Gratitude Goes a Long Way
Sometimes it seems our friends know us better than we know ourselves. I had this striking realization on my birthday when my roommate gave me the gift I never knew I needed: a gratitude journal. Bedecked in florals and inscribed with the words “Good days start with gratitude,” this little book came into my life at the most opportune moment.
College is hectic, emotional, draining and overwhelming, but it is also a privilege. The ability to learn and grow in this environment is a blessing too often taken for granted. While there are things to be stressed about, for sure (like preparing for the rest of our lives), there is so much to be thankful for at this transformative crossroads in our lives.
Here are just some of the patterns that have come up in my journal these past few weeks. May we all take a few moments to accept with a gracious heart all of the amazing blessings - big and small - that we receive every day.
Friends That Stand By You
Some days, my gratitude journal is just filled with my friends’ names. Whether it was someone talking me off a ledge or just keeping me entertained, I have taken more time to appreciate the people I surround myself with.
Not every day is going to be a slam dunk. More often than not, it’s a mixed bag, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t little victories. An “A” may bring you only fleeting joy, but it was joyful nonetheless. When you think nothing exciting happened during your day, think harder. Even a small gift is something to be thankful for, and just appreciating that small gift can make all the difference.
It’s easier to be grateful for things that are tangible, like a good meal at your favorite restaurant. But to really experience the fullness of what gratitude can over you, you have to look inward. If your heart gets broken or a day didn’t turn out how you had hoped, take joy in the way you handled that upsetment and be grateful for the strength and confidence it took to get through that day.
Gratitude isn’t easy. It’s a discipline that requires practice, but taking a minute each day to count your blessings will guide you in ways you couldn’t have predicted.