(1) An interview on NPR (which i tried to find a link to but could not. Possibly I’m combining a previous story and the great interview today with Charles Wheelan on 10 things you won’t hear commencement speakers say) with someone who has done happiness research. He said one of the most basic proven ways to be happy is to write down reasons for gratitude — to count your blessings. As a fan of the Happiness Project (the only daily calendar I’ve ever actually kept up with every day!) this resonated with me.
(2) A reminder, via a Facebook page post, from a blogger I admire to take on her #1000gifts challenge, which focuses on reasons to be grateful for things big and small.
(3) Happening to pick up my Prayers & Promises for Mothers book in a rare quiet moment where I came to bed without laptop in tow, and turning to this:
I want to shout, Lord. I want to sing, grab everyone I meet, and tell them about all the wonderful things You have done for me. Earlier today, I was discouraged. As a mother, as a Christian, I felt like a failure…When I started [to] list [my blessings], I couldn’t stop finding ways You had fulfilled Your promises to me. The miracle of having children is one of those blessings, Lord. Make me a blessing to my children. I will share my list with them and teach them to count all the good things You’ve also brought to pass for them
Three things from three places that lead me to decide I want to try a gratitude journal. Nothing fancy or elaborate — but surely I can find a few minutes each day to reflect on one thing for which I’m grateful. Too often, the pressure is there to complain, to sigh constantly, to list obligations and frustrations. There is almost a stigma against the opposite — a sense that one can express too much happiness. If we can all own our negative emotions but also put them in context (something I definitely need to work on!), and celebrate our positive thoughts without worrying that we are burdening others with jealousy or annoyance, perhaps we will all be a little happier.
Today I am grateful to be a mom and to have the tools to try and be the best I can at that!