Thirteen years ago, I read a book about getting what you wanted out of life thru the use of all sorts of visualization techniques in all sorts of journals. At the time I was working full time with two kids under 15 so I decided that if I did everything she suggested I wouldn't have time to pee let alone become a highly respected artist. But I did take one idea away from the book - keeping a gratitude journal.
And that gratitude journal changed my life. It sounds a little melodramatic, but it's true. It changed my relationships with my family because I was focusing on all the good instead of the day-to-day - and cuz I was no longer complaining about my job in every conversation. And it changed my relationship with God because I realized if I was thankful, I must have someone to thank.
I made up pretty little journals and gave them to friends. I gave simple little books to everyone in my family and to everyone in my women's group from church. I don't know if anyone ever used them or if using them changed their lives. I just know how important it was to me.
After reading a friend's blog this morning about things she's thankful for, I wondered where my gratitude journal was. It was right in front of me but the fact that I wondered let me know that it had been far too long since I'd written in it. Sure enough, two years.
Life is hard and times are tough for most of us much of the time yet I still have so much to be thankful for. It's human nature to talk negatively more than positively as anyone who deals with the public can tell you - or anyone who's turned on the TV prior to the elections. And I'm no different - when I don't spend enough time reflecting on the good, I lack a certain graciousness in my speech and actions.
So it's definitely time to write about all I'm grateful for:
time to do my art
steady contract work the last two years
getting almost out of debt
etc, etc, etc.....................
(the picture of my family is an oldie - it's hard to get everyone together at the same time these days)