Towards the end of last year, I stumbled upon a video while I was procrastinating on Facebook that really spoke to me. The video talked about a project called 365 Grateful, and Hailey Bartholomew, who started the project talked a lot about how it helped her to take a little bit of time every day to reflect and recognize all the things she was grateful for. I recognized a lot of similarities in her story and my own. With all the chaos of raising 3 boys, a husband, new job and volunteer work, inevitably my answer to anyone who asks how I am is busy, but good. I typically love the busy-ness of my life, but I have noticed more and more that I have not taken the time to reflect and be grateful for the gifts that I have been given. I find myself getting angry at my kids a lot, complaining about little things that don’t really matter, yet all the while getting frustrated with my kids that they don’t act grateful for all they have, while I was not setting them a very good example. So I thought that I would start my own gratefulness project. I started the project with 3 goals in mind; to take time to notice the small things about my life that make me grateful and happy, like the people around me, the beauty of nature, the wonderful things about where I live, to develop a hobby of taking pictures every day and to share the project with others.
In order to achieve these goals, I decided to share my #365grateful project through Instagram. I do a lot of work in social media and I believe that through this medium, we have the power to share good news and uplifting stories. There is a lot about social media that is scary, but I do think there is more that is good than bad and with social media, there is so much potential to use it in an uplifting way. I started the project on the 1st of January and it has become a great way for me to take time out of my day to recognize something that makes me smile, or laugh or that I am thankful for. It has proven to be a fantastic way to see the good in my life in amongst all the busy-ness, a good reminder to slow down and remember why my life is so full and to be thankful to God for all that I have been given.
I have not posted every day, I have missed a few days here and there, but I feel like the project is a success so far. I am hoping to keep it up for the entire year, and will continue to write about what this project has done for me. If you would like to take a look, you can follow me on Instagram by searching for @smilneciecko, or to learn more about the gratefulness project, you can follow the hashtag #365grateful or go to http://365grateful.com/. You can watch the video about the project here.