Another long day today. I am home, I am tired, I need to do more. But not tonight. Tonight I am finished with work. If I opened it up, I would just inch through whatever it was, hardly making progress, slowly getting frustrated.
One thing might make a difference before bed. A gratitude exercise.
What is a gratitude exercise? You just have to make a list of things, little things, big things, whatever, that you are grateful for. Things that make you happy. Things that make your life better.
Don’t expect a gratitude exercise to fix your bad mood completely, but it helps a little bit in the moment. In general, it helps me to keep a positive attitude, and to keep me happier. We have to see the good things in our lives to be glad to be ourselves and to live this life. And in the end, it is very trite, but also very true that happiness is wanting what you have, not getting what you want.
- I am grateful for a colleague who agreed to write a letter of recommendation for me, and who has been a constant supporter of mine since the day we met.
- I am grateful to have a supervisor who understands my values, and agrees with them.
- I am grateful for another supervisor (one I don’t like as much) who stood up for me today.
- I am grateful I made progress on one of my “missions” for the semester, to get some faculty Wiki space, password protected and away from students, so that we can more easily share course materials.
- I am grateful for a visit from a student that I am concerned about.
- I am grateful for students who are becoming/have become colleagues and friends.
- I am grateful for green beans, grown in my garden.
- I am grateful that I managed to run a successful Undergraduate Seminar series this semester.
- I am grateful for anxiety medication, a different one, that is actually working. Feeling normal most of the time is so much nicer than feeling like something awful is about to happen most of the time.
- I am grateful that I only have to write my Honors exam this time, and not also write a make-up for the common exam.
- I am grateful for funky clouds this morning, even though I didn’t get to take a picture of them.
- I am grateful that gratitude exercises so often make me feel better.