Anybody who has been following my journey at all this year will know that 2018 has been a hard year for me. Nothing dramatic really just have really struggled to reach goals and have had multiple frustrations both personally and professionally. As we draw near to the end of the year I am facing the fact that I have not reached even one of the goals that I set for myself and that is not like me. I am at risk of being really down and I decided to try a gratitude experiment as way to overcome this.
I had the thought that what I needed to do was find a way to visualise all the good things in my life. I had that Idea that I could see how long a paper chain would be if I made the links out of all the things my family and I were grateful for this year. We spent an evening filling them out and glueing together our gratitude chain.
I have, throughout the year, kept a gratitude journal where I kept track of three things everyday that I was grateful for and this did help us come up with ideas but once we got going it got easier and easier.
Some of the things I am grateful for this year:
Travel – I have been so blessed with travel this year! I got to go to Greece, France, Scotland, Ireland, and Italy. Travel is one of my favourite things so this is something I feel especially grateful for.
Sunsets and Sunrises – I have always loved these but these past few months I have had to be up earlier than usual and have seen a lot more sunrises and there is something really breathtaking about them.
Family – When I was going through my own gratitude journal the amount of times that I mentioned my family was impressive. I have been blessed with an amazing husband who has been a constant support during this year and two beautiful kids that have gone out of their way so many times to be helpful and loving. My extended family have called and written and lifted me over and over as well. I even got to enjoy some amazing visits from some of them and that was so fun for me.
Friends – You know who you are and let me tell you that it brought tears to my eyes when I realised just how many times this year that you came to my side. I am far away from lots of my family and I couldn’t have got through this year without you!
Another Book – I finished another novel this month and it will be available to you guys soon and hopefully an older one will be ready early next year. I get such a sense of accomplishment every time I finish a book and I am very grateful for the support of my family as I work on them and then my husband for typing them out for me and helping me get them ready for Amazon.
Hallmark Movies – Laugh if you want to but a cheesy Hallmark movie has lifted me out of a bad mood more than once this year and I am not ashamed to say it.
Crocheting – Anybody who knows me has heard this one before but I have to say that it is one of my favourite hobbies and even when I failed to accomplish a lot of what I wanted it still managed to help me feel productive.
Christmastime – I love Christmas, it is without question my favourite time of the year. This year it is a great reminder that no matter how hard the year began that the end can still be wonderful.
My gratitude experiment taught me the important lesson that even on the hard days (or even years) we are truly blessed. When I saw the chain spread out around the room I could see that this year had so many highlights, No matter what I failed to accomplish in 2018 I managed to make some unforgettable memories and I get to focus on this now. I plan to wrap my paper chain around my Christmas tree this year so all through the holiday season my family and I can focus on just how blessed we have been.
Give it a try, start your own list and see how long yours are. I promise that in no time at all you will see how incredible your life is.