Gratitude: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

A couple months ago I pulled out a little journal from my immense collection of journals and notebooks and I was struck with an idea – a journal of gratitude.

Ever since then I’ve been writing down little one liners of things I am thankful for throughout the day or throughout the week and this little mini journal, that goes everywhere with me, is full of things like:

“Present contentment”

“Hugs from children”


“Fall breezes”

“Chick-fil-a sauce – Aw GAWD!”

“My nerdy childhood :)”

“The other giant child who raised the swing”



“My extensive, quick-witted, nerdy knowledge”

“Insomnia – LOL”

“Digby for Mayor!”

This is only a few highlights…and this has been an incredible journey; because that’s what life is about: the journey.

We’re in the awkward phase between birth and death and we can make the choice every second of every day to either enjoy it or regret it.

If you have a bank account full of $86,400 and all of a sudden, ten dollars are taken from that account. Just ten. How would you react? Are you mad and upset, or are you not even worried because in comparison, what is ten dollars when you look at the rest of the account? Consider this: that $86,400 actually represents the number of seconds in a day and that ten dollars represents just ten seconds of something gone wrong – someone cutting you off in traffic, your paycheck being smaller than you expected, your significant other or family member’s bad attitude, you name it. Ten seconds and these are things that completely change our day, do they not?

Here’s the challenge then, are you going to let ten seconds rob you of a day well spent?

Start writing down the things that go RIGHT. Write down the things that you’re thankful for or the things that put a smile on your face and keep them handy. Put them in a mini notebook, on your computer, on your phone, wherever! Paste them somewhere convenient where you can easily come back to them and remember how they made you feel.

Take a deep breath, reset your whole being and think – is this situation really that upsetting? Pull out your gratitudes and remember the little things in life. We only have so much time here on Earth and it’s not worth it to spend all our time worrying and being angry.

This is a hard step to take, believe me! For others it will be even more of a challenge – mental illness is real and things like depression can be a major obstacle in feeling okay day-to-day. When something like depression is a hurtle in your life, it’s even more important to have ways to combat it and this one is easy! Start by writing down 1-3 things that you’re thankful for – mayonnaise for your burger, a straw for your soda, a smile from a stranger, a hug from someone you love, you name it and then you write it down. Record it and treasure it from now on, because there will come a day when the storm will strike and destruction will reign and you will need something to fall back on. If you have these GOOD THINGS stored up in your arsenal when tragedy strikes then you better believe you’ll have a better chance to fight back!

Take a deep breath, write down something that makes you smile, and remember it for always.

That’s gratitude.


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