Here’s a thought that will make you say ‘well, that’s a cliché.’ And it is, perhaps. It goes like this: ‘it’s easy to be grateful when things are going great.’ Right? (I’ve warned you, didn’t I?)
I keep a gratitude journal. I write down three things I am grateful for on any given day. Okay, it sometimes happens that I skip some days because that’s what being human translates into, but the goal is to make it a daily routine eventually. I am close than I was a year ago, so that says something.
But back to the opening thought. Waking up after a night of good, deep sleep, is a different beast than the somewhat bleary-eyed reality that you have face after a night of interrupted sleep and a stuffy to-do list awaiting.
Today is one of those days. It started like that anyway. So my first thought was that I will so what I have to do, but as far as writing down the grateful-for stuff… that can wait until tomorrow. Or the next day.
That’s when it’s worth putting down those gratitude thoughts. That’s where resiliency grows, if you help it (and as the story goes, it’ll help you.) Yes, it grows in that little patch of your inner garden that you have to tend to extra carefully because it’s often battered by whatever elements life throws at you.
When you reach past the obvious discomfort, it makes you aware that you have much to celebrate that you’d almost walk past if it wasn’t for that thought, ‘what I am grateful for today?’.
Case in point: it’s -19 here as I write this, and in less than an hour I will be out with the dog, because her internal clock is apparently not affected by very low temperature or any other more extreme meteorological conditions. (Plus, I woke up rather tired, so there’s that too.)
But that’s where one of the reasons for today’s post reside: some things we can change, and some we cannot. As it happens, the ones we can change will often make us lean towards what’s comfortable, while the unchangeable ones will push us to that limit past which discomfort lives.
You feel the strain, you think nope, there’s no way, but you push through, your mind rebels some more, and your body too. But you keep at it and then it just feels like you’ve done something remarkable, even when it’s just writing down those three I-am-thankful-for things that you resisted to even think of initially.
Or, taking the dog out when it’s freezing (albeit a shorter walk because those paws can only make it that far in really cold weather) even when all you want to do is hug your coffee or tea mug and stay inside.
This is what went in my gratitude journal today:
- I am grateful for waking up in a warm home.
- I am grateful for the resilience and strength of my body which allows me to do my morning stretches and will carry me through a busy day.
- The resiliency of my mind, which allows me to go deeper in finding peacefulness and go about my day in a better way.
If you feel like sharing yours, please do. And as for the habit, it’s a good one, I promise.
I get it. There are times when I can’t find it in my heart to be thankful for what’s happening. I think we all have that moment. It’s good to keep a Gratitude Journal because when things get tough, it helps to read what I’m grateful for that I may momentarily forget.
I think we all find ourselves feeling heavy about life. That’s when finding the time to think of the things we are grateful for becomes our ‘shelter’ for when life gets challenging, as it sometimes does :-).