Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Gratitude Journal

 I mentioned Ann Voskamp's  One Thousand Gifts, on a previous blog.  The book inspired me to start my own gratitude journal with the goal of making one thousand entries in the year. 
   I started off with a great list of family, church, faith, friends, home, my cats, all the easy obvious things.  Then I had to look a little harder, but it was spring and each day brought some new miracle.  Flowers at the Butchart Gardens, new shoots in my own garden, roses tumbling from my trellis.  In order to meet my goal I only needed to write in three things a day.  Easy, I thought.  And it was easy.  I live in a
beautiful, peaceful part of the world.  I am free to worship as I please.  I have enough of this world's goods to be comfortable, and last Saturday I exercised my right to vote.  Three gratitudes a day is a piece of cake.  -- NOT!
   Not that I'm not grateful every day, but finding something new each day is getting harder and harder.  I've already done the cats and the garden and my family.  It's winter now so no new flowers to exclaim over but I did make note of the bounty of harvest and the sweetness of the Golden Delicious apples off my tree.  
     I've given thanks that I got to sing in the chorus of Britten's War Requiem (a very difficult work not often performed so singing it was a rarity) and I've given thanks that I'm finished with the War Requiem. :-)
   I've recorded the sunrise and the sunset several times, even noted that sunrise every morning is a miracle in itself.  I look out at an every changing view of ocean and mountains but I think it's cheating to keep noting the shades of blue in my journal.  Isn't the object of the exercise to find one thousand new moments of gratitude in the year?

   So, here I am, falling behind in my goal of three things a day.  Not because I'm ungrateful, but because my blessings repeat over and over.  Now I ask you, ICWFers.  Can I journal the same things more than once?  Has anyone else taken the 1000 challenge or something similar?  What are your experiences?

Alice Valdal lives in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.  She writes, knits, bakes, bicycles and is owned by two cats.  She is grateful every day for her husband and all the other blessings in her life.  Visit her at or!/alice.valdal.5

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  1. Keeping a gratitude journal is commendable. I've never done one but should. Two blessings I'd list at the top are the privilege of raising my children myself and having the freedom to travel to different countries. The imported household servants we work with here in Hong Kong have left their children behind in the Philippines so they can work here to earn the money necessary to give those children an education. And the asylum seeker family we help are stuck here in Hong Kong without the freedom to leave unless they're willing to return home where they'd likely be killed.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Karen. It's true that those of us who live in countries like Canada are so privileged we can't even recognize our blessings, Best to you and the people you care for.

  2. Yes, I kept a gratitude journal for a few months but I didn't have a specific goal and like so many other things I've started it faded out of the picture. However, I have made a pledge on Facebook to have a large glass bottle sitting prominently in my lounge for 2015. I'm going to have a small pad of paper and a pen next to it, so I don't have the excuse for not being able to find them! And then throughout the days of 2015, I intend to jot down notes of gratitude whenever something good happens and throw it into the jar. On New Years Eve my husband and I will sit down and work through all the scraps of paper and remember - and give thanks. Anyone going to join me?

  3. Alice, fascinating post :) I think the true beauty of the journal isn't necessarily all about the items you list, but can relate to the state of your heart. You're looking to be thankful and appreciative of the blessings you experience every day, which is a wonderful habit to develop.

    1. Great idea for a New Year's Eve, Shirley, I hope you get lots of takers.
      Thanks Narelle for your encouragement. I do look at the world with open eyes these days, looking for the small and hidden moments that fill my life with joy.