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I have several bad habits. Chewing on ice is one of them. But I have another bad habit that is even more dangerous than the possibility of a cracked molar.

I have a habit of thinking that the moment I say “Wow – things are good!” that a vengeful god with a head shaped like a yin-yang symbol is going to appear and hand-deliver pancreatic cancer to everyone I love. I don’t know why I think this, but I’m perpetually waiting for the other shoe to drop. (Brene Brown talks a lot about this – and apparently I’m not alone with this horrible habit.)

But here’s the thing I’m trying to realize. Bad things might happen. Or they might not. Regardless, I don’t think it makes sense to go through life ignoring the good things in a feeble attempt to keep the bad things at bay. I’m just happier when I am grateful and when I recognize all the joyful things in my life. So, come what may – and I’ll say thank you for it.

So, that’s why it’s important for me to keep a gratitude journal. With everything that’s been going on, it’s easy to get caught up, overwhelmed and forget about the little things that are so integral to my happiness.

I’ve been writing a lot recently. I spend most of my life in my home office, typing away, with Grace at my feet. (As I write this, I have not left my house in FOUR days, with the exception of walking the dog.)

Lest this sound like complaining, let me assure you that I am totally thrilled about this situation. Lots of awesome writing-related things are going on and it’s downright dreamy.

However, at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is more writing. I’m drained.

But you know what I’m never too tired for? Lists. I love lists.

Lists make everything so clean and clear and uncomplicated. And if there is any way for that list to be numbered??? Fantastic. It rights my world and makes me feel like I can handle anything – as long as it’s in list form.

Since writing a journal seems like more energy than I can muster before bed, so I’ve been keeping a gratitude LIST! Perfect. The basic outline looks like this:

8/27/13 – Today I am grateful for: 






Isn’t that easy?

So, I’d like to offer up this idea to anyone who might be feeling a little stuck or ungrounded. It settles my heart right before going to sleep when I write out 5 things that I’m grateful for in that moment. It’s often the health of my family. Sometimes it’s that the Chinese place delivers. It tends to be mixture of the profound and the practical.

But it always makes me feel good to know that I am ending my day with one solid thought – a heartfelt thank you for this life.

And I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to get nervous and look over my shoulder after I say it.

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