Tracking Gratitude

“Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

— 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Building an “Attitude of Gratitude” has been a practice that I have done for over ten years now, starting in late 2001.  It has been a life-changing thing for me and something that I highly recommend to anyone at anytime, but especially to anyone going through a time of turbulence and change in their life.  While I certainly learned this concept at church, I never really embraced it fully until that particular time in my life when things were really tough for awhile.  A dear friend introduced this concept to me, and I went “all-in” with this wonderful new journey.  I have never regretted it, and strive to work this exercise every day, both listing and meditating on an item of gratitude in the morning, afternoon and evening each and every day.

I won’t get into this concept in this post, except to share a new way that I have found to track my daily gratitude items.  Over the years, I have done everything from writing in a spiral notebook, using various note apps for my computer and phone, and taking photos.  Each method has worked just fine, too.  But a couple of weeks ago, I decided to branch out and try something new – logging my gratitude items right into my daily calendar.

I use my Google Calendar faithfully every day.  It saves me time and time again from forgetting appointments and chores.  When I try to go it alone without relying on my trusty calendar, I set myself up for failure.  That’s just the way it is after fifty, I guess.  Whatever device I use, I make sure that my trusty calendar is prominently there because I know I’m probably sunk if I don’t have it handy.  On my Android phone, I love CalenGoo, as it is just the best phone app I’ve found for Google Calendar.  My calendar has been on my gratitude list many times over the years.  You get the picture here now.

I have several sub-calendars within my Google Calendar, including my calendar, hubby’s calendar, mom’s calendar (she is 91), family birthdays, friends’ birthdays, and vacations which is shared with hubby.  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to “promote” my gratitude list to it’s own calendar in my Google Calendar.  I know that sounds pretty benign, but it was a really big deal to me.  I was getting a little lax on keeping up my written list, even though I was still practicing my gratitude exercises every day, and it was bothering me that I was letting myself take a pass on this.  So, I decided to give this a try.

As I already mentioned, I look at my Google Calendar often throughout the day, and this is now a de facto reminder to me to log my points of gratitude, even at the time it happened.  But the unexpected benefit is that I can now see my gratitude items in the context of my overall calendar, too.  In the midst of my everyday agenda now lies one of the most important things in my life – my blessings day by day and hour by hour.

I think I’ve really stumbled onto something here, even after ten years of working this exercise.  After only two weeks, the number of gratitude items already outnumbers everything else on my calendar each day, and it has really gotten my attention in the process.  Before now, my gratitude items seemed to be something more on the edges of my life.  Now, they are right there in the mainstream of it and usually dominate each day’s listings.

Life lesson?  Yes… a big one. 😀

Now, I’m off to take a look at that prayer list.  😉  Why, oh why did I not think of this before?

Here is a nice article by Michael Hyatt for a little more perspective on an “Attitude of Gratitude.”

Feeling very, very blessed today for the little revelations of life.

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