As a teenager I was prompted by my church leaders to set a goal to write in my journal. Not long after starting this goal, I became addicted and discovered writing was an emotional release I had never allowed myself to have. The story of my life is rather ordinary, yet the details of many years are carefully hand-written and stored in my cedar chest.
A current journal ritual of mine is something I have termed “grati-ought”. It’s a combination of the words gratitude and thought. But I like the combination because it reminds me that I ought to be grateful. I have been given so much! Humor me as I share a little bit about myself through “grati-oughts”.
Grati-ought #1: Family. Growing up in northern Utah, I had parents who taught me strong values, especially the power of family. I remember childhood days of play, chores and fighting with my siblings. You know, all of the good stuff…but you just don’t know it until you’re an adult. What I’m most grateful for is: knowing that it’s not always the easy answer, but family is the foundation of our learning and growth.
Grati-ought #2: Work. I’m grateful that my job allows me to realize my dream of having a family in a way different than expected. Helping our communities remember the importance of family and raising children is a passion I never realized I had until I began my career. To remind myself of this dream and passion, there is a sign sitting on my desk: “Find something you would die for and live for it.” I’m grateful to live for something I love.
Grati-ought #3: Adventure. Oh my, I love adventure! And I’m grateful it can found anywhere. I love the adventure of hiking, traveling, hanging out with friends, escaping into another world in a book, and catching up on my roommates’ busy days. Big or small, I can turn life into an adventure. And doing so always brings a smile to my face.
Grati-ought #4: Storms. Okay, so this is random, and it almost feels like a confession. But I have a bizarre obsession with storms. If asked I’d say any kind of storm, but I am most grateful for (and will chase) an amazing lightning storm. There is such power in them; I don’t have any other explanation.
My list could go on forever, but my greater hope is that this list has started you thinking of your own. I believe as Brene Brown said: “It is gratitude that makes us joyful.” With this glimpse of me, I hope you can see that my life is joyful. Bring joy into your life: what are some of your grati-oughts?