My Gratitude Journal is the Most Important Thing on My Nightstand

One of the best thing I ever did a few years ago was start a gratitude journal. I have tried to add an entry every day, especially on the most challenging days when it’s often more difficult to find the good. Those are the days when it’s more important to dig deep and realize that even through the dark times there are still things to be grateful for in our lives. Even if it’s just that we were able to get out of bed and take a shower because some days that’s the best we can do and that’s okay.

Gratitude Journal

The last few weeks have been some challenging ones for me. Partly because of the gloomy weather, partly because I should spend less time on social media, and partly because mid-life is kind of being a jerk and causing me to feel totally out of whack some days. There have been days when I would have preferred to curl up in a ball and stay in bed, but fortunately there are people in this house who need me so I drag myself downstairs and get through those days the best way I know how. Believe it or not, a good workout or a long run outside usually helps a great deal, so I make both a top priority in my life. As a matter of fact, I’ve recently run without any music in my ears, which if you know me you know that’s crazy talk because I hate the sound of my own breathing when I’m running. But it’s actually been nice on the few occasions I’ve done it because it’s forced me to focus on my thoughts rather than the music. Many of those thoughts have been about what I’m grateful for in my life, including the people who matter most to me.

  1. My kids. Remember how I said fortunately there are people in this house who need me? Well, it’s those two and even though they’re both adults if they weren’t here I might be more apt to stay in bed more than I should. So even though they drive me crazy sometimes I’m really glad they both still need me.
  2. Electricity. I know this one might seem a little odd, but if you live in the Northeast or know someone who does you know it’s a really big deal right now. I don’t function well when the power goes out and there are thousands of people here in Maine who have been without electricity all week and I’m so very grateful we have not lost ours.
  3. My hard-working body. I push it to do things it would probably rather not do, but I’m a no excuses kind of person and giving up on the thing I love most (running) simply isn’t an option. The human body is truly an amazing machine and I appreciate mine a whole lot.
  4. A good friend. You know the one I mean? That friend who will get on the phone with you at a moment’s notice when something only she can understand is causing you stress? The one who will drive an hour to have coffee or lunch with you even when she probably has a million other things she should be doing instead? That’s the kind of friend I’m deeply grateful for and I will never take for granted.
  5. Coffee. This one doesn’t really need an explanation does it?

What are you grateful for right this very minute? I’d love to hear what’s good in your life.


  1. I kept a gratitude journal for a while, and it improved my attitude immensely. I’m not sure why I stopped! Right now I’m grateful for an early start to my birthday weekend.

    • It seems so simple, but it really does make a huge difference, doesn’t it? ALSO, have a wonderful weekend and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  2. Thank you for this post….it seems we have a good bit in common (mid life, and adult kids at home). You’ve inspired me to start a gratitude journal. I used to just meditate with gratitude and I’ll probably start that again as well, but there’s just something about putting pen to paper – or however you put it out there in the universe – that seems to bring more things to be thankful for your way.

    Now I’m going to look around a bit and see if you can’t encourage me to eat healthier and work out. I know workouts are one of the best ways to chase the blues and annoyances and worries away, but I just really don’t like it!

    • Oh wow, Kim. Thank you so much for this comment. You have no idea how much I appreciate it and I hope you’ll find that a gratitude journal is a positive addition to your life. You are so right about the benefit of a workout to chase away a down mood and I hope you find something motivational. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment.

  3. You know – I have one – I just never ever use it. And I’m thinking I need to get back to it.

    Mine has a few lines for each entry, so I could do it as you have here.

    And cheers to coffee!!
    Andrea Bates recently posted..It’s So Dark.My Profile

    • That’s exactly what I love about the gratitude journal. It’s literally just dated and three quick things I’m grateful for on that particular day. Super simple and doable. Get back to it, lady!