These daily gratitude lists have been so good for my outlook on life that I thought of a fun challenge! I’ve designed it to be really low maintenance because most of us have a lot going on already… I hope you will join me in this celebration of the good things in life.
- Buy or make a 4 x 6 mini album (or whatever size you want) with 22 pages (11 pages because we’ll need front and back covers plus 10 inside pages using both front and back) The album can be made of chipboard, card stock, or you can purchase an album made from acrylic, envelopes, vinyl or just plain paper.
- Each day for the next 20 days take a picture of something you are grateful for. It can be a person, place or thing. It can be a metaphor for something or a photo that captures a feeling. This book is for you so you are the only one who has to understand what the picture means. If you miss a day or five or 20 – don’t sweat it, you can make up by taking multiple pictures in one day or pulling from pictures you already have. The point of a picture a day is to keep you thinking about the things you are grateful for each day for the next 20 days, not to make you feel stressed or guilty.
- Take a minute to jot down the significance/ meaning of each photo. What is in this picture that expresses what you are grateful for? It can be a word, a phrase or a journal entry – it is totally up to you. Be sure to number it so that you have numbers 1 – 20 for the book and an entry beside it. We’ll incorporate this list at the end.
- Next comes formatting your pictures. You can totally leave them exactly as they are or you can format them to punctuate the thing that you are grateful for. I am going to use Ali Edwards as my influence because I just love how she crops and scales pictures so that they are down right poetic (click here for example). If you have Photoshop or something equivalent, you can use the program to write the number and word(s) stating what you are grateful for right on the photo.
- Print your photos – you can do one each day on your own printer or have all 20 developed when you are finished. It is up to you.
- Adhere your photos to the album. I am going to adhere each photo around 3 sides so that it becomes a pocket. Some pockets will open at the top and some will open at the side. Later, I am going to place tags tied with ribbon, twine, and other embellishments in each pocket (more on that in a minute).
- Adhere or write your numbered gratitude list (1 for each photo) on each page. You can do this directly on your photo or if your album is larger, on the page. I will be printing out my list then cutting each line item and gluing it on the photo. I will then write how this photo represents the thing I am grateful for or the specific memory of that photo on a tag and tuck it in the pocket behind the photo. Get creative or keep it simple. The point is that you have a photo and a coordinating label that expresses what you are grateful for.
- Lastly, decorate your cover. You can adhere chipboard letters or stickers that say “I’m grateful for…” or “my gratitude list 2008…” or you can use embellishments to decorate it. It is totally up to you.
I will post pictures as I progress with the project
Day 5 gratitude list..
- the warmth of morning sunshine on my back
- redwood trees
- the sound of crickets on a hot summer night
- uninhibited dancing with my kids
- my right to vote (today!) and being a part of something so much bigger than my little world
- those moments of clarity when everything is just as it should be ( i just had one )
- St. Timothy's school and everyone there who is helping us raise our children
- the sound of the ocean
- swimming holes
- to have food in my cupboards
- that we have medical insurance
- helpful people
- opportunities to be in service to others
- that force inside me that keeps me from saying things I don't really mean when I get mad
- all of the utilities that come straight into our home and the trash service that never misses a week
- human contact
- the SPCA
- my washing machine
- hair conditioner