The Gift That Keeps on Giving

3 Feb 2021

This Christmas I unwrapped an unexpected present. It was a bright blue notebook, A5 size, with nicely lined smooth paper, and with its own pen in a handy holder and a ribbon bookmark. It was a thing of beauty and I immediately fell in love with it. A new blank notebook is a wonderful thing; full of potential; alluringly sensual with the promise of words and imagination which can take one anywhere. A new notebook is a magic carpet, the pen a lamp with a genie inside. This notebook had an intriguing title on the cover: “Gratitude.”

My friend who gave me the book had included instructions. “Every night, before you sleep, write down in this book three things for which you are grateful. I promise this will change your life.”

It’s only been a month and I have not used it every night – to my shame – but I have seen a difference. It makes a difference going to sleep remembering three things in the day which have gone well, or for which I am grateful. This lockdown has been hard and my depression for the last two months harder, but there are joys too. Sometimes it is difficult to find three things, but I keep thinking and always come up with something, even if it is a small something.

The three points of gratitude can be small, even insignificant things. Tonight, one of them will be the flower I saw on my walk today – a promise that spring is on its way. Sometimes they are big things, like my immense thankfulness that my dear friend Raz and his family are all recovering well from Covid.

I am not sure if the quality of my sleep is improved by this gratitude discipline, but I know I do drift off with a smile on my face and joy in my heart, rather than on a bitter reflection of the day with all its disappointments and failures. Even thinking about some of these points of gratitude makes me smile now. A zoom chat with a friend; a challenging paper engineering project which came out well; finishing my daily ‘to do’ list (that one is rare, but it has happened); watching an interesting programme on TV or reading a new and engrossing book; a blue sky and sun – or snow and my children’s joy as they built a snowman.

A constant cause for gratitude is the book itself. I am grateful for my friend who gave it to me, grateful for the lovely book itself, and immensely grateful for the discipline of gratitude itself.


A Moodscope member.

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Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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