One of the promises to myself I made for this 2017 New Year was to start a gratitude journal. Every night before I lay down to go to sleep, I must to write down three things I am grateful for. At first, this seemed like a piece of cake – but honestly, it has become a pretty disciplining task. Unfortunately showing gratitude is not as much in my natural make-up as I would like for it to be. It is quite simple to feel happy and at ease when things are going in my favor. However, I have found it is just as critical (if not more critical), to find something to be thankful for when things have gone awry. This daily activity has really shown me the importance of finding something good while in the middle of a mess. I am deeply trying to not be the kind that gets too caught up in the hustle and bustle of the busiest days – forgetting what is truly important. I’m aware I have not been doing this long, but this exercise has been well worth the uneasiness.
1. I am thankful for my relationship with Christ. My faith and trust in God will carry me through my darkest days.
2. I am thankful for my loved ones. You know who you are. I could write a book on each and every one of you – but for the sake of space, I could never thank you enough for loving me without conditions.
3. I am thankful for my wiener-dog, Frank. He is always there when I need him and he has the biggest personality that somehow fits in his tiny body. He definitely keeps me laughing.
4. I am thankful for my health. I know far too many people that are battling something much bigger than them and I know how lucky I am to able to use all of my limbs and senses every single day.
5. I am thankful for my job. The passion and adoration I have for education matters. I can say that without a shadow of a doubt, teaching is exactly what I was put on this earth to do.
6. I am thankful for my struggles. Each and every one – no matter how big, how small or how earth shattering I thought they were – without them, I would not have found my strength.
7. I am thankful for books. Reading is the thing that relaxes me the most. It helps me get outside of my head, even if it is for just a little while.
8. I am thankful for Haribo gummy bears. They are undoubtedly the most delicious snack of all time.
9. I am thankful for listening to vinyl on my new record player. It brings a brand-new life to my music and truly puts me in the best mood.
10. I am thankful for snow days and how life undeniably comes to a standstill.
11. I am thankful for progress, not perfection. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.
12. I am thankful for a good nights sleep. This one really speaks for itself.
13. I am thankful for FaceTime. Some of people I love the most in this world live over 2,500 miles away from me. Separation is not easy – but FaceTime makes it a little more bearable.
14. I am thankful for the ocean. The wind and the smell – looking at something so vast reminds me just how small my worries are. Plus, life just seems to run a little slower at the beach.
15. I am thankful for lazy Sundays. After an incredibly long work-week, a lazy Sunday spent on the couch is exactly what I need. Whether it be: reading a book, snackin’, dozing in and out of sleep, or watching some good ol’ trashy TV – it seems to prepare me for the week to come.
16. I am thankful for change. I have changed so much within the past couple of years, and though it was not always easy – it was always necessary. Looking back, I am extremely thankful for all of the discomfort that growing pains entail.
17. I am thankful for coffee. It legitimately fuels teachers.
18. I am thankful for local adventures. I love getting the chance to be a tourist in my very own state. It really helps when my feet are begging to go somewhere new and exciting; but I don’t quite have the time accrued or the money saved for Ireland or Fiji just yet. I’ve learned there is always something to discover, no matter where you are.
19. I am thankful for healing. Growing through the healing process – wholeheartedly accepting the person I was meant to be.
20. I am thankful for today and being able start today with a sincere and grateful heart.
This is the gratitude journal I am using and I absolutely adore it. Making it a point to reflect and write down “Today’s Three Moments of Joy” has become part of my nightly routine and it certainly has had an extensive impact on my life thus far.
I encourage you to start making your very own gratitude lists at the end of each day. I promise, you won’t regret it.