When the pilgrims sat down for the their traditional harvest feast, it was to celebrate the fruits of their labor (no pun intended). Each year as we sit down to Thanksgiving Day dinner with friends and family, we share our gratitude over this bountiful meal. The day after Thanksgiving, however, most of the time gratitude goes out with the turkey bones and dried up stuffing. We tend to fall back into the daily grind and lose sight of the simple but important things in life.
After the events of 9/11, I stumbled upon the book, Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The book is a journal of her thoughts with an entry for each day of the year. While I don’t always remember to read it every day, when I do pick it up, the entry is always strangely applicable to whatever is happening in my life that day.
Because of this book, I started a gratitude journal, and I am encouraging you to start one, too. What? More work and lists, you ask? No. It can be as simple or in depth as you want it to be. You can jot down your thoughts anytime of the day, and all you need is a notebook and a pen. In about a minute at night, I write down five things that I am grateful for that day. That’s it! Just five simple words or phrases that sum up someone or something that I really appreciate. Now, I admit that sometimes these come more easily than at other times, but after I fill the night’s list, I feel so much better about everything.
Anyone who keeps a gratitude journal knows that it helps to weed out the nonsense and noise in your life and focuses you on what is really important. Yes, there are days you will completely forget to write in it, that’s okay, just pick it up again the next day. If you don’t have a gratitude journal, grab that old spiral notebook in your desk and begin giving thanks on Thanksgiving and each day after. I promise, you will be grateful that you did.
Journal Entry for Nov. 26…today I am grateful that You have taken the time to read Here We Are; my lifelong friend, Juli; lessons from the Blogging guru, Chris Garrett; tonight’s writing class; and my All-Clad crock-pot.
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