The Dance of Gratitude: a book of blessings

Yesterday about a dozen things went wrong. My Tuesday post didn’t post, my videos didn’t show up, I spent hours frustratedly messing with plugins while Xander watched movies, I found cat poop in the guest room (this would be worse if we did not, in fact, have cats…as it is, it was just annoying), and I missed a webinar tutorial thingy.

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It should have been a totally crap day. On days like that I’ve been known to spend the entire day stomping around the house and periodically (I admit) yelling at Xander. But, in fact…it really wasn’t that bad.

There are a few possible theories about why that was. One is that Xander slept in until 8:30am, thus rendering me slightly-less-exhausted than normal. But, since I went to bed 90 minutes later than usual the night before, I don’t think this is it. Another theory is that it was rainy and gross out, perfect weather for camping out in front of the TV and working. I give this one slightly more credit, but still…no. There’s the fact that I made coffee cake in the morning and ate, like, half of it during the day…but honestly, that just made me feel kind of queasy.

No…it’s official…

It was the gratitude journal.


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It’s becoming part of my routine: after I’ve brushed my teeth, fed the cats, and said goodnight to my sweetie, I tiptoe into the darkened bedroom where our son sleeps in the GIANT family bed. I take my journal and pen and a tiny flashlight off the dresser, I sit down, and I do the dance of gratitude: every night I try to fill a page with things I’m thankful for. It’s a shot of self-care and positivity before bedtime.

It’s hard at the beginning. I’ll write a thing or two, then get stuck. The page, small as it is, looks very, very long. But then more things come to me, and more and more, until I’m fighting to squeeze items onto the page, scribbling incoherently in the upper and lower margins.

I still have bad days. I still get cranky and gloomy and worn out. But something about taking those 5 minutes to turn the day around…it helps me. Yesterday, when things went bad and I found myself griping at poor Matthew on Skype every 5 minutes, a small part of me whispered “there’s still lots to be thankful for,” and looked forward to bedtime, when I could write down my blessings and think of all the gifts the day brought.

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Because, really, even though I could count a dozen things that sucked about yesterday…it had so many gifts. The scheduled-posting-fail helped me learn a good half-dozen things (more, I think) about my new blog. Finding the cat poop made me pull myself together and do a thorough cleaning of the laundry room, and commit to giving the poor neglected kitties more love. The webinar tutorial’s follow-up email had a link to a recorded version.

Everything brought a gift or a lesson, from “you need to get grounded right now” to “OK, half a coffee cake in one day…not such a good plan. How about some ginger tea?”

And what about all the awesome stuff that the day brought? Like the fact that the day inspired this post, or the fact that I made the most awesome baked ham for dinner and it didn’t go wrong at all, or the way that Xander slipped his hand into mine while we cuddled on the bed before storytime…

This is the stuff that goes in my gratitude journal. This is what I scribble, cross-legged on the floor in the dark bedroom. And as all of my blessings pour onto the page, I breathe a little deeper, feel a little lighter, and—yes—feel my spirit dance.

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Thank you, gratitude journal.

8 thoughts on “The Dance of Gratitude: a book of blessings”

  1. What a wonderful example of taking what life has to offer and savoring it. Your ability to turn it around and focus on the positive is inspiring Meg! Thank-you!

  2. Love this post! I’ve had a gorgeous (also tiny) leather bound notebook lying on my bedside table for a week with the *intention* of making it my new gratitude journal. I have not yet sullied it’s pristine pages. Tonight though….:-)

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