I kept a Gratitude Jar last year.
Whenever I thought of something I was grateful for I wrote it on a slip of paper and dropped it in the jar. About midway through the year, I stopped. I don’t know why. I was still grateful for many things during the second half of the year; they just didn’t make it into my jar in written form.
But here are the ones that accumulated over the first six months of 2016.
I was grateful for the small (and not so small) delights and luxuries of life: good coffee in the morning; regular bathroom visits; tasty dark chocolate; professional massages that helped my body feel better; fresh, organic produce and eggs; safe travel to places where I felt restored and re-energized.
I felt grateful for the exercise, beauty, and harvest my garden gave me and the help I received from a few young people with the more physically taxing tasks. I gave thanks for the warmth of sunshine on a wintry day; and finally being able to open the windows and doors again as spring blessed us; delighted to watch a bald eagle glide down the river valley; intensely purple hyacinths.
Beyond grateful, I was “deliriously happy” that my twin grand babies were born healthy and that my daughter recovered well from a challenging pregnancy.
I was grateful for being able to choose what I wanted to do on any given day – a rare kind of freedom after decades of study and hard work.
I was thankful for what money CANNOT buy: love, kindness, friendships that survived the decades, deep satisfaction, beauty, and connectedness to nature.
I was grateful for what money CAN buy: comfort, good food, services, attention, good will, a sense of security, a sense of freedom.
Out of all the paper slips, this one is my favorite: “Grateful for my loving and understanding husband.”
I love that frog sitting among the yellow daffodils – it reminds me of how he tries to make me look at the sunny side of life, especially when I am indulging in negative emotions that I wear sometimes like well-worn clothes. This slip of paper inspired an end-of-year letter to my husband in which I expressed my gratitude for who and what he is in my life.
I suppose it’s time to place that same jar where it calls out to me everyday to transcribe my flashes of gratitude on paper. This really makes me more mindful of the daily goodness I experience and helps me see my glass as half full or, maybe, even totally full by the end of the year?
The Daily Post’s Discover Challenge this week: Transcript.