I have this little notebook in my handbag, I chose it carefully and love it for all sorts of reasons: the metal foil embossed cover, the way that a magnet means that it shuts with a satisfying snap, the fact that it has a ribbon bookmark and of course, the Moomins. I love the Tove Jannson’s hippo-like creatures. Their world seems so magical and they make me smile.
It contains the second volume of my daily records of things to be grateful for. Each morning I try to remember to record ten events from the previous day that brought me pleasure. In the old days when I’d forgot to do this I would have beaten myself up internally. These days I’m kinder. After all it’s meant to be an exercise to foster joy and compassion not self criticism
Some things have a surprise element like the sighting of a seal way up river in Totnes. I spotted him on my lunchtime walk on my birthday last week. Others happen again and again. I often give thanks for the heated seats in my car! Every so often I have a wonderful surprise like a gift or being treated to a lovely meal. Most of the time I recall things that give me a rush of pleasure are right there in the present, a particularly friendly dog, a brief but meaningful encounter. For others I draw on the powers of reminiscence and anticipation. Thinking about a planned summer road trip to Spain and Portugal and Mumford and Son’s Cardiff concert in June are two examples.
As I’ve been doing this exercise for longer and longer I’ve got better at being thankful. The quality of light in a landscape, daffodils brightening up an industrial estate, birdsong, the fragrance of soap in a gift shop. I notice more and more wonderful things just waiting for me to spot!