I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal this year. A long time ago, I read Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and decided to give the “keeping the journal all year” thing a shot.
It was an easy enough premise: write down at least three things that you are grateful for each day. That’s it. It starts off fairly easily, but as the days, weeks, and months go on, it can get more difficult. I did it though, and completed the journal on December 31, 1998.
A few years ago, I found another one of these hardcover Simple Abundance Gratitude Journals at a yard sale for a buck; I bought it. It had one or two entries in it, but I figured that I’d just wite them out and write over them. I brought it home, put the journal away, then promptly forgot all about it.
Fast forward to December 2010: I found both that journal, and the one I kept in 1998. I decided to start the journal January 1, 2010, and I have kept it up all year. Periodically, if things were especially happy (or alternately, tough) for me in 2010, I would look back to 1998 to see how I was doing on that day twelve years ago. There were lots of ups and downs in 1998: I was expecting my second child, and my father died from cancer that year. It was difficult to read some of the entries. Turns out that the emotions may be different, but feel every bit as strong all these years later as they did back then when it happened.
Today, I was thinking that things hadn’t been going that well for the past few days, and it was looking like 2010 was not going to end on a high note. After I finished my journal entry, I decided to look back to see what I had written on this day last year. One line stood right out: “I am grateful for my life.”
It’s as true today as it was twelve years ago when I wrote it. Thank you, past self, for reminding me of this tonight, when I needed it so much.