Okay Fine, I’m Grateful!
A few weeks ago, Sandra Squires, UTO board president, gave me this book with a chuckle – a well-deserved laugh on several fronts – first, because the front of this book is funny and second, because it’s a journal and, as much as I know journaling is good for you, I have never been able to keep one. The full quote on the cover says, “A journal to catapult me from my default position of griping and negativity to the long-resisted stance of counting my blessings, because it turns out that focusing on the positive actually might be better for my mind, body, and spirit, in no small part because unhappiness is the gap between expectations and reality, so even though this whole gratitude thing feels like a bandwagon on the woo-woo train, the fact is that deep down I’m ready to start looking at the roses rather than the thorns, and if you absolutely force me to admit it, I will say that in all actuality I do have so very much to be grateful for.” So I laugh every time I see it, because that’s basically what I keep trying to tell people: practicing gratitude will make for a better life. The journal opens with the science behind gratitude from the University of California, Berkeley. Then, each page offers you space to share why you’re grateful today (more or less) and rate your gratitude level. But the best part might be all of the gratitude quotes in the book. Not quotes on why gratitude is important, but quotes from famous people expressing their gratitude. It’s wonderful and uplifting to read. I especially love this quote from President John F. Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words but to live by them.” It’s a really lovely book and would make a great gift for anyone who wants to get started with journaling or gratitude as a discipline but has struggled keeping up with both. I also think this book could be a great resource for a group to use together. Imagine if a vestry meeting always started and ended by having someone share what that person is grateful for and then committing it to a book? I think this little book is great – it makes me smile and it makes me very thankful for Sandra and for all those that know me well and support me in my journey.