February 3, 2012

to carry it with me.

Five months. This is the longest I've been away from home—"home," of course, being Chicago. (I haven't lived at "home" for eight years now, but I've always felt that I had two homes: the one where I spent my every day and the real one with Mom and Dad. I don't think that will ever pass.)

Anyway, I find myself clinging to pieces of home lately in an effort to carry it with me, and the one that seems to be helping the most is my mother's nightly gratitude lists. I'm 99% sure she got the idea from Oprah, so you know it's a good one. The gist? Every night before you fall asleep, list aloud all the things you're grateful for, whether it's the great cup of coffee that started your day right, or the fact that you survived the day at all despite a hundred obstacles.

She introduced me to these lists during a rough patch and I remember that it's the one thing that gave me perspective—that forced me to step back and recognize what mattered. I'm not sure she even knows this, but I've been doing it every night since. And from the first day Radley and I moved in together, I've forced swayed him to do the same. It's one of the best ways to connect, I think, because it's such a true marker of what you value about your day—of which little things mean the most.

So what am I grateful for (so far) today? A sun that's rising earlier and earlier, the smell of cinnamon that's filling our apartment, and the good health that allows me to run.

What about you? What are you grateful for these days?

(Photo: My Flickr)


missy. said... [Reply to comment]

that is a fabulous idea. thanks for sharing :) xoxo

Chicago girl moves on said... [Reply to comment]

i can't wait to do this with a partner one day. (:

i'm grateful for my legs for giving me 2.5 miles on the treadmill this morning, the diet coke that's taking the edge off this headache, and mary chapin carpenter while i write.

happy friday, laura!

Kristin said... [Reply to comment]

I love this idea!!

Holly said... [Reply to comment]

<3 this!!! josh and i wrote a list and hung it on our kitchen wall..it was titled 'what are we thankful for today'? and we write all the dates of the month down and we each wrote something we were thankful for. we did it for the month of november, since it was thanksgiving and all, but we should do it every day, because it can really be a lifesaver/good reminder of all the blessings in your life.

thanks for sharing :)

Laura Marie said... [Reply to comment]

@Chicago girl moves on Heck yes, DC. (I had two today.) Hope you're doing well, friend :)

ashleigh said... [Reply to comment]

this is something i will be doing; and will definitely tell my man to join it =] hes a good sport and totally believes in doing stuff like this =]

so that is what im thankful for today..him. =]

allie margaret said... [Reply to comment]

I love this. I have a gratitude journal that I write in every day. I love the idea of sharing it with someone you love though, what a great way to bond and be optimistic. You inspire me every time I read your blog,


I do, I do. said... [Reply to comment]

I'm grateful for not having failed to stabilize things at my end. Life is beautiful. I am now able to see it being more and more beautiful by the day!! :)

♥Abby said... [Reply to comment]

That's a really great idea!
Hmm. Me? I'm grateful for friends that I can have a total blast with, hot showers, and my wonderful boyfriend and family =)

Have a great weekend!

brlracincwgrl said... [Reply to comment]

I used to do this same very concept, quite some time ago. A pattern I need to get back into.

I'm thankful for my wonderful boyfriend, Sleeping in on Saturday Mornings, my warm cup of coffee, a fun night filled with video games and laughter, the aroma of burning candles.

Hope you have a great weekend!