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Monday On My Mind

It’s Thanksgiving week so it’s only natural that gratitude is on my mind. I’ve kept a gratitude journal since August 2019. That’s 456 days of sitting down first thing in the morning (while my coffee brews, in fact) and writing down 5 things I am grateful for.

It generally takes the shape of 5 things from the previous day and sometimes it feels like I’m just writing down daily highlights . . . the best things that happened on a given day. I’m not always certain that’s a true expression of gratitude but there’s nothing wrong with being grateful for good things that happen. Plus, my gratitude journal . . . my rules.

The things I’ve written down are as simple as birds singing outside my window, as lighthearted as watching Jackie dance, and as profound as the day after Dale’s accident when I simply sat at my table and wrote, 5 times over . . . Dale is alive. Flipping back through the pages of my journals sparks memories and moments that I wouldn’t ordinarily spend time recalling and I am very glad I have a place to go where I’ve gathered these memories together.

If you’re the journaling sort I encourage you to give this a try . . . and what better time to start than Thanksgiving? I believe expressing gratitude makes us happy, makes us present, and makes us aware. It’s a good way to live, friends.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. There is something about the act of reflecting and writing it down that helps make that gratitude bigger, even if it’s just in that moment.

  2. I’ve never been able to stick to any kind of journaling for more than a week or so, but I bet even I could write down 5 things I’m grateful for. Maybe …

  3. I actually read in Sharon Salzburg’s meditation book this weekend that I should consider starting a meditation journal. Maybe I will try to combine these. It’s a great habit, but I have failed to consistently keep a journal. Maybe your encouragement will spur me into action. I hope you have a wonderful Monday, Carole, with lots of things to be grateful for to begin the week.

  4. Our coffee maker has a timer so the coffee is ready when I get up. Sometimes I wonder if I could change that so I would have those brewing minutes for writing. I fall in and out of journaling practices. Something I want to work on.

  5. I do my journaling at the end of the day, just before bed, and while I don’t specifically list things I am grateful for (I list “five moments of joy”), there is often a lot of gratitude in the list. And there are definitely a lot of things that I would have taken for granted pre-pandemic. I’m sure that when you’re feeling a little low, flipping through your gratitude journal is a sure-fire way to feel better.

  6. I have 20 years of exactly that type of journals, even if sometimes the only thing we’re grateful for is air. lol

  7. I started doing “morning pages” back in the spring and I always end them with a gratitude list. No set number of things I’m grateful for, just what ever I’m feeling that morning. It has had a profound affect on my mental state. Between covid and caring for my MIL with Alzheimer’s 24/7, I was in a pretty bad place back when I started and I’m not positive I would have survived this long without the morning ritual.
    Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!

  8. I’ve had a gratitude journal of one kind or another for about 13 years now. Usually I list 5 things, but sometimes it’s more, and sometimes less. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing the same things over and over, but I think that’s okay. Grateful . . . is grateful! XO

  9. Gratitude begets gratitude. really, it’s scientific! and I think it’s pretty amazing that our brains were wired that way.

  10. I am not a journaler, but I often sit at the end of a day and think of things for which I am grateful. I enjoyed reading your post as well as all the comments from people who do journal their gratitudes.

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