I am not naturally a positive person. It's hard to believe, I know, but it's the truth. It's through a great deal of determination and practice that I've learned to see the bright side in life challenges.
At my core, I am a worrier. It's been said that worrying is like praying for what you don't want. I have enough life experience to know that while that's not exactly my truth, worrying has never done as much for me as trying to find something positive in my situation.
This week has been extremely challenging in my personal life. My grandma got very, very sick and I've been her full-time caregiver. Usually we happily co-exist in our home, and she doesn't need much help beyond fixing her meals and doing her laundry. By me providing full time care for her means that Jake has had to take Mims to school, and break up his sleep into two sections. And someone has to be at home all the time, so we can't go out as a family, even if it's just to run errands. It's been hard to find happy thoughts this week.
So I made us some Gratitude Stones. If you're not familiar with them, they're a tiny reminder to be grateful for what your life has been blessed with. You carry one in your pocket, and every time you put your hand in your pocket and find it throughout your day you take a moment to be grateful for all of the good things in your life.
It works. I discovered that while I was sad with our situation, and worried about my grandma and her future, I could choose to be grateful that I got the opportunity to help her, and that I had such a wonderful family that were willing to pick up some of my responsibilities while I was so busy. While it didn't make my life any easier, it made me feel better about my life, and that made me happier. Jake used his and found it easier to maneuver difficult situations at his job. And Mims found that hers made a really cool hopscotch marker.
Embroidery floss (don't separate it, we're going to use all 6 strands)
Size C hook (I like Susan Bates hooks for working with embroidery floss)
Poly-pellets (very small amount!)
ch 15, sl st to first ch to form a ring (be careful not to twist stitches)
R1: ch 1, sc in each ch around, sl st to first sc to close round (15 st)
R2-8: ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st to first sc to close round (15 st)
**Note: If you want to make yours like I made mine, I changed colors at R2, R4, R6, and R8. The rainbow 'stone' I changed color at every row (it's only 7 rows too, because I wanted mine to be Roy G. Biv accurate)**
If you make a bunch, your family might be snarky and ask you if you were crocheting all of the missing fingers from your fingerless gloves...
Whipstitch one of the open sides closed. It will now look like a finger beanie. Weave in the ends and let your daughter do a finger puppet show. Then realize that the sun is starting to go down and if you want to get the pictures taken you need to get the finger beanies back... But, uh, don't make her cry...
Remember that giant bag of Poly-pellets that I made you get for the hopscotch markers last month. Go get it and use another 15 pellets to fill your tiny bag... (it might take more than 15, I was just being sassy...)
I like to pinch my 'stones' closed the other way, so instead of getting a little square packet, you get a funky triangular shaped beanbag. That's just me, though, you don't have to make yours triangular.
Whipstitch the open side of the bag closed. Make your stitches nice and close so that you don't lose your pellets on your daily travels.
The finished gratitude stones. They're tiny. They're fun to carry. They didn't even make a dent in your poly-pellet stash. But don't worry, I've got a holiday project that will use at least another ounce of poly-pellets next week... We'll use it up! I promise!
My grandma seems to be doing better today, and seems to have gotten past the worst of the illness. It's still going to be a while before she's back to her regular self, but that's okay, I'm grateful for how far she's already come.