The one resolution I made for myself in 2017 that I managed to stick with was the gratitude tub. I’d seen it on one of those lifehack websites and thought it was a good idea. Each day, you write down something cool thing that happened, or something you were genuinely grateful for. At the end of the year, you go through and read through them to see what a lucky year you had. It sounded a little corny, but it didn’t sound like it took a lot of effort so I thought I’d try. And I managed to keep with it for a year, and I went through the tub today.
Some of the reading was a little tough. My dog died back in February, and the things I was genuinely grateful for in the weeks leading up to his death are, in retrospect, deeply depressing. “Ate half a pack of wet dog food” was one day’s entry. “No vomit,” was another. February 15 said, “Lots of consoling texts and messages.”
But there were more good days than bad. I’d forgotten about that busy stretch in June where I had something incredible happen nearly every day. During a 10 day span, I attended a TV premiere, met some famous people at another function, went on two whitewater rafting adventures, participated in a mystery dinner theater, went to a rodeo, and squeezed in a round of frisbee golf.
What struck me most was how many days were filled with entries about conversations with friends and family. The entries for a good 3/4 of the days were about chance encounters, phone calls, or random texts with friends and family. Also, I’d forgotten how much I love Banh Mi sandwiches. I had a stretch back in April/May where I was grateful for Banh Mi nearly every other day. (On a healthier note, I also was grateful for going on long jogs.)
I tossed all the strips of paper from 2017 into the recycling bin. I was thinking of abandoning the habit entirely for 2018, but the habit stuck. It only took 10 seconds a day to jot something down, and I really appreciated going through the memories. So much that I’m going to try to hold on to the habit for another year.