Year-end (Year In) Gratitude

My Year-end (Year in) Gratitude: An inventory (I know, I know. You can eyeroll here, if you wish)

It seems like there are two camps when it comes to taking year end inventories: some hate them; some love them. Do you like looking back on the previous year on New Year’s Eve or Day and pondering all the things that happened during the past 365 days? And then planning for all the things you aspire to in the following year? First, I will come clean: I love inventories of all kinds–seasonal, fiscal, health, annual, ritual–and I also love making New Year’s aspirations. I haven’t called them resolutions since I was a younger woman. Matter-of-fact, my two favorite holidays are New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
This morning I got out my 2018 Gratitude Journal and looked at the last page. I always write the next day’s date when filling out my list the night before, as an incentive to remember to return again to count what I’m most grateful for that next day. Even though I’ve kept a Gratitude Journal since about 1995, some days I do forget.
The page said:
December 31, 2018–whoa. Was that fast or what? The years have sped up as the numbers of candles on my birthday cakes increase.

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My Gratitude Journal

I flipped through all of the journal’s pages that brought me to this one in front of me. I noticed so many of the dates had recurring entries. Many of the things I was most grateful for were the same things over and over, although I did not realize this when writing them out each evening. I decided to make a list of the top repeating entries and then very unscientifically, I did not go back and count each one, see which ones repeated the most. I narrowed it down to the top ten and chose what I think to be the top entries on my gratitude list of 2018.
What I found was everything I was grateful for (no surprise here!) ended up being all the “little things,” the “simple things,” the “free things in life.

The List in no particular order (ok, ok, YES, my kitties won top gratitude billing!):
Kitties
Spending time with Chuck, our daughters
Observing wildlife–birds, squirrels, foxes, worms, snakes, frogs
Practicing self 
care
Gardening
Walking in the woods
Reading
Writing and submitting articles, stories, and also other writerly pursuits
Our home
Weather and sky (this one surprised me! I didn’t know I appreciated rain, snow, drizzle, fog, stars, moon, sunsets, sunrise, rainbows, wind so much)

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Pretty Penny helping me decide which calendar to use this year. She likes the polar bear.

 What were you most grateful for in 2018? What aspirations do you have for 2019? I’m certainly grateful for each of you who take the time to read and comment on my blog. Those who support and cheer me on in my writing endeavors. I aspire to keep up with my blog a little better this year. I am implementing a plan to get back on a schedule of blogging regularly and reading my favorite blogs–all of yours, of course! I also aspire to spend 2019 in an easeful (my word for 2019) manner, getting my work done without the struggle, anxiety, and perfectionism that I sometimes allow to step into my writing room.

So, here’s to more kitties, nature, reading, walks, family time, writing, self care, comfy home-life, gardening, rain and rainbows!

Happy New Year, friends! May you all be happy, healthy, safe, and free of suffering!

P.S.  Click here to read a year-end poem, Burning the Old Year, by Naomi Shihab Nye


31 thoughts on “Year-end (Year In) Gratitude

  1. Happy New Year Cheryl! Your list is the kind of perfect list I love to see – grateful for what you have and what you are doing. It is not as easy as it sounds and yet it is imminently sensible and the very state of being that world needs more of.

    It’s January 1st here, not quite 8 am and I am lingering over coffee and blog posts containing new year thoughts from various lovely people – some pleasant reading like yours, some more harrowing from those who suffer. And once again I become grateful that I have chosen my route of inner peace and self care and self responsibility and will keep right on practising that for yet another year. Wish me luck 🙂

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  2. You could have almost written my list here (although substitute out Chuck for the gardener LOL)! We like so much of the same things, Cheryl! But then we knew that! HAPPY HAPPY YEAR AHEAD, I just know it! Hold on for the ride! XOXO

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  3. Happy New Years! Just before I sat down here at my laptop I had been out walking, across town to visit my parents and wish my mom happy birthday, and I found myself thinking through this year, its ups and its downs, and as I started to imagine next year, which I realize now starts tomorrow, I was home. So I will have to think more this afternoon and tonight about next year. Your Gratitude Journal reminds me of the journal we keep at our cabin, which my father started in 1991, when the cabin was built. I find it fascinating and sometimes sad to read over past entries, to remember and wonder, to realize how precious life is. Enjoy these two days!

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  4. I used to keep a gratitude journal daily, and then I was told that the Universe already knows how grateful I am; I’m repeating myself unnecessarily and to focus on some other things I was working on. I journal daily, so now I drop a bunch of things I’m grateful for whenever the mood hits. I do take inventory of what I hope to do in the coming year, and in the days following New Year’s usually make some long range plans. I design calendars for 2 non-profits so they are most prominent, but I have others with fabulous photography around the house to enjoy the ever-changing art. Happy New Year, Cheryl!

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    1. I think that’s a great idea to remember all that you are grateful for as the mood hits. Either way, deliberately or spontaneously, I do believe it’s the commingling of awareness and gratitude that makes it all work. Don’t we all have so much to be grateful for? Happy New Year!

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  5. Great list, Cheryl and I can relate to many of those pursuits. These things that feed one’s spirit and keep one’s mind stimulated are what it’s all about for me, though sometimes I need the reminder! So many thanks for that :>)

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  6. Happy new year Cheryl ! We used to have a family gratitude jar when my kids were younger. At the end of the year we would look through the notes in the jar. It was a simple and fun way to find out what each of us had been grateful for.
    May the year ahead be deeply satisfying.💕

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  7. Your gratitude list looks a lot like mine. I tend to be grateful for the same things a lot, just like you, too. I love that your plan for the new year includes reading more blogs. I used to go down my blog roll every day and somehow all the other social media has taken over and I don’t read as many blogs as I used to. Word Press makes it so easy. I’m going to follow more blogs this year and then READ them :))

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    1. I think you are absolutely right about social media encroaching on reading blogs as well as many other activities. At least for me. I’ve given up Facebook as it is a social media platform that doesn’t give much in return. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love keeping up with friends and family on there. It is by far the “easiest” method of communication. But, I’ve decided that if those relationships are important, they will continue beyond Facebook, even if a little more effort is involved. I did keep Messenger, however. Still easy to communicate, send pics, etc on there. More effort? Yes, perhaps, but what is meant to be will survive and thrive. And maybe this departure from FB is just a respite. Right now, I don’t know:) Here’s to reading more blogs and supporting fellow writers, artists, friends in 2019!

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