I read an article the other day that says folks who do evening gratitude journals tend to be happier. The format did not matter, it was just that at the end of the day a person picked a fixed number of things to be grateful for and wrote them down.
Interesting…very interesting. I have been keeping a gratitude journal for years, and never much thought about it. This article made me get out out copies and look through them. At the end of each day I write down three things I am thankful for and my personal rule is that I can’t repeat what I wrote the last night. It was in some ways mundane, but on closer review it shows so many of the ebbs and flows of our lives. It made me think of where we were at the time in our lives.
I recently wrote that I was grateful that food (the lack of) was not an issue in our home. In looking back at in my journal I once was grateful to not have to use a calculator at the grocery store. We were young and living pretty close to the edge at that time. We had a fixed amount of cash to spend. If we did not calculate right we had to return things at the check out. It wasn’t so easy in the days before scanners. Getting rid of the calculator meant we had arrived.
I often complain about the cost of my insurance premiums but have more than once expressed my thanks for not only having insurance available to me, but also being able to afford the premiums. I was doing a happy dance when I paid off the last of my medical bills for all my care in the 70’s. I paid the hospital $10 every two weeks, my surgeon $5. It took me over two years to pay them off. I was gushing it with gratitude when those bills were finally gone.
Though I seldom see my brothers, since geography and economics get in the way, it was interesting that I was always grateful for them on their birthdays. There really is nothing like a sibling in the whole wide world.
We have made lots of moves; some across town and some across the country. Each location having its rewards and challenges. I was glad to see I allowed myself to be thankful for the good things that happened each time rather than focus on what I had loss or what uphill struggle I faced.
I have a couple of lifetime friends, and they make appearances often. They are those friends who know you and still love you. They are those friends who are always there for you. They are those friends that time and distance don’t matter, but as soon as you see each other you pick up where you left off. As often as I talk about them in my journals, I hope I am being that same kind of friend for them.
My most often mentioned person though is my husband. He has grown and evolved with me. I am lucky because I am married to my best friend for almost 32 years now. You change during that time and to last this long and still want to be with each other, well that is certainly worth some gratitude.
Like everyone I get blue, complain, look at something with envy, but I like to think of myself as a half-full girl. I hope I spend more time and energy on worthwhile things. I try to not let the negative thing and people sap my energy. Maybe there is something to that study after all.