Despite the fact that I’ve bought and been gifted dozens of them, I will admit that I have never been good at starting or maintaining any kind of regular journalling practice. I always have the best of intentions, when I crack the spine of a new notebook. And I’ll usually write at least a handful of entries. But even on my road trip, it only took a few weeks for me to shift from writing daily to not at all. (The final entry was on Day 30 of 49 and the last sentence is still incomplete.)
I have come to the conclusion that I may never be one of those writers who leaves behind boxes full of journals, and that’s ok. However, a few months ago, I did get into the habit of writing down a few things I’m grateful for at the end of each day, and the effects of doing so have been life-changing. At the end of each year, I usually write a post that recaps all the changes I’ve made in different areas of my life. Instead, this year, I’d like to share 50 of the entries from my gratitude journal… just in time for American Thanksgiving!
These have been copy/pasted from my journal (which is a digital file in Evernote). I’ve purposely not added further clarification to any of these, but am happy to do so if you have questions about any of them! My hope in sharing this list is that you’ll see how easy the process of starting and maintaining a daily gratitude practice can be. You don’t have to overcomplicate it, and in fact you shouldn’t. Simply write a few words and watch how your mindset can shift to one that is more positive. <3
- The ability to wake up without an alarm clock.
- The freedom to say no to work I don’t want to do.
- The ability and freedom to take 7 weeks “off” to go on a road trip.
- My blog. I can’t imagine where I’d be without it + my readers.
- My literary agent. She pushed me to create the best proposal for a book I’ll be proud to put my name on.
- My first visit with my publisher in NYC. It was a dream come true (and not just because they gave me free books).
- The fact that almost all of my clients paid their invoices on time this year.
- The fact that my first full year of being self-employed was profitable.
- Never having to worry about how much money is in my chequing account/available on my credit cards.
- Being able to define success in my own terms, and no longer chasing any of the things I used to think defined it.
- Adventure Tuesday!
- New trails. So many new trails.
- A successful surgery and recovery.
- Massage therapy. It is just the greatest.
- The ability to run again. I don’t care if I can’t ever do a 10K or half-marathon. I’m just so happy I can run at all.
- Almond milk lattes from The Village. Scratch that. Everything and everyone at The Village.
- A seemingly endless supply of the freshest water imaginable. For this alone, I am truly blessed to live where I do.
- Apples with peanut butter.
- Green smoothies. I’m so glad these have replaced the afternoon treats I used to eat when I worked in an office.
- Sobriety. I continue to learn so many things about myself without the influence of booze. The lessons used to be hard. Now, they are enlightening.
- My family. We continue to grow and evolve.
- Emma. I’d be lost without our daily texts.
- Kayla. She is the definition of a soul sister.
- Garrett. He’s the best person I met on my road trip.
- My short but very sweet visit with Claire. I would say I wish we lived closer, but the road trip taught me you’re never as far away from people as you think.
- Morning walks and talks with Tammy.
- Rainbow babies. <3
- Deep and honest conversations.
- Being in the same city at the same time with a friend from another city.
- Friends whose talent continues to inspire me. Amanda, Chrissy and Shannon come to mind.
- Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. This book taught me what it really means to tell the truth, and gave me possible insights into my own sobriety.
- Book swaps with friends.
- Epsom salt baths. And reading books in epsom salt baths.
- Being able to take most afternoons off.
- Crawling into a bed with clean sheets.
- Dogs. My dogs. Friends’ dogs. And dogs at places where I’m a guest. I love them all.
- The way Lexie curls up and falls asleep in my arm.
- How Molly wears her heart on her sleeve. She is the sweetest dog I know.
- The Dear Sugar and Magic Lessons podcasts.
- California sunsets.
- All the different homes I got to stay in during my road trip. It was an honour to be welcomed into them all, and to see how other people live.
- My car. She took me all over the U.S. without any trouble. I can’t wait to see where we go in 2017.
- Solo writing retreats. Solo travel, in general.
- My time in Squamish. I finished my book proposal there in 2016, and I’ll finish my book there in 2017. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
- The “posts you’ve liked” button on Instagram. It shows me all the people/places/things I love most.
- Having the freedom to learn about and try new things, whenever I want.
- Having people in my life who push me to be/do better.
- Phone calls/text/audio messages that come in exactly when you need them most.
- The freedom to live “one day at a time”. Sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes I wish I had a five-year plan. But it’s a blessing, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
- All of my life experiences. For my final high school yearbook, I wrote something to the effect of: never regret what you’ve done because it’s gotten you to where you are. I can’t say I’m fond of all my memories (or mistakes), but I’m grateful I experienced them because I know they’ve shaped me and helped me create a life I love.
Will you share a few of the things you’re grateful for right now? :)
PS – I have to give a hat tip to my friend Chris Bailey, whose own post inspired this one.