Yesterday was a momentous occasion. The gratitude journal that I have kept on my nightstand since April 2019 hit #1,000 — as in 1,000 things for which I am grateful, 1,000 blessings even amid sorrow and struggle, 1,000 gifts given without my asking or deserving. Every night I write down three things from that particular day for which I am grateful. At the outset 1,000 can sound like a big number, but taken like that, just three blessings every day, it adds up so quickly.
I write every night. Okay, almost every night. I don’t usually take that journal with me on trips because it’s too big, and every once in a while when I sit down to write I just can’t. Not because there were no blessings that day but because I’m in such an off mood it feels like my doing it for show would tarnish the “project.” You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out that three multiplied by 365 is more than 1,000. So you can hit this number in less than a year if you start today. it’s so worth it. Trust me.
This isn’t my first gratitude rodeo, by the way. I’ve had multiple gratitude journals over the years. I’ve written about the practice, promoted it in blog posts and books and columns. Because it really works to change your attitude from one of lack to one of abundance. And it doesn’t all have to be over-the-top joy or benchmark blessings. In fact, it shouldn’t be. This is a practice in finding the blessing in the little things — the smell of fresh cut grass, the finch sitting on the feeder, the sound of rain on the sunporch roof, the kids laughing together at the kitchen table. And and of course there are big blessings, too, the ones that make us weep with joy that are not so easy to forget even if we don’t write them down.
Get yourself a notebook. Begin today. Just three little things. It doesn’t have to be a fancy notebook. It doesn’t have to be prose or poetry. It doesn’t have to be pretty. But just begin. And see where you are three months from now, six months, one year. I look back at my old gratitude journals and they are like snapshots into my life. It brings me such joy. I hope it does the same for you.
If you’d like to read some of my longer articles on the gratitude habit, you can find my OSV feature story on gratitude HERE and my Life Lines column HERE. I have lots more on gratitude on the blog. Just search “gratitude” and you’ll have more than enough to keep you busy. And, oh, I am grateful ever day for you! Thank you for being here on this journey with me.