Saturday, December 3, 2016

the beauty of a crusty ski mask

Currently I have 5 journals.  

1. good books only 
2. gratitude (anything and everything)
3. work-related gratitude 
4. anything and everything inspirational
5. bicycling/walking

Without a doubt my gratitude journal has changed my life.  It definitely makes me realize just how fortunate I am and what an awesome life I have. It's a journal where there is absolutely no negativity allowed.  Since starting the journal in 2009, there is definitely less space for negativity in my life.

I started the work-related gratitude journal earlier this year, and though I love my job, it's definitely a more challenging experience. There are days I have too many things for the short three lines I'm given and though it's rare, I also sometimes struggle to fill those lines.  When I can't fill those lines I start pushing myself to be more present in my interactions, more observant of the everyday magic at the library, and the lines fill up.  

When I started my work-related gratitude journal there were a couple surprises.  First, because I continuously mention coworkers I now have a spot teeming with proof that librarians really do make a positive impact in the lives of so many people. When we did peer reviews recently I had a wealth of information about my coworkers that I normally would have forgotten, and it was all fantastic stuff. I also didn't realize how much the journal revitalizes and reminds me of my love for the library on the tough days. I flip through it just as often as I write in it. 

In addition to my work-related gratitude journal I also have what started out as a bicycling journal for the days I bike to work. When I started biking to work over four years ago it was a 14 mile round trip.  I saw so many things it was impossible to remember everything!  A couple years ago I switched to a library branch that is much closer to home and now I walk to work as many days as I bike.  So then the bicycling journal shifted into more of a 'how I got to work today and what I saw on the way here' journal.

I love my two work journals immensely. Occasionally I'll have a wonderful patron interaction or be a part of something library-beautiful after my last break, which is my last chance to write, and before I go home I've got to cram in a few more words before the moment disappears.

The journals fuel my already out-of-control enthusiasm. I rarely talk about the journals but I can't stop living what's going on inside of them.  

This morning I threw on my bicycling clothes and rushed to work.  When I got there I couldn't believe how badly my clothes clashed (dark pink pants, light pink top, green socks) and how crusty my ski mask was (eww I know).  And for a moment I was a little ashamed, and I told my journal this.  But last week I exercised so much and biked and walked to work every day except once that I couldn't be upset by the few clean clothes I had left.  I was down to the ugly, weird stuff, and yes, my mask was a terrible sight.  But it was the result of hours and hours of hard work, of living in the moment and pushing my boundaries.  So I said thank you to my ugly clothes and when I put them back on to go home, I wore them proudly.

Later, as I gathered my thoughts of the day I realized something. Writing in my gratitude journals has been such a huge attitude adjustment for me.  Prior to writing in my gratitude journals I'm not sure I would have seen the positivity in my terrible outfit this morning. So here's a thank-you to my gratitude journals. 

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