I’ve tried a daily, intentional gratitude practice before. When I journaled regularly, sometimes I would add a list of things I was thankful for that day. But I struggled to make a gratitude practice feel meaningful. I noticed that I would list the same things every day, making it feel inauthentic, or that I would rush through the practice and not really sit with what I was truly thankful for.
Gratitude brings perspective, I think. More than listing the things that make us happy, it’s stepping back and remembering all the ways that life is good, from the tiny to the momentous. For me, it also helps to narrow it down to what about my life is good today, and what about my life is good for me, rather than focusing on sweeping, lifelong things. Sometimes I think about the overall too much and neglect the individual, the day-to-day. Sometimes I feel like I’m always looking forward, or backward, or just entertaining myself in the moment instead of really living there. Sometimes I’m bad at finding the good little everyday joys because I’m always looking ahead to the big ones.
Here’s 5 specific things I’m grateful for right at this exact moment.
- The warm afternoon sun that’s streaming through my window. It allowed me to enjoy a long walk with Maggie. Plus my body that allows me to move. When I get up from writing this, I’m going upstairs to do some yoga and I love that I have the mobility and strength to do that.
- The fact that my brother is home from the Marines for the first time since he graduated boot camp, even though I don’t get to see him until Christmas. He’s with my family, and I know he’s happy to be home.
- My husband’s happiness and relaxation today, because we haven’t seen his parents since summer.
- The folks that take the time to create content that teaches people like me about social justice. I have learned a lot about the Indigenous Land Back movement today and have saved a bunch of things to go back and read more about later.
- My family, where we are all good at taking care of each other in our own weird little ways. My grandma died recently, but I’m not worried about my grandpa being alone today because my family went out of their way to make sure he isn’t.
Tell me one thing you’re thankful for today.