Well, another year has come and gone. It seems like time flies by on one hand and drags on when we view it from a different perspective. It’s been proven that we humans tend to mark time by difficult events. What happened in January—oh, I lost my shoe. What happened in February—Oh, I had that bad cold, etc. The worse the experience, the more engraved it becomes in our time-memory.

And yet, I know folks that utilize a gratitude journal. For them, they can recall the wonderful moments rather than the moments of distress.


Moments of distress or moments of joy and gratitude? Which would you choose? If you don’t choose, you’ll default back to the negative or pain oriented memory marker. No shame-no blame on that. This pain oriented memory marker comes from a natural response to keep us safe. “Don’t make that mistake again! Let’s mark this in our memory so you remember and do it differently.” But, do we actually do things differently due to the negative time marker? Nope. If anything, negativity and pain breeds more of the same.

If you make a point of noticing the positive, the positive energy and experiences expand to bring you more positive experiences.

I was facing a really difficult time in my life and was given a pocket calendar. Each day I wrote something positive. Some days I had to really search for that. I even skipped a few days when I couldn’t find the good. One year went by. As I started the next year, I hoped to fill in the missing days. As I began each day, I read the entry I’d written the year before. I had forgotten some great things!! The previous year held great difficulty, yet the grace and gratitude I put on those pages began to feed the positivity for the day I then faced. I often found tears on my face reading the gratitudes during such hard times. I meant it then and it blessed me as I read it the following year. They were simple gratitudes: Got gas in the car and had enough to fill up the tank; got a good night’s sleep; talked to mom and dad on the phone and they are doing well; got the laundry done and put away, etc. Simple entries. Powerful entries. I put one foot in front of the other and made it through a very tough year!

Many moves later, that calendar vanished from my library. Its messages remain in my heart. Be grateful. One foot in front of the other. Make connections with loved ones. . .

It takes a bit of discipline to take 2 minutes of every day to journal. Yet, journal for the journey of life and joy.

When you look back on 2024, what might you see? Pain time-markers? Or joy time-markers? Finding one thing to be grateful for blesses today and fuels tomorrow. Gratitude fuels joy.

Whatever you might face this coming year, bring gratitude with you into each circumstance. Make a note of it! Allow gratitude to power your joy-filled year. May your joy time-markers bless you!

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