Gratitude Gets Going

Week 25!!  A new week, a new beginning, and new TOPIC!


It is a busy topic.  Many writers, poets, songwriters, and social media mega-stars have explored and explained it.  You simply have to google the word to find out what I mean….


All great offerings of insight into how I can begin a month of reflecting on how to be Grateful, but I will start….as always….first looking at Gratitude Within ME.

There are many buzz words that accompany gratitude….manifest, create, cultivate, grow, practice, journal…but my favorite would have to be, invest.  I like thinking that if I pay enough attention to something, give it plenty of energy and love, it will have a return of investment for me.  If that sounds a bit too self-serving, or strikes a chord of….what’s in it for me….I hope I can describe it better by saying….what’s in it for ME….a subtle difference.

I talked about what is FOR me during my very first week of Patience.  If I had to make a similar statement today about what ‘stuff’ is for me, it would be a broad, sweeping answer of, everything is FOR me.  Pleasant, uncomfortable, familiar, strange, smooth, awkward, easy, difficult, everything is meant for refining my edges, and bringing me closer to my goal of living out my best life, now.

After a gruelling focus on Graciousness, it is probably well timed to turn my thoughts to Gratitude.  Because it took me a little longer than usual to scribe the last topic, I will attempt to catch up over the next couple of weeks with a few mini posts, this one being the first.


Here is my plan….I am putting out a challenge for this first week of Gratitude:

I am going to write/journal 3 things about myself that I am grateful for, each day of this week.

To help me do this, I am using a journal my mum was given while she was sick. Her thoughts were hazy from medication and treatments and she had a hard time remembering things after her unsuccessful brain surgery.  So, she took to a school style notebook to jot down important things….names of people who visited her….odd jobs for my dad to do at home….retail items she regretted not buying and wanted someone to pick up (her diehard shopping nature at its best!)….people she wanted to thank, for helping keep her dignity intact by finding clothes to help disguise the 50 pounds she gained, scarves to cover her shaved head, and for engaging in meaningful conversations with her after she could no longer work in her proud career….these all made their scattered way into random pages of this scribbler, probably never to be looked at again, but it made her feel better for writing them.

Perhaps a friend saw her write in this tattered book and decided to gift her a new journal to keep up with her thoughts, inscribing the front page to an admired, strong friend, but the rest remained blank.  Mum’s cancer was aggressive and she was gone before we had time to adjust to her illness. I kept both scribbler and journal.  My brother has the scribbler now, and I have the journal….along with every other diary and note book I wrote in since I was 12 years old.


When I flip through some of my older journals, I chuckle about my chosen content, usually friend drama or chasing boys, but one journal entry when I was about 14 or 15 says this:

old journal page

Started signing off as AJ long ago, and here I am today, still looking for that better and stronger ME, a quest I thought I began 25 weeks ago, but really, it began over 25 years ago!  I am going to let that sink in for a bit before commenting too deeply on it….

kid book

This notebook is my favorite.  It has a handwritten history of each of my children; reminding me of their birth stats, their firsts, their personalities, how they interpreted their world, and most importantly, it reminds me of how very much I loved watching them grow.  I am so thankful to have this written down, for I have already started to forget which child did what, and when.

But back to my challenge….I think it is time to fill up mum’s blank journal, to honor her gratitude for beauty and kindness around her, when she was being swallowed by death and consumed with the pain of dying.  Starting today, it will hold the first week of gratitude’s I have for myself….my appearance, attributes, and any other itty bitty things that might make me self conscious.  It may sound a bit simplistic, so I am not going to repeat anything I already wrote. I must come up with something real and different each day.

Will you join me on this challenge?  Grab a scribbler, sticky notes, paper pad, journal, napkin, tree bark, anything, and let’s get Grateful!

journal page



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3 replies to “Gratitude Gets Going”

  1. […] How is your journaling going? If you joined me this week in my gratitude challenge, investing your time in creating more gratitude, I hope you will share your insights so far, and invite others along for this challenge. […]

  2. Lainey says:

    Oh, AJ!
    From the time I first met you, you never cease to amaze me. I don’t think any of us ever fully understood the reality of you living with your mother’s dying and surviving beyond it. More accurately, rising above the tremendous challenges you’ve faced alone since then. Thank you so much for the challenge to practice active gratitude.
    With love and admiration,
    Your (proud) cousin.

    1. AJ says:Author

      Love you! Xo

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