My husband, Jason broke his neck when he was 15 years old. About a year into his new life he came to a crossroads where he needed to find a way to take his hope in his future life to the next level. He pulled out a piece of paper and numbered it from 1-100 and started writing down the things he was grateful for.
The first 25 were easy – food, family, a home, a bed, friends, etc. The next 25 were also pretty easy but more specific. The third 25 started getting difficult for this teenager to think of. 76-100 were a test, indeed. He was thankful for ketchup, lightbulbs and and the posters on his wall. If he could see it then he wrote it down.
It’s been about 27 years since that first Gratitude List was created in the bedroom of a 16-year-old. Many Gratitude Lists have been created since in the Hall house. I go through this process on a regular basis. It has taken different forms over the years – I’ve made lists of 1-100. I’ve kept Gratitude Journals like these for a year at a time. My first Project Life album was dedicated to finding something I was grateful for each day and taking a photo of it. Click on my “Project 365 of Gratitude” category for past posts about this project or look at this post or this post or this post to see why I love using Project Life as a gratitude journal.
I believe gratitude is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal in the battle against discouragement, negativity, heartbreak, depression and every life challenge that we can face. It is a life skill that takes practice in order to become strong. As a habit, it straightens our spines, clears our minds and opens our hearts to hope. Simply said, gratitude overcomes negativity and creates joy.
Take a moment this holiday season to write down what you are thankful for. Make a list of 1-100. Your children can be very successful at this activity as well, even if you break it up into multiple sittings. Post your list somewhere that you can look at often to remind you of your blessings. Big things, small things – include them all on your list. Mine had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Bettona Pants from Athleta. When we choose to be grateful for things like that, it’s easy to be grateful all day.
Another way to do it is to write down something you are grateful for each day for a month. See how it changes your heart, your attitude, your outlook on daily life, and how you interact with others.
I’ve added some shapes to my Silhouette store that will help you with your gratitude lists. I hope you enjoy them!