A Little Gratitude (Journal)

A Little Gratitude (Journal)


“Hey, I think we should start doing a gratitude journal.”

Reina announced that sometime last week from the couch as I was putzing around the kitchen. While I respected her choice to use the word “journal,” the axe swinging, beer drinking guy inside of me still thought a “gratitude journal” sounded suspiciously like a diary. So I responded the way guys do when they’re not so hot on an idea their significant other proposes….


Long story short, she convinced me to start doing a gratitude journal with her. Obviously. I mean, she’s a beautiful, intelligent woman, gearing up for law school. I never stood a chance. But, here are a few of the reasons I actually did come around to the idea:

  1. It meant I got to buy a brand new Moleskin(The list could really end here.)
  2. I’ve always liked the idea of journaling. I think it’s a great exercise both as a writer and as a healthy individual. I’ve just never had the self-control to start one and write more than two entries. Now I have someone I’m accountable to.
  3. Ben Franklin famously scheduled a period at the beginning of each day to think on what he wanted to accomplish. He likewise scheduled a period at the end of each day to see what he had actually accomplished and to reflect on the day as a whole. I have long loved the idea of this. Ben, don’t mind if I follow your lead on this one.
  4. Fall always means more responsibility. School, increased work loads, the shortening of days, and a little more pressure that summer somehow swallows. As it turns out, I really like my girl and the idea that we set a part of every evening aside to reflect together makes my heart feel all warm and fuzzy and all sorts of other barftastic things.
  5. A little focused positivity and gratitude is proven to be infectious to every aspect of your life.
  6. Did I mention I got to buy a new Moleskin? Yup, a hardback one.

So, last night Reina and I both sat down – independent of each other – and reflected on the day. The only rule to this journal is that we have to do it every day and we have to list at least three things that we were grateful for that day. We are free to do as much more, but no less, than that as we would like.

Then, after we had watched our evening episode of Parks and Recreation and drank our cups of tea, we shared the things we were grateful for.

*I should make a note to say that in order to maintain the sanctity and honesty of these journals, we decided we do not have to share all of our gratitudes for that day. Why? Because sometimes we’re grateful for an hour or four spent without the other around. It’s healthy for a relationship, but not always easy to hear. Also, it’s okay to not share every single second of your day with your significant other. In fact, I recommend against it. Personal time and reflection is an incredibly healthy and necessary part of anyone’s life. (Thus marks the end of Wise (ass) Connor’s relationship advice lesson.)*

I had to laugh when I opened my journal and Reina caught a glimpse of the ink-covered pages. “Wow, you wrote a lot.”

Ha! What’d she expect? I’m working (kind of) on a novel and have a blog called Wanna-Be Writer.

I am not going to share what all of what I wrote in my journal. That is between me and the pages of that beautiful, robust, hearty Moleskin journal (seriously guys, I love Moleskin journals – if they wanted to sponsor me, that’d be pretty cool *Looking at you Moleskin!*). I will, however, share one thing. By the end of the journal entry I had to go back and add a sticky note to my gratitudes.

Swanson disapproves of diaries.

Goddamned if I did really enjoy writing in the diary *cough* journal.

All joking aside, I really do feel as though it served as a great way to reflect on my day, pick out the best parts of it, share them with my most loved one, and go to bed with them on my mind. I fell asleep with more ease and comfort than I had in a long time.

Unfortunately, it did little to help with my case of the Mondays this morning. That still raged until I subdued it with three cups of the sludge they call coffee at the office. Fear not, I endured.

Out of curiosity, do you keep a journal of any kind? What do you think about them?

Until next time, take a second to think about what you’re grateful for today, even if you don’t write them down. I mean you probably should. Oprah does it.




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