Twenty years ago, almost to the day in fact, my sister Kathie gifted me a small, brightly colored notebook, for no particular reason. A photo of the book and the inscription she wrote is below. She explained what it was, and the expectation to write down five things every night that I was grateful for. At the time, I thought this was an interesting idea. It inspired me to think about my blessings and gratitude. I did write in my gratitude journal regularly for a while, then sporadically. Eventually, the little notebook was forgotten, tucked away in my nightstand drawer. Recently, I discovered it hidden there. I knew immediately what it was, and sat down with a cup of tea, excited to read through the entries. Wow! It seemed so long ago, so much life has happened since then. It was a crazy, busy time in my life. I had one child entering high school and one hanging out in his baby swing. This book was like a time capsule, five sentences to a page, little snippets of my life at that time.
As I began to read the entries, I was astonished to realize that my youngest had not even been born yet. My middle child, who was born with medical issues, was an infant. He kept me very busy, and brought so much joy to my life. I lived with my two cats but did not have a dog yet. I was always running around, driving my teen to various sports and events. The constant medical appointments with my little guy were challenging and stressful. I smiled when I read that I had been grateful that my daughter enjoyed a fun, successful ice cream party to celebrate her graduation from middle school. I teared up over the entry where I had been grateful to get out to the store – alone – oh how precious those rare solitary excursions across town. I relived the happy day when our puppy Seamus came to join our family. The entries were short and mostly sweet, usually centered around home and family. I noted the passage of time, the good times and the losses. My kitties Callie and Chelsea and my beloved Seamus have long since crossed the rainbow bridge. Looking back, I could see in these little notes of gratitude, that I was happy. Busy – absolutely, exhausted – oh yes, but I was happy, and thankful for the simple blessings in my life.
In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we don’t always give much thought to our blessings. We overlook the Attitude of Gratitude. I believe it is worth thinking about! After reading through the journal, I decided to make the effort to begin again to write down five things each evening that I am grateful for. After all these years, my life is significantly different. I struggle at times to come up with the required five things, some days I can only come up with four. The things I am grateful for still seem to center around home and family. I recently noted that I was grateful that my son had successfully completed his first year of college. I gave thanks that my daughter (youngest daughter who hadn’t been born during the time of the last journal) is very talented and enjoys making her music. I write often of sharing my home with my cats – and my dogs (none of whom were around last time). My children have grown into wonderful individuals, and they have achieved many accomplishments. I am so proud of them all.
The lesson for me, in all of this business with my gratitude journal, is that even in the dark times, the crazy-busy times, the chaos of life – there is always something to be grateful for. Sometimes you have to search a little harder to find it. Often it is the little things, that looking back, you realize were really the big things. If I could talk to, my younger self, I would tell her to cherish those days, they do go by so quickly. Keeping a gratitude journal is a really easy way to get yourself into the habit of looking for the good things, the little things, that you are thankful for. It’s a great foundation for further spiritual and self-discovery as well. When we can live in the gratitude mindset, energetically, we align ourselves to receive more good things, and then we have more things to be grateful for. Amazing isn’t it! This is part of the groundwork of the law of attraction and manifestation. So why not try it, get yourself a little notebook and take some time each day to write down five things you are grateful for. It may seem challenging, but keep at it. At the end of each week, review it and rejoice in your blessings. Be grateful to the Universe, and say – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
As Gramma used to say “Count Your Blessings”! Remember every day that you are a blessing to this world, you have your own special light to share.
Shine your light !