Archive for December, 2008

2008/12/31

Gratitude Journal 20081230

I am thankful for or that

  1. More leftovers for dinner.
  2. The kids cleaning up the kitchen after dinner.
  3. High speed internet access.
  4. Flexible working arrangements.
  5. A warm, sunny day.
  6. A nice neighborhood to walk in.
  7. Dropbox.
  8. GAB is feeling better.
  9. having the van so I could drive to work to respond to a page at 0100 in the morning.
  10. Garbage bags.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Cooking dinner.
  2. Working diligently from home.
  3. Escaping couch potato mode.
  4. Taking two breaks during work and walking.
  5. Answering a page and going to work to reboot a server at 0030 in the morning.
  6. Making lunch for MJB.
  7. Emptying the garbage.
  8. Emptying some old food out of the fridge.
  9. Brushing my teeth before bed.
  10. Reading 10+ pages of personal development material.
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2008/12/30

Gratitude Journal 20081229

I am thankful for or that

  1. Leftovers for dinner.
  2. High speed internet access from home.
  3. VPN software.
  4. That GAB seemed to be feeling better.
  5. NPR broadcasts on line.
  6. MJB had a friend to play with outside most of the afternoon.
  7. CIB got to go to the movies with a friend’s family.
  8. Ringer volume control on phones.
  9. Cable TV.
  10. A warm house on a cool night.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Working diligently from home.
  2. Making sure the kids had dinner to eat.
  3. Making sure the boys got out of the house to play.
  4. Checking on GAB periodically.
  5. Keeping this journal.
  6. Setting my phone on loud to make sure I was awakened by any pages.
  7. Responding to pages in a timely fashion.
  8. Being honest and forthright about my lack of exercise the day before in A Visit to Couch Potato Land.
  9. Taking all my prescriptions.
  10. Finishing a book read simply for pleasure.
2008/12/29

Gratitude Journal 20081228

I am thankful for or that

  1. LEB went on a short trip with some of her friends.
  2. That LEB and her friend MF arrived at Topsail Beach safely.
  3. Food to cook for dinner.
  4. The chance to take a nap.
  5. Rain.
  6. A warm day.
  7. Electricity.
  8. Clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing.
  9. Our laundry washing and drying machines.
  10. The refrigerator.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Cooking dinner.
  2. Being willing to stay home and care for the kids so LEB could get away for a few days.
  3. Recognizing that I needed to take a nap.
  4. Eating leftovers for lunch.
  5. Making sure MJB took a shower before bed.
  6. Making sure MJB got in bed at a decent hour.
  7. Taking care of GAB when she was sick.
  8. Not panicking.
  9. Relaxing.
  10. Listening to my Holosync CD for a 6th day in a row.
2008/12/27

Gratitude Journal 20081226

I am thankful for or that

  1. GAB drove us safely to Aiken.
  2. Shadow behaved on the drive to Aiken.
  3. Great food at BST and JBT’s house.
  4. That the kids got to play Wii games with JBT’s grandchildren.
  5. Having money to buy LEB & MJB food on the way to Aiken.
  6. The package from the ATL branch of the family arrived safely.
  7. The opportunity to spend time with friends and family.
  8. LEB’s parents letting us crash with them though we didn’t inform them ahead of time of our visit.
  9. Being able to walk.
  10. Gas for the trip.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Taking a walk before our trip to Aiken.
  2. Staying alert and coaching GAB as she drove.
  3. Running the dishwasher before we left.
  4. Taking my prescriptions.
  5. Skipping dessert.
  6. Going to bed at a decent hour.
  7. Driving us home from BST’s house.
  8. Brushing my teeth before bed.
  9. Keeping this journal.
  10. Listening to my Holosync CD for a 5th day in a row.
2008/12/26

Gratitude Journal 20081225

I am thankful for or that

  1. A very nice Christmas.
  2. The looks on the kids faces as they got their presents.
  3. A nice dinner.
  4. Phones to contact distant family and friends.
  5. Our stationary bike.
  6. Turbulence Training.
  7. A beautiful, warm, sunny day.
  8. Plenty of food to eat.
  9. Clean, fresh water.
  10. A dry house on a rainy night.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Exercising.
  2. Cooking dinner.
  3. Listening to my Holosync CD for a 4th day in a row.
  4. Ensuring that the boys went outside to ride their bikes rather than playing their Nintendo DS Lites all day.
  5. Getting showered before bed.
  6. Washing dishes.
  7. Keeping this journal.
  8. Calling friends and family.
  9. Taking a nap.
  10. Making coffee.
2008/12/25

Gratitude Journal 20081224

I am thankful for or that

  1. Having money to buy more presents for LEB.
  2. Having money to take the kids out for lunch while shopping.
  3. GAB driving.
  4. A warm day.
  5. My doctor.
  6. The readers of my blogs.
  7. The people working in the stores.
  8. LEB and GAB for wrapping most of the presents.
  9. Our church.
  10. A dry house, on a wet night.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Listening to and reading personal development material.
  2. Taking the kids out shopping for LEB.
  3. Letting GAB drive.
  4. Going to church.
  5. Serving as an usher at church on a moments notice.
  6. Staying up and helping get presents ready.
  7. Getting dressed to the lace up shoes.
  8. Going to the doctor.
  9. Fasting before going to the doctor.
  10. Keeping a cheerful attitude.
2008/12/24

Gratitude Journal 20081223

I am thankful for or that

  1. jcshakespeare’s idea for a traffic generating post, Gratitude Journal Is Changing My Life.
  2. Craing Ballantyne’s exercise system Turbulence Training.
  3. Twitter.
  4. Facebook.
  5. Our stationary bike.
  6. Tools to reattach the pedal to our stationary bike.
  7. The Greenville Transit Authority.
  8. My wife,LEB, my daughter,GAB, my sons, CIB and MJB.
  9. Talking to both of my sisters via Twitter.
  10. The Mast General Store.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Taking the bus when I can.
  2. Doing my Turbulence Training workout.
  3. Beginning another 24 hour fast.
  4. Encouraging one of my sisters towards her fitness and weight loss goals.
  5. Being open to the advice on food and shopping from my health professional sister.
  6. Staying up until my daughter, GAB, got home from a church function with one of her friends.
  7. Listening to my Holosync CD for a 2nd day in a row.
  8. Eating good food before my fast.
  9. Brushing my teeth before bed.
  10. Listening to and reading personal development material.
2008/12/23

Gratitude Journal Is Changing My Life

“He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has.” –Epictetus

First let me give a few props. I would like to thank jcshakespeare for giving me the idea for this post in his comment on one of my almost daily Gratitude Journal entries. I would like to thank Teresa Romain for the idea of keeping such a journal.

So, how has this Gratitude Journal idea changed my life? The gratitude journal is one of the tools in my arsenal to keep me focused on the positive, to slant my outlook towards the optimistic and away from negativity and pessimism. The vast majority of input in our lives is negative. This makes it imperative to conciously find ways to program your mind positively.

This is also a consumer driven society. There is constant pressure to acquire more and more. Some folks say that advertising doesn’t work on them, but if that were really true would companies spend untold billions on advertising? I think not.

So I combat all of that by taking time every day to think of and list the things I already have be they material things, events, or people, for which I’m thankful. And it can be something as simple as clean, fresh water. Millions of people die around the world from the lack of clean fresh water. So how thankful should I be that my family and I can just walk up to the tap and get clean, fresh water right in our kitchen? Or we can take a step to the right and get filtered water from the refrigerator. We often take it for granted, but for most of the world this is a big deal.

The second part of my journal focuses on acknowledging myself. My grandmother used to say, “Sometimes you have to toot your own horn!” It’s true and not just for other people to acknowledge what you’ve done, but for your own mental health. How many times have you taken a wrong turn and said to yourself something along the lines of I’m so stupid! Well, it was just a simple mistake. You’re not stupid, but it is very easy to focus on the negative things you do, your failures.

With this part of the journal I focus on the good things I do, no matter how small. Instead of thinking about how I didn’t get my full 45 minute walk in today, I acknowledge myself for walking fifteen minutes. Rather than focusing on how much I didn’t do, I focus on what I did accomplish. Gradually those accomplishments become bigger or have greater impact, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Baby Steps!

Now not only do I make these lists, I limit them to 10 items each. I don’t want to set myself up to feel bad when I can’t figure out 20, 30 or more items to list. Again, more is not always better. On the other hand, if you can’t think of 10 things to be thankful for or good things to acknowledge yourself for, you should stop and really examine your thoughts. There’s always someone in worse shape than you are. There is someone with more debt, a worse disease, who has been out of work longer, whatever than you who has a better attitude. That someone is still trying, still striving and still smiling. Why not you? Why not me?

One more thing. This journal also helps me to remember to say thank you to others for even the smallest daily tasks. It helps me remember to say thank you to my spouse for making coffee in the mornings. So many things we take for granted that are real blessing in life.

2008/12/23

Abundance Journal 20081222

I am thankful for or that

  1. Leftovers for breakfast.
  2. Leftovers for lunch.
  3. Money to buy gifts at Barnes and Noble.
  4. Money to pay for sending an urgent fax.
  5. My legal services membership.
  6. LEB cooking dinner again.
  7. A warm house on a cold night.
  8. CIB having the chance to spend the night at a friend’s house.
  9. GAB having the chance to go to the Youth Group party.
  10. The opportunity to do some physical work in an otherwise sedentary job.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Doing tasks that had some meaning rather than busy work while on the job.
  2. Taking my prescriptions.
  3. Eating reasonably well.
  4. Handling some important business rather than procrastinating.
  5. Listening to 30+ minutes of personal development material.
  6. Reading 10+ pages of non-fiction material.
  7. Focusing on the positive.
  8. Eating food I brought for lunch rather than buying lunch.
  9. Eating breakfast.
  10. Going to bed at a decent hour.
2008/12/22

Gratitude Journal 20081221

I am thankful for or that

  1. LEB cooking the Neely’s Sausage & Leek Casserole.
  2. Having money to get groceries for dinner.
  3. The Steelers/Titans football game on TV, though it would have been better if the Steelers had won.
  4. LEB and CIB doing the big grocery shopping.
  5. A warm house on a cold day.
  6. Coffee.
  7. Leftovers.
  8. The pound cake that a friend of a friend made for us.
  9. The vegetable steamer.
  10. Working oven and microwave.

I acknowledge myself for

  1. Honoring my committment to cook dinner on Sunday evenings.
  2. Going to bed at a decent hour.
  3. Getting showered, shaved and dressed to the lace up shoes!
  4. Making sure MJB got to bed.
  5. Cleaning the guest/kids’ bathroom.
  6. Making a chart to ensure that the bathroom stays clean.
  7. Going shopping.
  8. Keeping this journal.
  9. Consistently listening to 30+ minutes of personal development material per day.
  10. Spending a short amount of time on the computer.