January 4, 2017

On Being Grateful

2016 was the year that I finally stuck to a resolution from the 1st of January all the way to the 31st of December. Because of this, for me, 2016 was also the year of gratefulness. For as long as I can remember, I have always been ever the pessimist, and so in an effort to contradict my inherent nature, on the 1st of January 2016, I decided to begin a year-long effort to change my ways. 

Last Christmas, I was given a small planner by one of my favorite humans. However, prior to that I had also already received a Moleskine planner from Anne. In an effort to put both to good use, I decided to deem my Moleskine as my regular planner (for school, work, etc), while the other became my grateful journal.

I kept the small journal balanced on the ledge of my bed next to a mug of pens to keep laziness and neglect at bay. The idea was fairly simple, every night, before bed, instead of writing to-do lists, I re-purposed the planner into a venue for which I could scribble and scrawl down the people, things, and moments that I was grateful for on that date.  

Daily, I would write things as simple as getting to sleep in, or as noteworthy as my favorite moments from my 22nd birthday. I'd list out bits like a song I fell for on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist, a movie that made me hurt and cry in a cathartic manner, or even reasons why I got home closer to 3am.

Looking back now, my grateful journal has probably been one of the greatest ideas for self-growth that I've had to date. It's a tangible version of a New Years Resolution that I could keep track of and reflect on in the years to come. Instead of simply saying that 2016 was the year that I would be more grateful, I went ahead and did something daily that naturally made me more appreciative of my life, my surroundings and my existence. 

And so, at the end of December, when it felt like everyone around me was labeling 2016 as a dark and dreadful year, I was able to say otherwise. There's no doubt that 2016 was a tough year. I faced some of the toughest challenges in my life thus far; hurdles that bore a striking resemblance to tall mountains, and problems that dimmed my glow and threatened to metaphorically asphyxiate me. Despite all of this though, at the end of December, I was able to flip through 365 days worth of pages filled with things that brought me light throughout the year. At the end of it all, it was hard not to think that 2016 has been kind to me. 

Filling out this grateful journal has enabled me to see how I don't need to win the lottery, travel around the world, or find the love of my life to have a stellar 2016. Rather, the sum of a year's worth of little but great moments can be just as fulfilling and just as phenomenal. 

It goes without saying that this daily habit will be something that I aim to continue throughout this new year. Just the thought of all the things I have yet to write about excites my very soul. 

Happy New Year,


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