Thank you for the gift of memory. I remember years ago reading something in Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance about how one should write down five things one is grateful for before going to bed each night. She talked about how as time passes and we fill our journal with blessings, we will experience an inner shift in our reality. I am generally so tired when I go to bed that I do not do this, but it is the first thing that I do in the morning and it is an awesome way for me to begin my morning. There is nothing like starting off the morning by thanking you for all you do for me and have done in my life. It just starts my morning off with the right mindset for the rest of the day.
The funny thing is that I have been writing in my gratitude journal for so long now that I could not remember how long it has been. So this morning I checked and found out I started on December 31, 2012. So it has almost been three years. I have kept them on and off before, but this time I have managed to keep it going for three years now. I have to agree with Sarah doing so has contributed to an inner shift in my reality. Not only do I begin my day by giving thanks, but I end my day by telling my wife at least one thing she did that day which made me feel loved or for which I am grateful.
What has been really surprising about keeping this journal are the memories and feelings it has brought up as I have randomly picked dates to look at. For example, when I read one of the first entries in my gratitude journal from January 2013, I read, “today I am grateful for the courage and support I had last night at the poetry reading and the invitation to come back and read again. I am grateful for my contacts which enable me to see clearly and the cleansing solutions that keep them clean. I am grateful for the cats letting me sleep in this morning as we were out late last night. I am grateful for the kindness and compassion of the owner of the gallery last night. I am grateful that with my wife every day is Valentine’s day.” I had forgotten all about going to my first public poetry reading, it seemed like so long ago. It reminded me of how Liesl had bought me a flower to help me celebrate. It brought back memories for me of the gallery owner and all he did to help us find our way there and to ensure that I was safe while moving around his gallery. Just reading it again made me grateful for the memories and the ability to remember and to have so many awesome memories to come back to revisit me.
I picked one from about a year ago, December 9, 2014 and read “this morning I am once again grateful for my wife who reminds me daily that her love for me is unconditional. Oh how blessed I am. I am grateful for the "date" we had last night watching a movie together - the red tent. I am grateful for having gotten some sleep last night and having woken up without pain this morning. I am grateful for Zoe getting so many calls into work as it makes her so happy. I am grateful for having made the choice to not use the new system for my winter class and giving myself more time to do the training.” As I read it I began to realize how I never take Zoe’s love for granted. I seem to give thanks for it all the time. It brought back memories of the film and how many times Zoe and I have tried to read the book together and never quite finish it. I am grateful for the reminder of how sick I was and how much better I am now. I am grateful for the happy times Zoe had when she was working more often at the library. I am grateful she has a full time job now, but remembering how happy she was then reinforces for me this work does not bring her the same joy. Perhaps that library job for her is coming.
Just for fun, I thought it would read something from an April Fool’s Day and this is what I wrote “I know this is April Fool's Day, but this is really what I am grateful for. I am grateful to have been able to get comfortable and sleep through the night. I am grateful for how long the little food we had in our house lasted. I am grateful for my son who has started giving me phone hugs to help me feel better. I am grateful for my friends around the world who have been praying for our recovery. I am grateful for the patience Zoe and I have had with each other as we have both been sick at the same time.” reading this brought back memories of how sick we were and how so many people dropped food off for us on the porch so we would have soup and juice to drink.
I think for me that was one of the unexpected gifts of my journal. I got to remember how loved I am, how much I have to be grateful for, how many beautiful and loving memories I have to curl up with in those moments when I need to experience that love.
So thank you for filling my life with so many awesome memories. May the days to come be filled with as much love as the years before.