It’s a scientifically proven fact that keeping a gratitude journal makes you feel happier so when I was given a gratitude journal I decided to actually use it.
I’ve read about the importance of being grateful before and even written about the things I’m grateful for but my gratitude program has been irregular and, on bad days, I’m still prone to complaining about first world problems, criticizing things and generally failing to appreciate the true beauty of our existence, despite all its suffering.
So in my on-going battle to stay positive I decided to use the fat, lavishly illustrated gratitude journal to write down the things I’m grateful for by hand every night before bed.
So how’s it going? It’s only been one week and during that time I’ve had some horribly bleak days. But the journal forced me to dig around for the positive moments every day even if I could only come up with gratitude for “chocolate” or “being able to swim” some days.
Still, even in such a short time keeping the gratitude journal has made me feel happier and well… more grateful, more appreciative of all that I’ve got and less given to complaints and criticism. Even about myself.
So this week, on the occasion of my 46th birthday, here’s a note of 46 things I’m grateful for.
Even though I’ve written before about the best and worst things about living in Australia and living in Queensland I’m really grateful to live here because:
1. The warm weather in Noosa suits me fine.
2. I live near gorgeous beaches.
3. There’s an abundance and huge variety of fresh fruit and vegetables at the farmer’s market and in the shops.
4. Rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras and other beautiful Aussie birds live in our suburb.
5. There’s a culture of sports and fitness which keeps me on track with mine.
6. Because the weather’s good and there are a lot of natural beauty spots there are plenty of free things to do like going to the beach, swimming or having a barbecue at a public BBQ area.
One of the things I love most and am eternally grateful for is nature:
7. Being able to spend time outside in nature.
8. Flowers to brighten my life.
9. Trees that give me shade.
10. The wind to cool me down and dry my laundry.
11. The sun to warm me.
12. The sea for swimming in.
13. The clouds to highlight the ever-changing beauty of the sky.
I am also so grateful for my family:
14. My ever-constant husband Rich.
15. 15 year old Luke with his clever observations that make me laugh.
16. 12 year old Max whose creative, fun-loving ways make life better.
17. 9 year old Kiara who has much to teach me about positive living.
18. My brother and sister even though they are far away and we don’t always see eye to eye there’s an ever-lasting bond between us.
19. My mum who will turn 79 soon but who’s still travelling and enjoying life.
And I am truly grateful for my friends:
20. Dear old friends in England who’ve known me for decades and still keep in touch.
21. My amazing friends on Waiheke Island in New Zealand who formed the best group of women I’ve ever met.
22. My new friends in Australia who’ve opened up their hearts to me and shared their ups and downs with raw honesty.
23. Everyone who makes me laugh including all the wild, crazy, pura vida friends I made in Costa Rica.
24. My blogging friends many of whom I’ve never met but who I’ve formed beautiful bonds with across the Internet allowing me to make friends in places I’ve never visited.
Then there are so many random people I appreciate:
25. The Noosa Film Society organisers because I love going to the movies and they make it easy.
26. All my children’s teachers for helping them grow up and grow better and better.
27. Everyone who invented WordPress and social media.
28. The bus drivers who ferry my kids safely to and from school.
I’m grateful for my own teachers and education too especially:
29. Being able to read.
30. All the amazing books and writers out there who entertain and touch me.
31. The Sun Magazine which I love and blogger Jen Gresham from Everyday Bright who introduced me to it.
32. The Saturday newspapers, magazines and writers which I love.
33. My own love of writing and all the people who’ve ever encouraged me in that which includes you since you’re here reading my words.
Since I bore easily I’m grateful for all the variety in my life:
34. Clients from all over the world who choose me and Rich to help them with their web design, copywriting or digital strategy and enable us to make a living doing what we love.
35. Having legs and being able to walk on the beach.
36. My strong healthy body because without our health we don’t have anything.
37. Having a car to get my shopping home in.
37. Woollies supermarket home delivery for when I can’t face actually going to the shops.
37. All the beautiful clothes, pretty colors and fun patterns in my wardrobe.
All modern conveniences:
38. My washing machine that handled three big loads of laundry for me this morning.
39. Our ancient fridges which keeps stuff cool.
40. Electricity so I can read at night.
41. My shower with hot and cold water to warm me up or cool me down as needed.
Finally I am grateful to be me:
41. For my thick brown hair.
42. For my persistence and grit.
43. For my eternal love of learning.
44. For my capacity to forgive others and sometimes even myself.
45. For this enduring love of travel that’s taken me to so many places and allowed me to meet so many diverse people.
46. For the miracle of evolution and the amazing struggles my ancestors endured over thousands of years that somehow or other created me.
What are you grateful for today?