I’ve begun keeping a gratitude journal. I’ve tried in the past and haven’t been successful. This time, I’m not stressing over a missed day here or there. The idea is to write in it as often as possible, meaning as often as I remember, and to enjoy the process. I’m actually writing in two journals: one is more of an overall narrative journal and includes my gratitude list for all types of feelings and happenings in my life – both the good and bad (check out the book, Make Miracles in Forty Days, by Melody Beattie for more information on this theory), the other is an app on my phone that is strictly a list of gratefulness – I keep this one positive – and a star-rating system for the day (I’m using HappyTapper’s Gratitude Journal). I write in my journal-style-anything-goes gratitude journal in the morning and I use the positive-items-only phone app in the evening.
After several months of following this program, I had an “aha” moment that sounds a bit trite, but that has truly changed the way I look at each day. I had been thinking about someone who had died too young, someone who was cheated on their total number of days and I realized that I am so grateful to have made it to 54. Beyond the good and the bad that might be happening, beyond the joys and blessings in my life, what I am truly most grateful for is the opportunity to be alive for this day, to have woken up this morning, to have this day available to me. Since having this realization, the first item on my gratitude list, both morning and night, is, This Day, sometimes it’s, The Gift of This Day. Like I said, this sounds a bit trite, but realizing how special it is to be here for this day has changed how I go about my day. Bad news? I’m thankful to be here to hear it. Irritations? I’m thankful to be here to experience them. Happy moments? Of course, I’m thankful to be able to enjoy them. Regardless of what comes my way, what mood I’m in, I am truly grateful for This Day.