I feel like the holidays have this way of making us feel insanely hopefully, thankful, and joyful as well as sad and alone all at the same time. Especially when the holidays are over… I like to think of it like snow. When it’s falling outside, and you’re sitting in your home with the fireplace going, it looks beautiful, those fluffy flakes falling one by one. Then a week later you’re left with the slushy, brown stuff all over the road that’s been run over a few times and mixed with the mud. Well, I don’t want to feel like brown slushy snow.
A few months ago I wrote a post about my LAST 90 DAYS of 2019. It was a concept that I heard about when listening to the podcast by Rachel Hollis, and wanted to join in. I came up with five things that I wanted to do every day/week of the rest of the year to start 2020 in the best way possible. One of those items was my gratitude journal. This is something that I have done for a while now, and it is actually something that I feel like has made a big difference. You see, I’m what I like to call myself a realist. Or as other people like to call it, a pessimistic optimist, aka someone who tends to poke some negative at the positive whenever the positive is in front of me. And these past few years I have gone through some major changes with which I have had my pessimistic moments.
Let’s remind ourselves that how we look at and perceive what’s in front of us is completely and totally within our control. While at times it doesn’t feel that way, it’s the truth. And while we are all going through different things, and seeing it in different lights, we all have that one thing in common; we can control how we react to it. So to remind myself of the positive and all the things I have to be grateful for, I write in my gratitude journal every morning. And no, it doesn’t start with “Dear Diary…” but instead it’s a list. I know, shocking (for those who don’t know me I make lists all day every day)! But all we need sometimes is a little reminder, and that’s exactly what this is. It’s a reminder of, yes, certain x-y-z might suck right now, but think of all the other things (that you wrote down this morning) that you have to be thankful/grateful for!
So, here is my challenge to you: instead of telling you to do it every morning right off the bat (because creating a habit takes baby steps and time), Right now, that’s right, this very second, make your list! Hold onto that list in your pocket, put it in your wallet, whatever! And if you’re feeling it, take that next step: every time something doesn’t go your way, or you get irritated, frustrated, or you are just in a bad mood, make your gratitude list. You don’t need a whole new journal for this either! At a restaurant? Grab a napkin (paper, please :-D). At work? Tear a corner off of that presentation that you worked soooo hard on that your boss just walked all over. In the car? Think about it in your hear and say it OUT LOUD!
And you know what? I don’t care what you put on it! I don’t care if right now you’re super thankful for your favorite sweater, or you’re looking forward to getting drinks with a girlfriend! Gratitude is infectious, and can spread like wildfire. I’m not here to judge and you shouldn’t either! Heck, I love my sweaters 😀 I get it!! Find the positivity where you can, and hold onto it.
Now, I want to share with you my list this morning that I made when I woke up feeling bleh:
What I’m grateful for today:
My pup’s morning snuggles when she’s ready to get up but wants to ask politely
my family text thread (which is full of gifs and hysterical back-and-forth messages)
my physical health and ability to get up and work out to feel healthy and strong.
What I’m looking forward to:
My parents coming into town for Thanksgiving
My husband helping to clean up his piles of clothes (that were all over the house, mhmmm)
the holiday decorations we will put up around the house this weekend.
Are these incredibly deep and meaningful things? No. Do I have days where my list is deep and meaningful? Yes! But today I just needed that gently nudge and reminder that while it may feel like it sometimes, not everything around me is going to shit.