I’ve been tracking good things in my life for awhile now. For years, it was just a November gratitude practice to help with November, because you know, it’s November. (I’ve blogged a lot about November!)
And then I started in with #ThreeGoodThings, during the whole knee replacement year, because I needed to be reminded of Good Things. I wasn’t sure how long I’d keep it going but the thing is, I enjoy it.
Some of my friends find it corny, possibly annoying, but I honestly find it helps my mood. I’ve been wondering why and today, while out walking Cheddar (he makes a frequent appearance in these lists) I came up with three ways it helps and I thought I’d share them.
🐶 I often draft the lists at night and then share them in the morning. I enjoy the process of reflecting on my day and thinking about the good it contained. Sometimes, it’s as simple as the basics. I have family and friends who love me. I have a roof over my head and good food to eat. It gives me a moment to note and appreciate the baseline goods in my life, the goods that make other goods possible.
🐶 Other days, I can look at events that weren’t good overall but have good elements and appreciate the good bits. Today was Homecoming at my university, and there are lots of student parties. I have a bit of a thing about drunk people. I don’t like them. I can be a grump about loud drunken parties. But early in the day, before the serious drinking commences, they’re out there having fun and happy to see Cheddar. He gets lots of love and attention. That was a good thing. Ditto making a mistake at work that was serious, and I felt bad about it. But I realized that I worked at a sensible place with reasonable people who allowed me to fix my mistake. Keeping track makes me think about the good elements in things I otherwise don’t like, drunks and making mistakes are high on my list.
🐶 The third way keeping track helps is sometimes, midway through a tough day, I’ll think about drafting my list at night and realize ‘Hey, if I keep this up it will be another night of being thankful for food and shelter. Maybe it’s not too late to save the day. Maybe I can add something good to it now. I can go for a walk. I can get a fancy coffee and a pumpkin muffin.’ I also browse Facebook for friends’ good news. I really do enjoy my friends’ adventures. I see three of us took lengthy, pretty walks today, for example. I love your travels and your bike rides and your children’s first days of school. I always love your pet photos. Sometimes, your good thing becomes my good thing. I hope that works vice-versa, too.