Well, 2019 is in full swing. Hopefully you’ve settled back into your regularly scheduled chaos and the stress of the holiday season is a distant memory. I love this time of year, it always feels so fresh and full of promise. Even though the temperatures are brutal, it seems a little easier to dream big and believe it’s all possible in the early days of January. I have a few plans of my own for this year and have made a couple resolutions I’m proud to say are still going strong. I wanted to share just one that seems to be working a bit of magic into my life.
I decided to write down one thing every day that made me happy, or one thing for which I’m grateful. I tried this last year, but only got 3 days in before I canned the whole operation. This year, I figured out why and upped my game. See, last year, I used the big plastic barrel we had laying around from the time Sebastian coaxed me into buying 5lbs of cheese balls. I didn’t have any specific paper for the job, I just ripped corners off unopened mail. Basically, it was set to fail from the beginning. My heart just wasn’t in it. This year I pulled out a pretty vase from the basement and Nick bought me a big block of note paper. I have the note paper and a pencil set out right next to the pretty vase. It’s all there (and visible from my couch), so there are literally no excuses. All I need is 2 minutes each night to quietly reflect on my day. I find the best bits and scribble them onto the small square of blank paper, and I walk upstairs to tuck into bed with that moment’s recognition of gratitude still on my mind.
Some days the things are small: we got our coffee machine back, so today I’m super grateful for my morning (and afternoon) latte. Some days the thing I’m trying to fit on that little square seem too big to verbalize – like the all-encompassing love I feel for my kids or the flood of gratitude I feel for the tender words of encouragement from Nick after a hard day. But it doesn’t really matter how big or small the thing is. I want to tell you something about keeping track of the things in your day that put a smile on your face: it puts a smile on your face. I’m not saying it’s the silver bullet to all bad moods, trust me, I still have my share of them, but something shifts when you ask yourself to look at all the gifts life has to offer, even on a small scale, from day to day. I find myself thinking about which moment I’ll record for the day, so it isn’t just the best moment that I recognize, but all the others too. Yes, it’s all magical, but I find now that I’m writing it down, I stop a moment and acknowledge the magic instead of just letting it pass me by.
What is even better than all that? I find my mindset is slowly moving away from focusing on the things I lack and it’s moving toward all the amazing things I already have. Taking stock of the good stuff throughout the day has made it much easier for me to see how lucky I really am. I don’t need a nicer car, mine runs fine. I don’t need a bigger house or a better wardrobe. I don’t need fancy trips around the world to see how happy I am, I have a pretty vase right in my living room and it’s full of all the proof I need that I’m doing just fine.