The Joy of Gratitude (#write31days – Day 4)

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I’ve hooked you with the image, right? You can’t stop reading when it’s Ryan Gosling.

One of my struggles in recent months has been dwelling on the negative. For those of you who have known me a long time, you know that is uncharacteristic of me. Typically I am the one who is always looking on the brighter side and focused on feeling hopeful.

I had a few people suggest to me to start a gratitude journal. I tried it first thing in the morning and it wasn’t working for me. What I realized is that in the evening I would think and talk about all the negative stuff in my day, which sent me to bed weary and low. In the morning I would be thankful to be awake, but had a hard time looking forward to the day ahead.

I wondered if shifting the time of the journaling would make a difference.

So on Sunday evening, I wrote down a few things I was thankful for before going to bed. And when I woke up the next morning, I had a better attitude. Throughout the day on Monday, I was looking for and noting what I was grateful for in my day. As a result, my day went pretty well and I had a handful of items to write down in my journal. While I did not have a perfect day, I was less focused on the struggles and allowed the joys to take center stage.

I have many journals, most started and never finished. Several of them have only a few pages filled. I got this “Hey Girl” journal for my 30th birthday and hadn’t written in it in over a year. As I thought about where I wanted to write my daily thankfulness, I smiled at the thought of using this notebook. It’s fun, it’s got one of my favorite actors on the cover and it makes me feel good. While I’ve certainly been thankful before, it’s amazing to me how writing down the gratitude can make a huge impact in living it out each day.

My hope in these early days is that I won’t give up on this practice, as I have so often done before with other resolves I have had a desire to implement in my daily journey. But today I want to celebrate that I’ve begun.

There is certainly joy and gratitude in taking another step forward.

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