Week 29: Excitement and Gratitude

Gratitude fine, but what excitement?

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In the morning, write down the things that excite you for the day ahead. In the evening write down what you were grateful for that day.

I am used to listing all those things which mean that I can fill up with gratitude. Health, family, home, food, books, friends, safety, ability to pay bills, conversation….I can reel them off and they bring me peace. I don’t feel I need to persuade a Psychologies reader of the benefits of gratitude and finding this in the smallest things. My goodness, being able to feed and clothe my kids is a massive joy!

Perhaps I sometimes neglect gratitude towards the behaviour of others: their care, politeness, and the challenges they offer. Also my gratitude to myself: curiosity, patience, energy. Importantly I am not good at being grateful for the tricky things that come my way and how I handle them. So as the challenge went on, these made their way onto the list and my repertoire of gratitude has been extended.

What about excitement for the day ahead? This was hard and I mean really hard. At the moment excitement isn’t really what life is about. Am I excited to go to work? Make the tea? Check an often moody elderly parent is OK? Deal with the taxi-ing? Washing? Bill paying? The list feels like it goes on…Can you tell I am tired!?

I don’t like myself for the fact that excitement and pinning it down is difficult. I am trying to search for it. I know I should be excited that our routine hasn’t been challenged by any crisis. Yet these aspects of life can weigh you down sometimes. But, like I said, ironically I can always find reasons to be grateful so I know there is so much that I am privileged to experience. So do I challenge the word ‘excitement’? Would something like a ‘goal’ or ‘aim for the day’ be better? No! I should be excited about something in the day ahead. That is exactly the right word! So I think it stays and the on-going challenge is for me to find the excitement in everyday life - not satisfaction or worthiness, but EXCITEMENT! I think out of the many recent experiments this is one I need to focus on and practise.

So, what am I excited about now?

  • Not rushing around over the holidays – fulltime work and family life is taking its toll!
  • Getting our budget sorted- all over the place at the moment!
  • Seeing my husband more – by family life I mean kids and parents: I want my husband back!
  • Reading some good books
  • Challenging myself to run with my daughters
  • Catching up with true friends – who understand that during term time I have little social life
  • Trying to cook something different- if I could gain confidence with this that would be amazing!
  • Sitting in my garden
  • Planning days out

I am getting there- they are still ‘in the future’ excitements! Perhaps I am most excited about trying to crack this experiment - and I will!


Mother, wife, daughter, teacher...

Firmly stuck in the 'sandwich generation' category, I am 46 years old and looking to shake things up a bit! I am a teacher, which I love - but it takes over your life! A mother of three - two daughters, 16 and 15, a son aged 11. Wife to Simon for 19 years. Carer for rather eccentric mum, aged 89.


Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
over 5 years ago
Jacqui it sounds like you have more than enough on your plate, I don't know how you cope what with your busy and packed family life and your job - very stressful! I hope you find some light relief somewhere and space and time for yourself. Sounds like you need some 'me' time, I hope you find it. Take it easy.
Go to the profile of Vanessa
over 5 years ago
Jacqui, I know what you mean - I remember how those pressures felt, and you've got the right idea to get excited about the little treats. Great idea to cook something new! I remember being so excited about my drive home - uninterrupted music and seated boogie - or ten minutes to quietly drink a cup of tea. From the point of view of a (sometimes lonely) expat, I'd also be excited to have family near enough to see :-)
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
over 5 years ago
Excitement is so tough when we are busy, super you found some to focus on...Thank you C x