On January 1, I dug out a Moleskine notebook that I won in a Facebook handwriting contest, and labeled each line with its own number, one through 182. It took over six pages. My plan was to write one thing each day that made me feel grateful.

Not the best thing that happened each day, not something I was afraid to forget. Not something that made me happy, although often, it was something that brought me joy. But rather, I wanted to write one thing that I was grateful for, because even on the worst days, there can always be something for which to be thankful. Something to appreciate.

That’s exactly what this project has become – something to appreciate. This little Moleskine has traveled all over the place with me over the last six months. It’s been through the Midwest, the South, and the West, as well as Canada and Ireland. It’s seen me through some really difficult transitions and life events, loss and but also some really wonderful days filled with laughter and love. And it’s seen days of gratefulness for things as diverse as “celebrating life”, “seeing a lizard”, “making progress toward living the dream”, “faith in the face of fear”, “having a warm house when it’s cold outside”, “Eggo waffle and Duck Dynasty lunches with Dad”, and “loping a good horse through rippling dark green meadows”.

It shows that there are little joys in each day, and that no matter what happens, having a positive mindset can help you grow and learn and enjoy life. You have to recognize the silver linings some days, but they are always there, you just have to look a little harder sometimes. It might require diving a little deeper and leaning into the difficulties, but the gratefulness is there, just as much as it is on the days when I can’t choose between all the great things that happened. And a lot of times (most of the time, in fact), it’s so hard to choose just one thing I’m the most grateful for, that I fall asleep smiling.

When I started this project, which I named “The Gratefulness List”, I only wrote in half a year’s worth of days. I think it was in case I lost interest or started overthinking the things that happened each day. The opposite has proven to be true: I’ve found that choosing one thing to be grateful for is a great way to recap the day, and I can’t imagine not seeing this list through to the end of the year. It’ll probably go beyond.

So now it’s July, and I’m writing in days number 182 through 365. There’s too much to be grateful for in life to let it go by unnoticed.

 

Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers

Atlantic City – Levon Helm (probably one of the best covers of anything ever)

5 thoughts on “Half a Year of Gratefulness

  1. I love the way you share your thoughts and insights in such an eloquent yet simple way. A grateful heart is a treasure that will serve you well all your life! When you were a little girl, you would think of 3 special blessings each night as you said your prayers, that could have been sent by one of your grandparents. As you get older and find the things to be grateful for each day, you can maybe think of those who are gone but forever in your heart.
    I am so honored and proud to be your mom. You are my greatest blessing, and my love and respect for you is beyond measure. God bless your tender heart and always keep you safe in His love! 💕🙏

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  2. This was such a great snapshot Amy. What a fun project that proved to be so much more than what you imagined. I probably need to do something like this too. Gratefulness changes us into thankful instead of bitter or sad. I love how you wrote this out and let us be a part of your journey. xxx

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  3. ❤ Sam and I have a "Happy Book" Some days it is super small things like "a burrito for lunch" some days its even bigger "I proposed to Sam and he said YES" we have been keeping it since summer 2014. I am sure you've made it countless times. "Talked to Amy when I was having a hard time" probably more than a few times 🙂 "Amy forgot her boots here on her road trip and she has to come back" (maybe not a happy time for your gas tank but sure was for me!) I got the idea from the radio on a trip into Laramie. I think I've only missed one day & Sam hasn't missed any. Some days its hard to think of three things… some days I write six things. It is one of my favorite things that Sam and I do. I love hearing that you do it too. I love you!

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