I have a stack of small notebooks next to my bed, each page of every one containing the date and a single sentence. The first entry in the notebook at the very bottom of the pile is dated 5 September 2005, and reads “Had tea with a good friend in the late afternoon sunshine with my darling baby girl playing under the table.” The second entry, dated the following day, reads “Delivered a great presentation”, and the third, dated the day after that, reads “watched a flock of birds doing aerodynamics over the house”.
These are my little books of gratitude, on each page a simple expression of thanks for something that has given me joy that day. Every day, for the last five years, before turning out the light, I reflect for a few minutes on my day and then I pen one line that describes the day’s “blessing”. In these notebooks is the evidence of five years of happy memories.
So often, when we are elbow deep in washing and still have homework to do and a ton of reports to write, we forget to stop and take a moment to enjoy the things we’re working so hard to protect. Our children, our family and friends, our homes, our careers and our amazing planet.
And the amazing knock-on effect of literally counting my blessings, is that I’ve become more perceptive to receiving them – more ready to surrender to the moment in which they occur. Sometimes, at the end of the day, I even find myself having a few potential entries – I enjoy weighing them up, thinking how lucky I am to have a few plum candidates to choose from. But always I write down only one.
I picture myself on my deathbed, surrounded by the people who love me and all my many notebooks… and as I make my way toward the white light, the wonderful memories on those pages will come to life before my eyes.
– Single-again Samantha