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I recommend that clients, parents and teachers of #twiceexceptional children start a gratitude practice. Particularly during this unsure and unstable time of #coronavirus, jotting down what you are grateful for, big or small, at a specific time during the day, can help bring light when everything feels dark and stormy.

First thing in the morning allows us to start our day off with this positive attitude, and/or ending the day listing “gratitudes” helps with sleep. The practice is yours so decide, do you just jot these down on random slips of paper, or do you want to keep a journal so you can reflect back? Do you want to list one thing or multiples? Should it be what you are grateful about in general or should it be about particular people (yourself included) or about particular things (work, family, health)? Whatever you do, allow yourself to do so with abandon. Anything that pops into your mind – blossoms on trees, good coffee, even that stash of toilet paper in your linen closet! Maybe you want to share thanks for frontline health and emergency workers or for the garbage collectors and mail deliverers. Anything and everything counts. There are no rules except to do this at least once a day, every day. You may even want to add a practice together with your family; before eating dinner, go around the table and everyone can say what they are grateful for. Before you start a virtual business meeting or as you end it, allow everyone to share one thing that makes them feel grateful.

Committing to posting or writing down “gratitudes” for the next coming months, helps as we face so much that makes us feel vulnerable, alone and anxious. My first gratitude is that I am grateful for “nobody.” This morning, there was a knock on my bedroom door as my kids asked if they could come in. They were giggling. Pause for a moment. Rest assured, my kids do not always get along. Typical sibling squabbles occur daily and all out gifted intensity wars are waged not infrequently. This morning they were in sync and decided to do something for me.

In sing song voices they told me they cleaned the kitchen (pinch me, am I dreaming?) The youngest carried a plate with the lid to a saucepan on top, the oldest a bowl filled with fresh fruit and yogurt. As he dramatically lifted the saucepan lid to reveal scrambled eggs, they sang “Happy Birthday” to me. This is a tradition. Everyone gets breakfast in bed on their birthday, no matter the day of the week. Only today was not my birthday. So, they sang (and giggled) “Happy Birthday to Nobody!”

Just before they came into my room, I was running through all my worries in my head. Those who are sick, those who are on the frontlines fighting this pandemic, my to do list and my distractions. Then, as if by magic, “nobody” came into my life and made me laugh. This is why I am grateful for “nobody.”

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