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Blessings and gratitude

November 10, 2017 - Tiffany Larson
For the last year or so I have been keeping a “Gratitude Journal.” My intention was to write in it daily. However, I must confess that this busy bee shortly realized that two to three times a week was more realistic. My goal has been to write down the top three to five things I am grateful for in each entry. I share the “roses” or the positives of the week in both my personal and professional life. These entries are brief words or sentences on things I have experienced in which I am grateful for. They range from “waking up this morning”, to “having a job where I get to work with youth”, to “having the ability to listen to music that inspires me”. I find that with each entry I dig deeper and get more personal. I have been focusing on specific people and events to whom I am grateful. In return, I have found the impact of this to be more meaningful than focusing on things for which I am grateful.

As I mentioned last year in my November blog, much like others, I have a tendency to get caught up in my busy everyday life. I felt that I was overlooking saying thank you, I love you, or showing gratitude to those near and dear to me. I was overlooking all of the positive and meaningful relationships I have. I was overlooking taking time to reflect on the awesomeness happening daily and weekly around me. The gratitude journal provides an opportunity to do all of this, not just during the month of November.

I feel that there have been benefits to my weekly gratitude devotions. I feel mentally stronger, and have seen an increase in my self-esteem. Although I may not have found the remedy to sleeping better, I do have a more positive outlook on the world around me when my head hits the pillow at night. I have more motivation to get up in the morning to go and do the things I love doing. I often skim through entries and notice common themes. This fresh new lens on the world around me has been life-changing. On days I find time to write I witness my stress level decreasing and my attitude shift to less worry and more appreciation. I notice more, from little things to big things. I notice the friendly wave from a commuter on my way home from work, the smell of harvest all around me, the sweet elderly man opening the door for his sweetheart as they enter a restaurant, the dimples om my nephew’s face as he tells me about his fun day at “school.”

I never in a million years thought that I would learn about being thankful for the blessings in my life from one little journal. I encourage each of you to give it a try, even if for the rest of the month. Try finding time to slow down and think about what you are grateful for. Use prompts from the Thankfulness posts being circulated on social media if needed. Just be sure to keep your eyes open and look around. Pay attention to the beauty around you right here in the Webster City area. Don’t forget to jot all of these marvelous things down! This month I am grateful for being able to be part of a life -changing moment in one of my best friend’s life as she says “I Do.” I am grateful for the smell of pumpkin everything, as it makes my heart fill with happiness. I am thankful for Thanksgiving, and being able to spend quality time with loved ones reminiscing. What are you grateful for?


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