I do definitely buy into the concept of a gratitude diary and the shift in your thinking produced by just trying to be mindful of the things that make you happy and lift your day. One of my Christmas presents was in fact a real life Gratitude Diary – who says stationery companies can’t spot and flog a trend? Before I paint myself into a ‘ Little House on the North Shore’ vision of apple pie wholesomeness I should also point out I was also given a journal to record ‘Lovers I had and liked’ and the juxtaposition of the two (blank) books on my bedside table gives me great pleasure.
However of course being me, the idea of noting things I am grateful for in a daily log goes out the window, so my own particular version of a gratitude diary would be more akin to the Gratitude Weekly – and in fact probably more like the grandmother of all Australian magazines, The Australian Women’s Weekly, that is published confusingly once a month. We do try over supper as a kick start conversation opener to get everyone to talk about three gratitude things that happened to them during the day – and I have to say it is a useful way of inducing everyone to talk about their day, and I do buy into the notion that if you are consciously looking for things to feel happy about, then your brain does start trending towards the more cheerful, but once again am a bit nervous of us all sounding like the Waltons on a high. In a more realistic snapshot of life a la Ling, Drama Queens 2 and 3 and I were in fact all arguing in the car this morning as to who could claim the sight of a large fluffy dog hanging out of a car window as the driver barrelled down the motorway slipway towards Sydney Harbour Bridge as one of their gratitude things for the day - having endured three years of what seems like constant learner driver supervision I am actually just grateful to climb out of the car alive most days.
I looked out of the kitchen window last week to see a huge sulphur crested cockatoo sitting on top of our small pot bound lemon tree, wrenching off the lemons.
They are such amazing looking birds that this was definitely a gratitude diary winner in terms of colour and interest and “oh my goodness’ moments though in fact cockatoos are such a nuisance and so destructive in terms of pulling things off houses that rental leases in areas close to bushland will specify you must not feed birds. This particular one flew off with a lemon in its beak – and it was clear from the debris around the bush that this wasn’t its first attempt at fruit snacking.
The sight of the citrus produce departing skywards was enough to send Husband into a Nigella like marmalade making frenzy. Drama Queen 2 planted a grapefruit tree years ago and it has never really done much until this year when it has gone troppo and consequently the lawn has been taking direct hits from large and very sour yellow grapefruits, and he gathered up all the sodden grapefruit and the remaining unravaged lemons and boiled up an enormous batch of grapefruit and lemon marmalade. The smell of citrus and sugar on the boil definitely gets a gratitude mention – and as for the fact that as the Drama Queens pointed out this morning, it still hasn’t set – slightly alarmingly they were holding a couple of jars upside down when they made this observation, well that’s just a minor hiccup – it’s the wholesome thought that counts so perhaps my own personal Nigella better go in the Lovers diary as well.