My Daughter is Keeping a Gratitude Journal
… and I want to shoot my brains out. Just kidding. Kind of.
One of the annoying things about November is all those “I’m grateful for…” posts on Facebook.
It’s not that I shun the idea of active gratitude, honestly. I mean, I certainly count my blessings, and I do so quite often. Being an overly pessimistic, negative, and generally cynical individual means I have to try twice as hard to remember good things.
That’s a large part of why I do my weekly Happiness Project. So yeah, I guess it’s a bit hypocritical of me to hate on the Facebook posts for doing one month out of the year what I intend to do weekly for the rest of my life.
I can’t quite put my finger on what about the FB thing bugs me, but I think it has to do with the mass popularity of it. I tend to shun trends. Trends for the sake of trending, in particular. And publicly announcing your gratitude every day for an entire month just feels so… gimmicky. Like it’s not quite for the right reasons.
Which doesn’t make it a BAD thing to do. It just gets mildly annoying as I scroll past them. Not telling anyone to stop. It’s good of you to share the happies. That’s just not my particular Cuppa Joe, if you know what I’m sayin’.
I read this book called THE HOW OF HAPPINESS a while back, and one of the activities to engage in active happy-making suggested keeping a Gratitude Journal. This particular activity was NOT listed among the activities most likely to bring me the most joy. A series of questions helps the reader down the options so as to more easily pick the most satisfying activities.
But I remember seeing it down at the bottom — Keep a Gratitude Journal! — among all the other activities NOT likely to improve my mood. And for whatever reason, the idea became lodged in my brain.
No, people. I’m not switching out on you. I will not, nor shall I EVER, keep a Gratitude Journal. On this you can rely. Again, not my cuppa joe, but keep on if it’s working for you. Just hang with me here a second.
My seven-year-old daughter got off the school bus in a snit yesterday. She was very upset because one of the “big girls” (a fifth grader, no doubt) said my daughter looked like she was in kindergarten. I’m not sure I understand why this is offensive, precisely, so I have to assume there is more to the story.
Regardless, my daughter took it to heart (because clearly she is IN THE SECOND GRADE and should be recognized as such). Now if you think I’m a Negative Nelly, you have not met my child. Otherwise, you would know that I don’t hold a candle to my own daughter’s capacity for glass-half-empty thinking.
One bad event = whole day sucks.
Depending upon the severity, one booboo = whole LIFE sucks.
The kindergarten insult was apparently equivalent to an extremely severe booboo. My daughter cried and sobbed and stamped her feet and was extremely distraught to the max. And then came the words.
“I have a terrible life!”
I know she’s just going through a phase, okay? You guys, I know she finds phrases that push my buttons and then repeats them to get under my skin. I totally get that.
But seriously, come on.
Your life is terrible because some stupid dipshit thinks you look five instead of seven? That’s just… ridiculous, that’s what it is.
I am really tired of the negativity. I have too much work to do on myself without worrying about a depressive child who is only in the second grade. So I decided to fix that wagon promptly.
From the recesses of my mind swam the idea that my daughter should keep a Gratitude Journal. And you know what? She got chipper just over the thought of starting one, after I explained wtf a Gratitude Journal is for.
I told her,
“Just think — if you write in this Gratitude Journal every day, then a month from now you will have an entire notebook filled with awesome things to make you happy and cheer you up!”
Her smile should be bottled because that shit cheered *ME* up and right good, too.
So my daughter has joined the FB November gratitude crowd. I considered joining in and posting her list there. But I effing despise FB, so I probably won’t. Instead, I’ll leave here with the first five items from her brand-spanking-new Gratitude Journal.
((( I’m gonna leave her adorably atrocious misspellings in place, if you don’t mind. )))
What I’m Greatfull For:
1. I am greatfull for my family.
2. I am greatfull for my toys.
3. I am greatfull for that we DO NOT live in New York.
4. I am greatfull for laws.
5. I am greatfull for nice people that share cookies. Like Nana!
She came up with those on her own. I’m seriously interested in seeing what she comes up with today! I’ve never been particularly drawn to reading anyone’s Gratitude Journal, but this one might just be the exception.