justine with us today to talk about Gratitude. I stumbled upon her blog quite some time ago and I just love it. I find her funny and real, sarcastic and sincere.
Welcome Justine, tell us a story.
Where do you live (be as specific or vague as you feel led)?
Tell me about your family? My partner and I have a daughter together. She’ll be turning two in November.
What activity or circumstance makes you feel most alive? Being in the water with my family, be it a pool or a lake. All three of us love the water. My Guy and I have fond memories of it from our own childhood, which we hope to create for our daughter as swell.
What gratitude did you feel today? What gave you peace? Any ah-ha moments?
I was so happy and thankful for the leftovers from a great lunch on Friday. My a-ha moment happened when I remembered that it was in the fridge waiting for me! Is that sad?
How do you see gratitude or mindfulness? Is this a daily practice?
Being a mom with a full-time job, I don’t see my family as much as I’d like so when we are together, I try to focus solely on them and in so doing, I think I am conveying just how grateful I am for them. Unless they drive me crazy of course.
Does being a mother help you to see things differently? Does your gratitude and 'thank yous' change as she grows? Yes, absolutely. The perspective changes – things that were once important no longer are, and conversely, things that didn’t matter before I absolute cherish now. Like sleep. And time alone. Or date nights. But as she blossoms, I think my gratitude list will just grow with her although the nature of it may change a little by the time she’s a teenager, i.e. so glad she’s mad at her dad and not me for being grounded from breaking curfew.
You are living far away from family, how do you show gratitude to them living so far away? Is the distance from family a source of strength for you or do you long to have them close by?
I miss my family every day and while it isn’t easy, I show them my gratitude for being the best person I can be. Near or far, I continue to want to be the kind of person they can be proud of. The experience of being away from my childhood home has also taught me to broaden my definition of family and open up to people. These days, friends we see regularly and especially those who care about our daughter are those we consider family.
In reading your blog, I've noticed that you view life as a journey... things are just a step on the road. How has that road changed for you, are you grateful for where you are now and what you've been through? It is a journey and so far the paths that led me here had many surprise bumps and steep climbs. But it’s the unpredictability that makes it so exciting. Sure, you don’t always like everything you find in your path – but one person’s roadkill is another person’s dinner on the table (just ask Rachel). As stated above, it’s a matter of perspective. The journey may seem arduous at times but when you look at the road ahead and see the one behind you, it humbles you. The world is unfathomably vast, and the possibilities are endless. And to be given the chance to experience even an infinitesimal portion of that, I will always, always be grateful.
Justine blogs at Here Where I have Landed, where, as chief memory keeper, she chronicles her life with her family and reflects upon her roles as a mom who juggles a full-time career and motherhood; as a woman who hopes to contribute to the world but often forgets the reusable grocery bags at home and as a Chinese-Indian immigrant from Malaysia who tries to reconcile her pride in her cultural heritage with her love for her new country. And sometimes it’s about okra or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You know, normal people stuff.
You can find Justine on the web in a variety of places:
Blog: Here Where I Have Landed
Blog: Here Where I Have Landed