Today’s gratitude goes to journals and the journal-keepers. I have dozens of those gorgeous books of blank or lined paper scattered all over my house. I often swear that I will keep a steady practice of recording my thoughts, my dreams, my inspirations. I once said I’d draw a doodle every day. I have exactly one doodle. It’s . . . somewhere.

One would think that as a writer, it would be easy for me to record my thoughts every day. Unfortunately, my thoughts in the morning are: Coffee. Coffee. What am I doing today? I need more coffee. This does not make for scintillating journaling.

I started a gratitude journal a few months ago. Instead of recording the daily trials of writing, I planned to record all the ways I am happy and grateful to be alive. It felt very life-affirming and positive. A great way to start my morning, right? Um . . . sure. It worked for about a week. Then it became a randomly used place for me to say, wow, the birds are active today. Ouch, my leg hurts from yesterday’s workout, but at least I’m alive. Or my very favorite moment of gratitude: I ate sugar yesterday. A lot of sugar. Cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate all went into my mouth. I am not so grateful for that sugar that now makes me feel like a fat, ugly slob. But I swear, at the time, I was very grateful for every bite of junk I shoved into my mouth.

I abandoned that journal soon afterwards. And yet here I am, thinking I should start again. So I’m grateful for the many, many journals still scattered about my house, and I’ll be very grateful if any of you tell me how journaling (or any other daily practice) has helped you. Because I really can’t seem to get the hang of it.

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