My best friend sent me a text this week about appreciating the small things in life, and it reminded me of a post I’ve been meaning to write. A few months ago, I started keeping a gratitude journal. I figured if I recommend it as part of therapy homework sometimes, I should give it a try, too. So, I started taking note of things I enjoyed throughout the day. Over the course of about a week and a half (which is as long as I managed to keep the journal), I came up with a list of 14 things that made my soul smile, ranging from nice weather to a good workout to the smell of garlic butter. Though I no longer physically keep track of these small daily pleasures, I have noticed myself noticing more, and it’s had a real impact on my sense of well-being. Now, on my drive to work, rather than getting frustrated with the person driving slowly in the left lane (ok, at least not as frustrated), I look forward to the moment when I cross over the bridge and can look at the sun rising over the river. As I leave work, I take a moment to notice all the colors in the sunset and how they fade into one another, letting the stresses of the day evaporate before I’ve even gotten into my car. Rainy fall days weren’t gloomy but an opportunity to enjoy how brightly the yellow leaves stood out against the gray sky. This kind of awareness isn’t about finding the silver lining or trying to force a positive attitude, it’s about taking a time out from my internal world, just for a moment, simply to notice the beauty that exists all around me.
A few of my most memorable sunsets.