“Even on my heaviest days, when emotional, financial, or physical responsibilities feel too burdensome to bear, I find lightness in the act of picking up a pen to list the three moments that shined brightly on whatever dismay laid before me.” – Bex Boruki
One year ago today…I started keeping a daily gratitude journal. While I’ve always made practicing gratitude a habit, if I’m being honest I was never really completely consistent with it. Anyway, for some reason (I actually can’t remember what the exact reason was) on this day, exactly a year ago I made the decision to start a writing a DAILY list of three things that happened which I had been grateful for on that particular day. I should mention that this was just shy of two months after my brothers death and at a time when I’d made the decision to leave a job I (mostly) loved in order to pursue what it was I really wanted to do– grow my own business AND write the novel I’d been talking about writing for a very long time. So, to say that my life was in somewhat of a state of upheaval would be a vast understatement.
But I’m proud to say that I haven’t missed a day journaling since. Little did I know that this past year would actually get “worse” in the sense that I would lose my grandma too, another person who raised and meant the world to me, all in the span of just a few short months. But the beauty of having kept the journal is that I have a record of things that happened on any given day…things such as “I’m grateful that Nannie did such and such for/with the kids” and “I’m grateful for time spent with Nannie at her doctors appointment.” Now, these entries serve as reminders, providing permanent memories, which at the time may not have seemed like such a big deal. And I promise you…looking back, they weren’t. I remember at one of the doctor appointments her throwing a fit in the waiting room about how much time it was taking, and how terrible their scheduling was. I remember being mortified, even though I was thinking the same thing. Three hours in a waiting room, with someone on oxygen that’s quickly running out, in addition to kids across town that needed to be picked up from school, well, it wasn’t exactly the best of times. Looking back on it now though, I smile when I think of her tantrum, the beauty of being old and saying what’s on your mind, and the fact that at the end of the day, I was (and still am) grateful for that time. It’s a reminder that although sometimes things seem frustrating while you’re going through them they may actually turn out to be blessings in disguise. I swear I’d sit through a thousand more doctor appointments if it meant that I’d get to have one more conversation with her.
I had so many things I wanted to share in this post and post about this week, things like the creative process and how I’ve been struggling a little, experiencing fear (and lots of doubt) as I work on my second book. This time (it seems) the process hasn’t been as “easy.” For one, my characters haven’t been speaking to me in the way they used to. Also, I’ve been confused because Addison’s voice has changed ever so slightly, making it hard to recognize at times. And because what I’m hearing isn’t what I’ve expected I’ve doubted writing what comes to mind. Until yesterday, that is, when I had an “epiphany” of sorts. It dawned on me that maybe her voice has changed because of the experiences she’s faced. She’s not the same person she was last year, in the first book. And that perhaps it’s OK that she doesn’t sound exactly the same…because the story goes on and, well, shouldn’t growth be a part of that process.
Last night after thinking about this post and about gratitude in general I happened to stumble upon a link titled: 5 Steps For Making Your Dreams Come True. You should read it too. Really. Reading what the author had to say was incredibly eerie (you know, the kind of thing where you get chills) because what she wrote, her story, was almost exactly what I’d been planning to say here today. Minus the follow your dreams part. I wasn’t going to write about that. This time…any way.
Whomever Bex is, I like her. And I’m thankful. After reading what she wrote, I went to bed, and for the first time, in a long time, dreamt of my characters.
She’s right. Miracles do happen. All is well. Life is good.