When everything seems to be going wrong,
the best thing you can do is write a list of what's going right.
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that I'm a great fan of gratitude lists. But it's only this month, after picking up Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, that I decided to take on her challenge of keeping a dedicated journal where I'm numbering and counting my thank you-s with the aim of reaching one thousand.
So what's the reasoning behind a list of 1,000 rather than the usual 'list 5 things'?
I believe, the cumulative impact of noticing and writing and reflecting on this growing list of 1,000 instances of gratitude that you, yourself, have created over time will help you to understand that you have more blessings in your life than you realize.
Starting this project does not require:
- Waiting until New Year's Day ... I started on August 8th.
- A fancy journal that needs to purchased ... I'm using an old blank notebook.
- The burden of writing a certain number every day ... I forget to write some days. When I do write, I might list 2 items or 10 items.
I found an old, dusty, blank book amongst things that were going into our garage sale. I wrote the date on the first page, turned the page, and began numbering and writing the things I was grateful for in that moment.
On some days I'll write ten things quickly. On other days, I can only think of two or three. I don't think the number matters, or even if you're doing it every day, although I'm guessing that over time is will become something I look forward to counting and writing.
I started on August 8th. I'm up to #32. A couple thoughts on what I've found so far...
I've discovered that if you can express gratitude on a day when everything seems to be bleak and horrible...you'll find yourself feeling better when you put down the pen. There seems to be real magic in the effort it takes to consider what you are still grateful for in the midst of a bad day.
That gratitude can be found in the things that surround us. The picture above not only shows you my gratitude journal, it also contains some things I'm incredibly grateful for: Henry, my beloved first Newfoundland, my Bible, my journal, and a quiet place to read.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes and what else I discover along the way.
P.S. I'll let you in on a secret...I usually write about gratitude on this blog when I'm having a: woke up on the wrong side of bed, sad, depressing, feeling overwhelmed, horrible day...and every time I do, I feel better. Today is no exception. Which means, I'm grateful for you!