New Year’s Resolution

On January 1st of last year, I decided to begin a New Year’s resolution called 365 Days of Gratitude. Typically, like most people, I do not last very long when I commit to a resolution, but I decided to give this idea a shot. My goal was to write down one thing every day that I was thankful for and put it in a jar. I pulled out a big ceramic canister used for storing flour, created a sign with construction paper and colored pencils and placed the jar with strips of paper next to my television. I quickly discovered that completing the task daily was quick and painless. Once I got home, it took seconds to write something down. I started anticipating the day I looked down into the jar and couldn’t see the bottom anymore. After a while, I got really fancy and decided that each month would have paper strips of a different color, so that when I went back through them later, I would see a rainbow of color. Some days, I thought of something to put in the jar before I got home, and other days I had to sit and think for a bit. Some days, I would write more than one thing. If I went out of town, I would take strips of paper with me. I may have missed a day here or there, but I did my very best to keep it going. I imagined myself, at the end of the year, laying out all the papers across my floor and reflecting on my year. On bad days or sad days, I forced myself to do it anyway. After all, it only took seconds! Those days were the most powerful. They forced me to reflect and dig for something to be thankful for.
The biggest lesson I learned was that there was always something to be thankful for.
There were bigger and more obvious things like my family, friends, my cozy house, my great job and smaller, random things like a quiet walk, sunshine, a warm jacket, a great meal or a good song on the radio. My jar filled up and up and up. Eventually, I had to push all the papers down to make room for new ones. Last week I grabbed my jar and emptied it out on to my floor. I picked up a small handful and read them. It was fun to go back and see what I had written, but I decided I didn’t want to read them all. I decided that it might be better to leave those days in the past and carry on the essence and meaning of the task into the new year. After all, there are always new, old, wonderful, big, and small things to be thankful for. Happy 2015!

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