Thankful

My Gratitude JournalI’ve long meant to write in a Gratitude Journal, but as always, the “form” was always much too much of a hurdle. This time around, the process was somehow reversed and I fell in love with the paper and the journal then I decided this would be my gratitude journal.

It is always good to think of our blessings, in good times and during the bad — more so when we are emotionally challenged because it helps remind us that life is not always “against” us. We often neglect to take the everyday joys we come across forgranted, because they don’t move us to jump up and down for joy or to swoon or gush — yet these little joys help to bring us to a good place.  “Ordinary” blessings from day to day, no matter how small they may be, are never insignificant in the bigger scheme of things.

We often fail to give thanks because that same feeling of contentment leads us to a sense of entitlement. And yet sometimes, admittedly, I know I come across a lot of good I have not earned a right to — but which are thrown at me out of the natural goodness and generosity of a higher being.

We are constantly in search of happiness, yet we fail to recognize that little things like a sunny day, or a warm greeting from a stranger as we walk towards our place of work — things that help make our day a little brighter if not easier — are things that we should consider blessings or things we should be thankful for.  I realize that “blessings” tend to have a religious meaning, and for the many who don’t recognize the existence of God or a higher being in some shape or form, then these blessings are ordinary things or happenings that come into our lives plain and simple.

If only we recognized them for being what they were, then the challenges we face might yet turn out to be not as big a challenge as we thought them to be.

It’s not a novel idea.  Many people like Oprah have their gratitude journal.  This is the journal that only lists what you are thankful for — it’s a little book of treasures of what you consider good in your life.  A fellow Pinay Swiss I used to follow used to list Five Things to be Happy About in her journal.  (Where art though, Jayred?)  And who says we have to stick with five?  I had started doing that at random but have not done the list in while.  (It has been ages!)

Gratitude Journal 00

I wrote: “I’ve always had a love affair with paper, and everytime I looked at the shelves withe the journals over at Barnes, I can’t help but pause and browse.  I’ve always been so impressed by these handmade paper journals which always stood out.  I’d always make it a point to open the sample and leaf through the book just to feel its pages.  The rough texture of the handmade paper has an elegance to it which I can’t help but admire.

Made in Nepal.  I remember the holiday bazaars I’ve been to in the Philippines which shocased similar products.  Can we actually come up with something like this and find it ont he shelves of Barnes, too?  I wonder.

I haven’t even made up my mind about what kind of journal this will be.  A gratitude journal… I can certainly use that.

Thank you. — Dinna”

Journals in Barnes and Noble

It was on this shelf that I spied my journal.  Sometimes we feel a pair of shoes or a bag on the shelf beckoning us.  This one, I felt, had my name written inside it already.

The handmade paper seemed thick enough to take on ink and paint — but the thickness of the paper made for a few pages only.  Somehow that didn’t bother me.  Besides, at roughly $10.00, I can easily get another once this runs out.   This is the one that swept me off my feet.

Handmade paper journal from Nepal

I like that even if it’s a little bit chunky, it’s lightweight.  I wouldn’t mind getting exactly the same book next time.

After two posts I’ve come to realize that paper is paper and the ink will seep through.  I’ve decided to do some stencilling for the next entry to “cover” what little did bleed through to the next spread.  I have also decided there will be no collages in this book. The binding won’t be able to take it, and I’d hate for it to get ruined.

My first entry started like the picture below but has now progressed to being colored in some places and written on in some.  I am thankful for having found my journal.
Gratitude Journal 01
Time to start on the next layout.  No pressure.  In between cooking dinner for the boy and catching up on my favorite TV shows, I have plenty of time.  It comes when it comes.

What are YOU thankful for?

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