I’ve finally managed to find some of the journal writing from Barbara’s class and thought to add them to this blog. The first one I’d like to share is one about gratitude. It’s because of this assignment that I feel I have the positive outlook on life that I do. Barbara asked the class to write ten things daily for 14 days of things that we’re grateful for ; and then write about the experience. Below are excerpts from the paper I submitted to her:
When I first sat down to write down my ten words on day one for this gratitude journal, I thought to myself how easy it would be to come up with a list of things I’m grateful for. Day one was a breeze as I thought of the many things in my day to day life I couldn’t do without ; the telephone, my alarm clock, my car, the atm card. After all, how else was i going to function if I didn’t have the basic items? As the day progressed, and more items were added to my list, I was even more convinced at the ease of this assignment.
Although I can’t recall the exact moment or thought that altered my train of reasoning for this list, I do remember that I was very busy at work the second and third day; therefore did not write the words as diligently as I had the first day. One of those evenings, I sate down to make the list and for the life of me couldn’t think of what to write. Then I remembered that I am an avid tweeter. I tweet all day long, any musings or random thoughts that come to mind at that moment are shared instantly. I logged onto twitter to see what I had tweeted on days two and three and from there, came to fruition an idea which I hope will be acceptable for the duration of this assignment. I decided to review my tweets nightly to get a sense of my emotions , feelings, thoughts and as previously stated, my musings of the day. This nightly ritual allowed me the opportunity to get a better insight of myself as a person; a second chance to look at what I was thinking and why a particular thought was of significance . If a message had negative tone to it, I was at that point being forced to re-evaluate it to find a positive connotation from it.
As I did this more and more, night after night, I realized that although my thought may have been shared out of frustration, sanger, jealousy, inpatience or for that matter any other negative feeling, there within a messages was something to be grateful for. An example of that is when a particular day at work was fairly hectic , ok…a bad day! In reviewing my tweets, I spoke of something a co worker ; albiet it was said in a comical way, or being overwhelmed with emails and voicemails. I decided to look at the positive side of those thoughts and concluded that I was grateful for having a job. Moreover, I was grateful for having a job that kept me busy enough with it’s daily idiosyncrasies that cutting my position was not an option for my department.
….I found that my gratitude for things was beyond tangible and visible things. Once the list of was complete, i had to stop to ask and remind myself that there are more things in life to be grateful for than the bed I sleep on, or the shoes that I wear. I was forced to delve my thoughts into a deeper state of awareness. I had almost forgotten that the flowers I see on the trees, the sound of the rain, the laughter of children, and loving gestures from my family all contribute to my happiness just as much , if not more than any on item that I’ve bought or can touch. It s the small things that i don’t notice or take for granted that play a bigger role and deserve to to have the acknowledgement of adding to me being a happier, aware and better person.
As a side note: Yes, like you I have bad days. Perhaps more than I care to count. The point of this blog, and more importantly the reason for my sharing these thoughts with you all is to simply keep myself from spiraling back into a dark abyss that people can so easily go back into if a positive outlook on life doesn’t become a part of them like breathing. Some may wonder why I chose to do this type of weired self therapy in such a public forum. I myself can only say that I’m the type of person that heals by sharing. Maybe I’ll stop blogging all together one day , maybe I won’t. Until then , this works for me. I’m not sure why I felt the need to justify it , but there, it’s done. Life can once again continue.