Yes, you could say these thoughts are brought on by the impending holiday season. Or yes, you could say they have been brought on by the impending person growing in my belly. Either or, I feel that it's time to talk about it. Time for me to work it out. Time for me to verbally (visually? Typothetically?) let it out. What I'm talking about is gratefulness. How to go about getting it. Working on it. Keeping it. Growing it. I feel gratefulness is a muscle that must be stretched and worked constantly and consistently or otherwise it atrophies and withers away leaving you always yearning.
      I don't believe that being truly 'grateful' requires a specific action. You don't have to make a fake tree of branches to paste on leaves filled with scribblings like 'I am thankful for my mama and papa', or 'I am thankful for our puppy dog'. Ect ect ect. What you must do, is TAKE THE TIME. MAKE THE TIME. Time to recognize. In order to live a happy and fulfilling life you must recognize. Recognize what your blessings are. What your true joys are. Recognize what your personal strengths and weaknesses are. Recognize what your life strengths and weaknesses are.
     All to often we whiz right through life. Gotta do this, gotta make that, gotta get that, gotta keep up with them, gotta gotta gotta. No... actually you don't gotta. What you 'otta do is stop the gottas and focus on the heart and soul. Focus on feeding love to your heart and into the hearts of those most important to you. I recently read a quote by one of my favorite bloggers, 'If comparison is the thief of joy, then gratitude is the way to get it back.'........ and I couldn't agree more. Instead of focusing on 'others' and the world zipping around (that seems to be none to impressed), instead bring the focus back into your life. Trust me. Once you make the time to really recognize all the good things, your spirits will begin to lift and you will be much more soulfully able to love and help those around (making you feel 'the love' once again), creating a much better cycle than that of comparison with the Jones'. Because, darn those damn Jones'... they always win!

    So how do I go about getting my gratefulness?  I journal lists. I start with the given, my healthy babies, my loving husband, the proximity of my parents. I start out with those large general ideas and I keep listing till I get down to the insignificant details that may seem insignificant but really signify a much more universal blessing that I am truly grateful for.  Like I may write, "I am grateful for the way playdoh is a constant joy for my kids. This cheap and easy toy has provided countless hours of entertainment and fine motor skills".  I may write that, but at the heart of the observation there's so much more. What I am truly grateful for is that I am able to be at home with my two perfectly healthy and happy children, watching and sharing with them as they learn and grow in countless ways. That I, mama, can be their sun, world and center of the universe. If only for a very short period of time. When I take the time to recognize this, then suddenly all of the clothes that need to be washed, floors that need to be cleaned the tasks that need 'to-doing' can wait. They can wait while I take the time to make a few playdoh bird nests with beads for eggs. I become much more 'in the moment', or 'present'. It is very easy to let the routine take over and before ya know it, you are going through the motions, not deriving the joy that your heart and soul so desperately needs.

  It may sound silly, but this is how I go about lifting my spirits. Maybe I do this because I belong to no specific faith and attend no church. This is my way of nourishing and fulfilling my spiritual needs. For recognizing what my blessings are, being grateful for them and nourishing them, not only makes me happy, It makes me a better person. I am a better mother. I am a better wife. Just generally better.
  So I leave you with the simple thought that everything/task/action, large or small, has marrow waiting to be sucked. lol. Silly but true. You can derive joy or 'marrow' from even the simplest of tasks, like playing with playdoh. My wish is just for you to recognize that and suck away. Suck away my friend. Suck away ;)