My Grump Slump

Thanksgiving has a little different meaning to me this year so I thought I’d share on it. It has nothing to do with fashion, but I wanted to post it anyway -ha!

I’ve become a grump. No, I’m serious. I’m not quite sure when it happened, maybe it was after rough patches in life, but it happened. It was slow and just got progressively worse. I found myself griping over the pettiest of things. I may have not said them out loud, but I was thinking them, which might be worse. I would think things like, “Argh! Why is this person going so slow? It’s too early. It’s too late. I’m tired. My husband has all the fun. My kids wake up way too early. My kids are too loud. That lightbulb is out again, again! Why is the AC not working again? Why did she/he do that?”  The monotony of everyday life would just grate on me. Yup, you see, a total grump. And I didn’t think anything of it. I just felt like I was being “real”.

Then something happened. I realized I was not a happy grump. In fact, I was becoming a victim of my own complaints and my own grumpiness. I stopped noticing all of the wonderful things and instead just started to notice all the annoyances around me. And then I thought they were only happening to me. Why just me?  Well, it wasn’t just me. And thank goodness I had a friend that cared enough to help get me out of my grumpiness. The best way out of the grumps is to counteract it, so we started doing a 26 day alphabetical gratitude list. We started texting each other 3 things a day that we were thankful for that started with the corresponding letter. Here was my W day:

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In that moment, I realized that because I was grateful for my boys, for their friendship with one another, their brotherhood and their health, I didn’t even worry about being woken up early and it’s possible effect on my day.  My gratitude stopped my grumpiness first thing in the morning. You can change your whole day just by giving thanks first thing in the morning.

Those 26 days helped get me out of my serious grump slump, but I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want to slip back into my grumpy ways. So we started the #100happydays challenge. We started texting each other pictures of what makes us happy. Here’s one of my happy days:

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I realized in that moment that there is something powerful in being grateful for the more mundane tasks of motherhood, like serving your kiddos eggos and orange juice.  You see, I don’t have many memories of my mom doing the monotony of motherhood, like making eggo waffles.  She was an alcoholic doing her best to survive this world. She was doing her best (more about that here). But I get to provide my sons with the security that comes from the monotony of waffles. I get to break the cycle! You can make peace with the past by being grateful for the present.

And then I read One Thousand Gifts, and it solidified a way for me to stay out of my grump slump. The author started writing 1,000 things she was thankful for, and in the book she writes about how it transformed her life. It was a wonderful read.  And one of the many things she made me realize was that I can be happy even in the monotony by practicing gratitude.  So guess what I’m doing?!?!?  Yup, I’m starting a 1,000 things to be thankful for list. I add to it everyday.  This is how I’m starting to view life (on a good day -ha!):

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And then I came across this on my Instagram feed before I left for my trip to Santa Barbara, and it made me think…

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Regrammed from Jewelry Nut Auctions Instagram

I could choose to not be anxious about heading out of town without my boys and missing their weekend events. I could, instead, be grateful that my sons were able to be with other people that love them so much.  I hadn’t been able to even enjoy the excitement of the trip because of my anxiety over leaving my sons, and I knew this quote was exactly what I needed to do.  You can’t feel opposing emotions, therefore you can’t feel anxious if you start focusing on what you are thankful for.

ALL that to say, Thanksgiving has a very different meaning to me this year.  I am giving thanks as a new way to live. Now, here’s my disclaimer: This is a practice. I’m still learning, and I’m still grumpy a lot of the time… just not ALL the time. HAHAHAHA!

Giving thanks for all of you this year.  Thank you for reading, and thank you for always being so supportive.  Here’s to staying out of my grump slump one Thanksgiving Day at a time!

31 Comments

  1. Courtney November 26, 2014

    Thank you for this post. I’m a fellow grump who is also trying to realize just how blessed I am. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee November 26, 2014

      Courtney, It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

      Reply
  2. Tara November 26, 2014

    I love this post! Thanks for sharing these great ideas. We all need to be more positive and that’s so hard sometimes. I love you girl and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family!!! Xoxox

    Reply
  3. Amy K November 26, 2014

    Well said! I like the idea of thinking about 3 things that start with a given letter. Makes you think of a bunch of different things you are grateful for! Happy Thanksgiving! AK

    Reply
  4. Sandra November 26, 2014

    Just what I needed to hear this morning!
    I know if more people would think like that, the world would be a better place!
    Thank you!!!!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee November 26, 2014

      YES!

      Reply
  5. Renee November 26, 2014

    Love this! I have most definitely been in a “grump” slump most likely brought on by having a challenging daughter, when she turned 16 months old. I have said I think I am on the “other side” now (she turned 3 in sept) but the grumpiness has still stuck around more often than is easy to admit. Thanks for the honest post an have a happy thanksgiving! Ps love your style always.

    Reply
    • Carly Lee November 26, 2014

      Renee, I’ve been there. I swear my son turned challenging at 9 months. HA! I think that was definitely triggered my grump slump. I felt so alone. Thankfully, we were able to see a counselor who helped us. Now, things are much better. Thanks for reading C. Style! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

      Reply
  6. Julie November 26, 2014

    Carly, thank you. I needed this post today. With an 8 week old and almost 3 year old I’ve been feeling so much anxiety. I’m going to try being thankful for all I have first. Love the 1,000 things I’m thankful for.
    Love the blog! Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.

    Reply
    • Carly Lee November 26, 2014

      Julie, I’m glad you liked the post! I remember those times so well. They are so hard. Go easy on yourself, and get as much sleep as you can.

      Reply
  7. Tracy Borgmeyer November 26, 2014

    Thank you Carly. Guess what I do when I’m in a grump slump? I come to your blog! Thanks for making life beautiful – one post at a time!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee November 26, 2014

      YAY! It makes me so happy that you come to C. Style for a little bit of “happy”.

      Reply
  8. Patricia November 26, 2014

    I loved your post. It is very comforting to know that I am not alone. You gave me great ideas. We really need to be reminded of the importance of the little things that we take for granted. Thanks and happy holidays!

    Reply
  9. kristin November 26, 2014

    Thank you for a heart felt post and for the inspiration to get back to my own gratitude list! Gratitude is so powerful and you have reminded me how we all have the choice to use it!

    Reply
  10. Teresa November 26, 2014

    It shouldn’t be so profound, but it is! That was a great message. You are right, it is a practice. Everything worth doing takes descipline.

    Reply
  11. Micki Bieber November 26, 2014

    I just sat down for the first time today after going to the office, to the grocery store for Thanksgiving dinner, and to 417 other places to run errands. I was getting reaalllyyy grumpy. I was focusing on all I have to do to prepare for tomorrow, to decorate for Christmas , to start shopping, etc. Your post today stopped me in my tracks. I started thinking how grateful I am to have a home that everyone can come to, a family to cook for, and a busy busy full life. Thank you for reminding me to live life and enjoy it, not just try and get through it. Something I’m going to “practice”!

    Reply
  12. Jennifer November 26, 2014

    Thank you! Something we could all hear. You have encouraged me to not be a grump. Something that I am guilty of a lot. I have so much to be thankful for.

    Reply
  13. Sheaffer Sims November 26, 2014

    Love this post. Love you.
    xoxo,
    Sheaffer 🙂

    Reply
  14. Jeanie November 26, 2014

    I, too, am a grump. My daughter swears I complain about everything. That’s not completely true, but still. I’ve found myself trying to see the good in all things, but at times it’s very difficult. I also suffer from anxiety and am on medication for it. Love the Interrupt Anxiety with Gratitude idea and will try to put it into practice. Thanks for a great post!

    Reply
  15. Joyce November 26, 2014

    This is such an amazing post. You are absolutely right, happiness is a choice. What an important lesson in appreciating life. Thank you for being open an vulnerable with us. I am going to try this with a friend!

    Reply
  16. Kaytlynn November 26, 2014

    This made me tear up! I want to start my own gratitude list to help combat my anxiety. Thank you for posting! I love your blog! It is nice to know that we all struggle- but I mean that in the nicest way! Thank you!

    Reply
  17. Susan November 26, 2014

    As Abraham Lincoln so brilliantly stated, “Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be “… It’s all about a shift in perception. Thanks for this beautiful reminder, an attitude of gratitude is therapeutic! The happiest of Thanksgivings to you

    Reply
  18. Lyndsey November 26, 2014

    This is awesome, Carly. I think we all go through grumpy patches and you hit the nail on the head about choosing gratitude to dig us out. Happy Thanksgiving, Lady!

    Reply
  19. Angela November 27, 2014

    Awesome post! Carly, you are beautiful inside and out! xo

    Reply
  20. Heather November 27, 2014

    I am thankful for your blog and the wonderful job you do! Light sabers are pretty awesome!

    Reply
  21. Lezli Braswell November 28, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this! Ann Voskamp’s book was a life changer for me as well. I appreciate your transparency. Your blog is way more than just pretty clothes (although that part is so fun, too!) Hope your Christmas season is also filled with joy!

    Reply
  22. Kathryn November 28, 2014

    Loved your post! This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!

    Reply
  23. Melanie November 28, 2014

    Carly, I SO needed to read this. I too have felt super down in the dumps, and have been letting the littlest things bother me.I am going to get that book! Thanks for the inspiration. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  24. Amy G November 28, 2014

    It’s funny how God works in our lives…always enjoy looking at your blog and started reading your post. Unfortunately I have been feeling the same. I feel easily distracted in life and forget the blessings that I have right in front of me! I will order the book and start the list. Thank you!

    Reply
  25. Carolyn December 1, 2014

    Love the new site! Whataburger…you are so right not to take it for granted! ha. And, all of this is so true. We know we should be grateful, but it becomes trite. You actually have to put it into practice. The more we have, the harder it is to be grateful sometimes. ;/

    Reply
    • Carly Lee December 4, 2014

      I’ve been thinking about the last part of your comment. It’s so true. Why is this true? Do we just take it for granted? I think it’s more than that. I hope you approve of the new design. 😉

      Reply

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