In January of 2012, I started a new concept of personal reflection. I call it my “Happy News” book, and it just consists of writing down three to five positive things that happened each day. I will admit that I have had days where it is difficult to write three positive things.
For example, “took a walk” in November, 2012. It must have been a rough day for me for some reason. I also found this doozy from March 2012, “Today is Friday and my boss is out of town- so that is good”.
I also ran across some that refer to my friends at the CLC.
Aug 2012- “Went to the Aquarium with the CLC Veterans. Had a great time. Mr. S. knew the name of almost every fish!”
May 2013- “Mr. W. said that he used to have a little sailboat and sail in the harbor when he was a teenager in the 1930’s.”
I have kept a journal since I was in the fifth grade. That is when my mom gave me her copy of “The Diary of Anne Frank” to read. I immediately found an empty journal and started writing my own thoughts onto paper. That book was such an inspiration, and I am very thankful that her Father had it published. I still have every journal, and it is pretty adorable to reread as an adult. Well, except my middle school years- they were pretty rough. Those were not that adorable to read.
Changing my journals to positive/good/happy news books has made me look for those parts of my day. When you have a journal, it is easy to beat yourself up with your writing. It is easy to start a downward swirl of self-loathing/pity/depression. Always writing about your problems or negativity.
I am around enough sadness, that I knew actively looking for the beauty in each day would help me keep balance. So far, it has worked! I started to see a shift in where I saw the beauty in my day. It shifted to noticing happiness and joy others experience. I would write that it was a great day for me because Mr. S. was able to walk down the hallway today.
It wasn’t that I was self-absorbed before, this new way of keeping a journal just allowed me to see my personal growth a different way. It was a surprise when I noticed the trend, a happy surprise.