In this day and age of budget cuts, unemployment, housing crises, and health care issues, it’s easy to become discouraged. Even if you normally think the glass is half full, the more you see and hear, the more it tilts in the direction of half empty.
Watching some people, it appears as if nothing can go wrong in their lives, but then there are others who can’t catch a break, no matter how hard they try. After finding myself sliding down the slippery slope of the latter category, I decided to try an experiment.
Each night before going to bed, I had to write down 10 things I was thankful for that day. My original goal was to try not to have repeats and focus just on what happened that day. On the surface, it didn’t sound that difficult, but in practice it was significantly more challenging.
Certain days were easy, with at least the first half springing quickly to mind based on events of the day, yet on others it would have been simpler and faster to list 10 things that went wrong. Often, it required reaching into the mundane, including things that may not actually have been an event, but merely a result of living. Repeats have become common, but they are things for which I am truly grateful, and I’m also learning to appreciate the little things. It really forced me to focus on the good and sweep away those difficult items that may have been clouding the day.
Several times I was in bed before I remembered and twice I did forget, but it always sprung to mind the next morning and I made sure it was one of the first activities of the day. I recently completed 40 days of listings, and I must say it has improved my view of life. At least for now, I plan on keeping it up, at least until some of the challenges I’ve been facing are resolved, and maybe even beyond.
Try it sometime, even for one day. If it’s easy for you to list 10 then maith thú or ‘good on ye’ as the Irish say. If you struggle to complete the list, then welcome to what is probably the majority of people in the world; just taking it day by day.
Life is a journey, and occasionally we need a helping hand along the way. Sometimes that helping hand can only come from deep within ourselves.