2012 was a tough year.
It was a year where I finished my journey through postpartum depression.
It was a year where we found out we were having our third baby.
It was a year where we lost our third baby at 11 weeks.
It was a year of grief, of the deepest crying I've ever done, of the hardest work in our marriage we've ever had to do, and a year of leaning harder than we've ever had to lean on people.
It was the year we declared bankruptcy.
2012 was a tough year.
It was also the year I turned 30. It's a significant number because of the 0 at the end of it...and because it marks the end of the 20s, where everything magical was supposed to happen.
My 20s were magical - I graduated university, I married the love of my life, I established a writing career, I became a mother in 2009, I took a writing course with Miriam Toews, I became a mother again in 2011, I started my novel, and I learned more about myself than I ever knew existed.
To kick off my 30s, I decided I'd start a gratitude journal. The concept is nothing new. Oprah does it. There are apps for it. And Wikipedia even acknowledges it.
With 2012 being the year of really crappy stuff happening, I wanted to celebrate my new decade and 2013 with positivity. It sounds hokey and a little hippy-ish, but I was sick of only seeing the list above of all the bad stuff that happened and not remembering the good moments.
So far, I've been very faithful to it: every night before I go to bed I write down three things that were good. (I went with the List of 3 inspiration from Lauren of My Postpartum Voice - she often tweets about it and I liked the sound of "List of 3"...so I stole it. That's how that went.)
Some days I really need to hunt for things. I feel like I should be marking down extraordinary things, but most days they don't exist. It is in the hunt for three things to be especially grateful for that I realize that the ordinary good things that happen to us far outweigh the bad most days.
Some days I have to work hard to pare it down and ONLY pick three. I'm a rule follower and I have set these rules and I will follow them DAMMIT. Those are good days. :)
The most frequent thing I'm grateful for is coffee. With 2 babies 3 and under, this is not surprising. This is normal.
I think it's working, though, in helping me always look for the good. I haven't started looking for it during the day, just at night, but I feel like that is the next step. If I can find the good in reflection, then I will one day recognize the good in the moment. That sounds like an even better day.