One of my favourite new habits has been taking gratitude more seriously. My word for 2015 is grace, which has been proving more difficult to put into practice than abundance was, so I’m working on incorporating it into my life in more practical ways. One of the ways I want to embody grace is to “say grace” by actively appreciating and counting my blessings, and keeping a gratitude journal is really helping me with that goal.
I wanted to use a Moleskine daily planner to keep my journal, similar to Austin Kleon’s logbooks, but I couldn’t find one here in Korea so I just bought a few little notebooks at the local stationery store. They’re small – each page has 18 lines – so it’s portable and the size of the page isn’t intimidating to fill in at the end of each day.
That being said, some days are definitely harder than others. Some days I can fill in the lines in just a few minutes, and other days I need to take a little bit longer to reflect on the day. Sometimes I have all kinds of different little moments to write down, and other days I feel like a broken record, ie. “Grateful for not having snow and having time to relax and watch Gilmore Girls!” On those days I sometimes have to dig a little deeper and remember to write down things like “Everyone I love is healthy and happy” or “I’m safe and warm”.
It’s a really enlightening exercise to look back on each day as well, and to realize what it is I’m actually grateful for at the end of each day. What are the things I actually love and appreciate. What is actually important? And when I look back I realize that for me, it’s always the little things. The comfort of a cup of tea. A text from my mom. A good conversation full of hysterical laughter. Being inspired. Doing work I love to do.
The front cover of these books says “bonjour” and I feel like that’s highly appropriate. Bonjour, directly translated, means “good day”. Practicing gratitude is, in a way, recognizing that every single day is a good, great, wonderful day filled with so many things to be happy about. It might sound a bit cheesy but when it comes down to it, the little moments and joys and days are all we have.
I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal since early December and I haven’t missed a day so far. Filling in my journal in bed each night has become a really lovely part of each evening for me. I haven’t done too much reading of old entries, but I know that one day these journals are going to be such special collections of all the good things in my life.
Do you keep a gratitude journal? Do you like to practice gratitude in your own life? If so, what does your practice look like?