I just decided to journal five gratitudes daily for the rest of the year.
My gratitude-themed journals lie too far in the past, and the mention of gratitudes I do now in my journaling has become rather sparse.
Oh, I do give thanks for something each day, already, mentally, in passing; I really do. But I think daily journaling of things to be thankful for gives the gratitude attitude a special boost—along with positivity–and hope! And it keeps a record of blessings that I might forget too easily otherwise—which could come in handy to review when rising Covid figures or declining financial figures threaten to throw me into a Slough of Despond.
Many unique blessings bombard me every day, but the present global circumstances can steal my attention from them all, and if I don’t watch out I’ll be like the people mentioned in Psalm 4:6 “who say, ‘Who can show us any good?’”
A little review of just a few journal pages can show me a lot of good!
I think I’m going to do it in the evening, my gratitude journaling, before I hit the sleep sack, because (I’ve just learned) studies show this may even help me get better sleep.
What kind of things might I give thanks for? Big things, of course. Like getting to see and hug my family members and close friends…
Which, hmm, wait a minute, I can’t do this year!
So, well, I can’t give thanks for the hugs or the physical presence, but I can certainly give thanks for those family members and friends.
Thinking about this, I find gratitude welling right up in my heart (and tears in my eyes), for each one who’s still alive!
And gratitude for life itself is a big one. Lately the preciousness of every life, of every living thing, has impressed itself on me more than I think it ever has in my whole… life!
But expressing gratitude for “little things” has a special power, too, methinks: power to sharpen all my senses, enabling me to live life more intently, intensely, more fully.
A few weeks ago on a walk, noticing one beautifully colored leaf, picking it up, thanking God for its vibrant beauty, and carrying it with me like a little kid, heightened my awareness—and enjoyment—of other leaves: like the multitude of tiny little spear-shaped ones scattered ahead of my footsteps like a gleaming golden carpet, and more showering down from branches above.
Thinking about all this brings an old quote to my mind, and heart:
“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” (Robert Lewis Stevenson).
Maybe happier than kings, actually.
In times like the present, it’s too easy to get fixated on the worrisome, the threatening, the looming “Dark” times and things. If there ever were a time in the last half-century when we could use the pickmeup of a daily recording of 3 or 4—myself I like to list 5—“gifts of the day,” “blessings,” “gratitudes,” this is it. And what better time to begin (again), than on Thanksgiving Day?
How about you? Could your Gratitude Attitude use a reboot, too?