August Journaling Day 1: Gratitude

I’ve been doing some more writing for work in 2022 and have really been enjoying it. So I thought it would be nice to do some more writing personally, and so I saw a ‘challenge’ online to do journaling every day of a month on a different topic each day. So last night I wrote out 31 topics and plan to spend 30 minutes each day journaling about it.

Writing for me has always been more therapeutic than anything. To sit down at the computer and just be able to purge words out of my head and onto the screen has always left me with a feeling of release at the end. I haven’t done therapy in a few years and kind of realize how important it is for me to have some way of working through whatever I’m thinking about. So here goes.

Today’s topic is gratitude. I think one of the best benefits and shifts I’ve made in my life has been to actively and outwardly practice gratitude. My grandpa once told me on Memorial Day “just take one solid minute to think about the people who died in battle for our country and what they gave up. Just one minute isn’t asking a lot.” That always stuck with me and I kind of shifted that into a practice of gratitude for everything in life.

I think in my 20’s and early 30’s I often viewed life through a lens of jealousy and regret. I think I felt owed success and happiness and when those two things were not coming my way, I began to resent those who had or seemed to have them. I suppose along with my shift towards gratitude, my definition of success changed a bit as well. After having tough times, I do believe that when some progress does begin to happen, gratitude is the logical reaction, however I can see how some would still stick with the entitlement mindset and feel it’s finally just them being set right by the world. But I think knowing and really remembering struggles truly makes successes at any level that much sweeter and also that much more appreciated.

When I decided to do these daily blogs for August, gratitude was the first topic I wrote down for a specific reason. Some of the topics I want to write about are going to be fun and wonderful parts of my life. Some are going to be difficult and deeply personal. But I want to write about each topic from a place of gratitude. For each experience and each topic was something that has or will help me on my journey and make my life experience all the more human.

Plus many of the topics are things that would be the first items I would write down on a list of things I’m grateful for. I’m fortunate to be blessed with a wonderful family. I have never had to worry about where food or shelter might come from. I have been able to travel. I have friends who really care about me and how I’m doing. I get to be creative and have outlets for that. I can go on and on. But my daily practice of gratitude is one I hope to continue as long as I live. Today I’ll go to the gym and be grateful for my exercise practice and the peace of mind it helps give me along with strength for my body. I’ll take a minute as horses are going to the gate at Colonial Downs and be thankful that this is my ‘job’ and how lucky I am for that. I’ll be grateful to cook a meal for myself tonight.

It’s truly the most regular Monday I can think of, and I’m grateful to have that.

My 31 topics to journal on for August
My 31 Journaling topics for August