It all started three years ago, almost to the day, I had been feeling that my life was a little stagnated and I was finding myself behaving much too pessimisticly in the midst of waves of anxiety and a rather messy end to a messy relationship. We all experience these times in life, times that we would, given the choice, steer past. I decided during this particular rainy season, not to mope but to start what I call my gratitude journal. The aim behind this was to make myself look for positivity in each day. I decided to write down a minimum of four things every day of the week, for which I am grateful. Most days these ideas flow freely and you discover that there is always a glimmer of blue sky to be found even on the darkest of days.
I turned twenty five last month. Much to my horror. Who could have seen this coming? It’s like I was twenty two, blinked and I’m a quarter of a centuary. How on earth?! I couldn’t help but wonder, where have the last three years disappeared? What have I learned? How have I grown or progressed? It seems that these milestone birthdays have a way of making you unjustifiably question yourself.
I decided to flick back through my journal to remind myself what I have done and the myriad of things I have to be grateful for.
Some days were of course much more interesting to read, much more to talk about, more tales to tell. There were a multitude of entries to be proud of, to appreciate, to laugh at. A few scandals, of course. The main thing I discovered though, was much more profound. I began to see that the entries I wrote most weren’t all fireworks, promotions and epic parties. It wasn’t all about luxury holidays, wild sex and accomplished dreams. I saw that life, is a collection of moments, mostly small moments. Moments which we might not recall when thinking back over the last weeks or months but which have shaped us in to the people we are today. The things which were written about more than anything else, were what many may consider as the mundane. Dinners at home on uneventful Tuesday nights, Saturday mornings in bed wrapped in the sheets with nothing to get up for, shopping trips with my mummy and Harry Potter marathons.
Simple pleasures! That or I’m an eighty year old woman in a twenty five year olds body.
I am going to share a few of my highlights, written word for word. This is to show you how the things we consider insignificant and easily forgotten at the time are actually the most special, irreplaceable memories. Memories which are deserving of our gratitude.
30th of July 2016
We went to London last night. So much fun. Too many cosmos. Today the girls and I, in our hungover states got matching tattoos, just because. How fun. My favourite part of this weekend was sitting on the floor of the train in the dividing part of two coaches on the way home, our respective body parts wrapped in clingfilm being silly and laughing at each of our life crisises right now. Thank god for them both.
20th of October 2017
Today, I fell in love. Maybe I was in love already, I don’t know. Either way, today I realised. I had thought that while we were away, if this was going to happen, it would be hand in hand watching the sunset over the Mexican sea or something embarrassing like that. No, I knew I was in love while laying on bed, jet lagged and sun burned, eating nachos and a little tipsy on rum cokes.
19th of July 2018
Today I got the tube to St Johns wood to meet Han, mum and dad at Lords. My first T20 game, listen to me pretending to be a pro. Maxi got 80 runs or something, doesn’t even matter how many, he was the best. I felt pride bubbling up inside me like lava, it spilled out of me and covered the ground and everyone in it. I heard someone at the bar saying ‘you know that Max, he has big things coming his way’ and I secretly agreed. He sure does. Forever grateful for his success.
28th of June 2018
Pizza. Love of my life, so sue me.
23rd of July 2018
This evening dad came to Richmond to visit. We got some food from this random overpriced health shop, took it and found a spot on the floor by the river. It was boiling hot, the kind of heat when the concrete burns the skin on the back of your legs when you try to sit down. The sun warmed my bones and my heart. We just had a chat for a couple of hours, which we don’t do very often. It was nice. That’s all.
18th of May 2019.
Today was my twenty fifth birthday. I feel like today, more than any birthday before, I am grateful for the people around me. I feel indescribably lucky for the love I have in my life. I’m not sure what I have done to deserve this. I am an emotional wreck, got so many lovely birthday gifts but you know what pushed me over the edge? Mum got me a watermelon for birthday breakfast and I teared up a bit. Over a watermelon?! I’m broken.
Those are six entries of nearly one thousand. They stuck out to me as a delved in to my three years of daily gratitues. They were prominent because they were were small unexpected moments of happiness or revelation which I thought were important enough to write down.
I cannot recommend enough, a gratitude journal. This, for me, has been particularly benefitial on bad days, or days which make you feel like the highs will never return or that your toxic thoughts might eat your body from around you.
You force yourself to look for the good. To find what you appricate and love. It is a beautiful way to reflect on each day and then in years to come, a wonderfully nostaligic thing to read through.
If you are feeling at all down, lost, anxious or just need a little day to day positivity or happiness. Start your own. It helped me in more ways than I can say.
‘life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards‘.
#gratitudejournal #gratitude #writing