Scenes From a Gratitude Journal

Earlier, I had some highfalutin notion that I’d dash out some brilliance this morning when I was fresh as a daisy. But here it is 5:30pm and I’m about as fresh as a container of yogurt nearing its expiration date. So rather than pull out any more hair (which is already more follicly challenged than it appears), I decided to share some of the items from my daily gratitude journal.

This isn’t me. My gratitude journal isn’t this interesting.

Yeah, that’s right. I keep a daily gratitude journal. Actually, it’s more of a list. I’ve been doing it for nearly two months now and I gotta tell ya, it’s pretty cool. I’ve tried to keep one of these blasted things many times before. But this time it’s sticking. I think because the past six months have forced me to reframe nearly every scene and situation that comes my way so as not to surrender to the impulse to permanently burrow in one of my cats’ heated beds and abandon all efforts at personal hygiene.

Now, I can admit that this whole keeping of a list may be effective in part due to my driving perfectionism that refuses to die. My brain sees seeking gratitude in challenging situations as an assignment for which I strive to get a gold star and a big A+. For example, it’s not uncommon for dialogue like this to take place in my head:

Me: That guy is a first-rate asshole.

Me: Well, can you find something good about him that you could put in your gratitude journal later?

Me: If I kicked him hard in the kneecaps, I’d be grateful to watch him crumble to the ground.

Me: But he’s the president.

Me: I don’t know why I have to keep saying this, but he’s not MY president...

Okay. That’s clearly not the best example. That would be more like a sad face sticker and a big C-. But, as my friend Nolan says, some days a C- is good enough. Frankly, that’s a really good lesson too. All of that aside, I feel I’m doing something proactive by keeping this journal. Even if I have to resist writing the stuff that irritates me to no end.

So without further ado, here are eighteen of the hundreds of items that have made the cut in the past two months. I hope you enjoy.

  1. The musical score from the movie The Color Purple
  2. Trees – everything about them (even when they spit sticky stuff on my car)
  3. Bob’s Burgers (one of the greatest cartoons ever)
  4. Bananas with chocolate sauce
  5. The way some flowers reseed and then show up again next year
  6. Trader Joe’s rice pilaf (I’m willing to pretend I’m not a pescetarian to eat this EVERY week)
  7. My little blue Honda Fit (whose name is Fred)
  8. Iridescence (especially in parking lot oil puddles)
  9. Libraries
  10. George Benson on guitar
  11. Learning new words (crabwise is one of my personal favorites)
  12. Fluoride
  13. That first swift and sweeping movement on my bike as I enter the street from my driveway
  14. The Bomb Burrito from Christine’s Cuisine in Ferndale
  15. The versatility of eggs (they’re incredible and edible)
  16. All of the opportunities I’ve been given (and there have been many)
  17. Kind people
  18. My friends who support my writing (thanks, y’all)

Gratitude rocks. And since I’ve got nothing else to blather on about, I’ll leave you with that.

See ya next week.

3 thoughts on “Scenes From a Gratitude Journal

  1. Thanks for perspective. I’m a pessimist. Proud badge wearing one. But I fight daily to be something different. Something better. Thanks for the reminder!


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