Thankfulness journals seem to work for me.
I did keep a diary for a while when I was a teenager but, after re-reading some of my entries one night, came to the conclusion that it was a pile of boring, egotistic BS, and resolved not to devote further energy to the effort. In my twenties, I briefly kept a dream diary, which was a fascinating read that had, alas, been swallowed up by a spacetime black hole when my computer crashed, and I somehow never picked the habit up again.
(I still write for therapy, of course, but on those occasions I never re-read what I’ve written and always burn the evidence. Sometimes, I also channel my inner Dr. Melfi and engage in inner conversations. You’d be surprised how much good can come out of simply inquiring ‘How does that make you feel?’ and following up with ‘Why does it make you feel that way?’ But I digress.)
Thankfulness journals somehow hit the spot. They’re concise and they’re to the point. And they’re therapeutic. And, in spite of what I expected, they do trigger memories, being a shorthand diary of sorts. Looking at all the things I was thankful for in 2015, I vividly remember many of the events that spurred particular entries – a girlfriend’s wedding, a dinner with old and new friends, or that time I got completely sucked into a smart-phone game (Cooking Fever, anyone?).
So, in order to close off this year on a thankful (and, I hope, resoundingly cheerful) note, here’s a pick of my favourite items from 2015. Because I realise that no one is interested in knowing just how thankful I was for my partner, or the roof above my head, or the food in my fridge (all of which feature surprisingly frequently on my humble list), I’ve rounded up what I thought were the most amusing and quirky items. Here goes!
In 2015, I was thankful for (among other things):
1. Progress in communication with terribly busy people.
2. Eggs boiled to perfection.
3. Being loved, and missed, as well as loving and missing.
4. England in general.
5. Small, manageable ironing piles.
6. Being shown how much love can exist in the world; in a family; within a community of friends; and that dreams – of love, of togetherness, of good times – really can come true, given some very hard work.
7. Having generous moments.
8. Not feeling completely anti-social.
9. Staying at work late being a bonding experience.
10. Articles that offer a different point of view.
11. Not getting sucked into silly smart phone games.
12. Things to look forward to.
13. Spare light bulbs!
15. My good health and youthful mind.
17. The absence of headaches.
18. Fast metabolism.
19. Pen and paper.
20. Clean sheets.
21. Bears of all shapes and sizes.
22. Manicures that aren’t failures.
24. Free diamonds.
25. An inkling of ballsiness.
26. Timely deliveries.
27. Not downloading another restaurant.
28. Rest and restfulness.
31. Nice conversations.
32. Spotify playlists that aren’t annoying.
33. Champagne breakfasts.
34. The courage to play ukulele in front of people.
35. Friends’ mothers who obviously like me.
36. New books.
38. The music in me.
39. Electronic communication.
Here’s to your 2016 being a year in which you will have plenty to be thankful for – the little, mundane, everyday things as well as the grand, extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime occurrences.
Happy New Year, friends.