Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Giving thanks

One thing I like to do on a regular basis to stay try to be mentally healthy is to keep up a gratitude journal. This sums it up better than I ever could, but basically reflecting on the things we are thankful for keeps us happier, easier to get along with, less materialistic, and healthier in general.

Image found here.
I have struggled at times with this practice, sometimes being snarky (e.g., I am thankful for... hard liquor) but I agree with the above. It is interesting to look back and reflect on what I've been thankful for at different times over the past few years.. times when Justin was gone, I was struggling with working full-time and parenting on my own, times when other things have gone wrong in my life.

This is my Gratitude journal. I was using a plain ol' notebook until I found this in a little shop in Shirlington and was smitten.

Each page features a quote on gratitude. 
'We are the heroes of our own story.'

I am truly enjoying this practice but haven't been keeping up with it as much as I would like. I've also noticed that Dylan has been making more negative statements than usual, complaints about school or friends and so on. I wanted to infuse (if you will) some more gratitude into our lives and also teach him my practice. In the spirit of the season (Thanksgiving, that is), I decided to copy the idea that Young House Love featured a while back, and also what is sold at Wisteria (but for way too much money, IMHO) and create a gratitude jar.

I used the same technique as featured on the Young House Love link above, etching "Give Thanks" into the side of a ginormous mason jar I've had for awhile.

Side story: This jar was also used to catch five of the ten fish Dylan keeps in his aquarium at a trip to a local lake. I thought the fish would never make it, but here we are, months later and they're still kickin'. Go figure. I did clean the jar out after. Maybe.

I picked out some fall-ish scrapbooking paper and cut it into small pieces so we can all write what we are thankful for. Often, we will sit down together as a family and secretly record our response. We plan to read them all on Thanksgiving. However, I hope to keep this practice up for Dylan (and myself) long past the leftovers.

I can honestly say that I have an incredible amount to be thankful for. Without disclosing too much personal, sappy crap, things were a bit tough for me for awhile there, but have only been looking up lately. Things that I could have never dreamed of, not just moving to where we're living now (which HELL YES I am thankful for), but other things I could not have imagined this time last year, both family- and career-wise, are actually happening. Things are just, falling into place. I know my 'luck' may not always be so good but for now, I'm enjoying it.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea Claire. It's too easy to get wrapped into negativity. good on you for being such a positive role model for your family!