Monday, November 15, 2010

On Gratitude

Does anyone out there remember the gratitude craze generated by Oprah back in 1995? In particular...by this book:I bought that book. I kept a gratitude journal. I learned the value in being thankful for the small things in life like holding hands and the way fallen leaves sound when you crunch them with your feet.

Recently I was going through my humongous pile of journals - one goes back to 8th grade and would make you pee your pants if I ever read it to you - some are travel journals - two are the journals I kept for each of my boys...from the day I found out I was pregnant all the way until they were two years old - some are just stream of consciousness journals. But I put my hands on my gratitude journal and read every entry.

At first, like all thing I'm excited about, I wrote in that journal every single day. That lasted for a few months and then my dad died. El sucko. Some time past and I started journaling my thanks again, but not consistently. I always kept it to five things per entry I was thankful for, no matter if there were days, months or even years in between my entries.

You may be wondering - why am I babbling on about gratitude? I guess because I still think it's a crucial part of living and working towards your dreams. I can distinctly remember the days when a heart-gouging rejection would come through on a full request (heck, that was only a few months ago, right?) and I would cry and my assorted cast of loved ones would say everything possible to pull me up from the mud and get me believing again. But you know what? You know what also helped to keep me going?

Gratitude.

Isolating and concentrating on whatever good I could find, either in the rejection email (sometimes an agent would compliment my writing or my story idea but then follow it up with a rejection) or the encouraging words from people I love or the fact I even had a completed novel to query...those small yet gratitude-worthy things were the padding my heart needed to keep beating.

Here's my latest gratitude journal entry:
I am thankful...
1. That my boys are such kind human beings
2. That I still (even after 23 years of being a couple) am in love with my husband
3. For the way the dark chocolate/sea salt/almond candy bar squares taste. Pure awesome.
4. That I have Sarah (my lovely agent) and Annette (my lovely editor) in my life now.
5. That I already have my IMAX tickets for opening night of Harry Potter.

What are you thankful for????