Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meany Me

Getting my mental 'Zen' on is not as easy as it may sound. While some of you might be the sweet, loving, kind type who never have a negative or hateful thought about anyone or anything- there is at least one person who is not like that at all.

Me. I'm the one.

So this whole get your mental Zen/think positive outlook is not simple. The good news is- it's doable.

I started by making myself very aware of the things that I am grateful for and made a special list every night in my daily journal. This got old. Quickly.

Then I started writing only positive thoughts in those journal pages. That didn't work either. Let's face it- I get frustrated and angry at some people and situations and I use the journal to VENT. Trust me- I NEED an avenue in which to vent. It's actually very good therapy.

Next, I bought one of those SMASH Journals at Michael's (oh how I ADORE that store and, no, I'm not getting anything for this. It's just the journal I chose for this project.). And I turned it into a combo of a thankful journal and a journal of positive thoughts/ideas/goals/dreams/etc.

I got the red SMASH book because---it's RED!

The first page is a Thank You! page...

Some pages have motivation for the things I want to do--can you tell what's foremost in my mind?

Some pages have things I'm grateful for...

Some pages have encouraging statements...

There are pages with notes from the lovelies that always remind me to be grateful- here's one example from a few Mother's Days ago (yeah, they kind of do make me proud...very proud)...

 And pages with tips for being positive...

These are just a few of the pages I have made in my grateful journal. This seems to be working for me. It reminds me that I have a great deal for which to be thankful and keeps me focused on the positive. It also keeps me aware of my dreams and goals. Just because I'm in my 50s doesn't mean I can no longer dream or have goals.

How about y'all? Anyone else out there with a grateful journal?

By the way, do any of you follow Jesse over at Jessee's Spot? No? I'd be so grateful if you would stop by and consider giving her a follow. She's trying to get 100 followers! She would be really grateful too!


  1. I started a grateful journal once, but didn't stick with it. I really like what you've done with yours.
    I also like your new blog look!

  2. Good Morning Pam,
    Yep, I have kept one for years. One of mine I have considered having it published, it is very precious to me.
    I have lots and lots of others, I have them stuck every where. I have been writing them since I was 11 when my Mom died and I was trying to figure out life. Being a Mom at that age was tough.
    So yep, it gives me balance, it helps me to put life into perspective.
    It helps me to look back at life when it was harder to take the next step. To look back and see how I am now. It is good.
    I love yours, you are so very creative.

  3. This blog is the only kind of 'journaling' that I've been able to stick with. And I'm not too good at that.

    I find it very one-sided to write in a journal. But I agree that it's good to vent in a way that doesn't necessarily go outside your ability to control it. Some things shouldn't really be said out loud. Just get us into trouble.

    Being grateful is venting that I would be sharing.

  4. I've kept a journal off and on over the years, but not necessarily a grateful journal. However, I've been doing a Thankful Thursday post for over a year now. It helps me stay a little more focused on the positive side of things when I know I need a blog post for Thursdays!

  5. Kathy- Thank you so much! Deanie did it for me- I just couldn't figure it all out and got way too frustrated! I haven't stuck with a grateful journal either. So I tried this one. And it's working! I add a little here and there and then just look at it several times over the course of a day. It helps!

    Kim- Now why am I not surprised that you have been keeping a grateful journal all these years? You're always expressing your gratitude for everything on your blog! Reading your blog actually helps keep me focused on being positive. And you wonderful emails! :)

    Stephanie- It is one-sided, writing in a journal. Which is great for a selfish person like me. LOL I like to use it to get stuff out that, as you say, shouldn't be said out loud. Which means I have millions of journals. :)

    Annette-That's a good idea, a weekly post to help keep you focused on being grateful!

  6. Pam, Your journal is lovely! In the past, I have started gratitude journals but never got very far before I was repeating the same 'ole thing over and over!
    I like this idea and may need to take a trip to Michaels!
    Work has been dragging me down and I need to remember all the positives in my life.

  7. I love this idea of a grateful journal! I too, have days when I need to think of the 'good' in life and not dwell on the icky side...a grateful journal is an awesome idea! I think I may need to steal this idea! :) Love you Pam! I am GRATEFUL for you!!

  8. I have started a journal a few times, but can never stick to it. I love this idea though. I can be very negative and sarcastic and this would help me to focus on the positive. You are just full of great ideas!

  9. Oh, my gosh, I love your journal and have never thought of doing something so cool and visual. I mostly write but so love what you have done and you know what I am going to say about venting, it happens LOL

  10. Shawn- It has really helped me! Plus, who doesn't enjoy a trip to Michael's? LOL

    mm-Take it away! I just can't imagine you ever being anything less than completely positive and grateful! You are so inspiring! Thank you! I feel the same!

    Betty- What? YOU? Negative and sarcastic? I knew we were kindred spirits! LOL Thanks!

    Lucy- I'm glad you like it. I don't have trouble writing in my daily journal I just have trouble keeping it as a grateful journal. So, I decided to try this! And you're quite right about venting. And, over here, it happens a lot. LOL Thanks girl!

  11. That's a great idea. Hardly looks like the journal of a 'meany.' lol

    And don't you just love those special notes from your kids! Who doesn't! :-)

  12. Judy- Well, that's because it's working! LOL Oh YES! I LOVE those cards! I've got several in the journal but just chose one. Thanks!

  13. As long as you find something that works for you, then just keep doing it! I've tried several different ways to "journal" through the years. Once it starts getting a bit "stale", I just revise and modify and find something new that keeps me going.

  14. I love your journal! It's so creative and positive. :)

    I have a Gratitude Journal - saw the idea on Oprah a million years ago - and every night I write at least five things I was grateful for that day. They're not usually big, whoo- hoo things but boy, do those "small" things add up. :)

  15. I started a gratful list last year but then I forgot to work on it.
    Love that Smash book. I went over and watched the video at Michael's. I need to start one.
    Thank you!

  16. Jane- It's funny, I don't have any trouble keeping a daily journal. But as soon as I try to make it a grateful journal- nothing. So I write in my daily just whatever comes to mind and about my day. The grateful journal is for adding to when I feel the urge and looking through on a daily basis. It's crazy!

    MMS- I tried doing that Oprah thing. It just didn't work for me. I would either forget or get carried away or start venting about something else. LOL

  17. Debby- I think you'll love it! It's really a lot of fun this way! And you can just look through it and add to it whenever you feel motivated!

  18. Pam, I've done the journal thing on and off for years. Since I started blogging and doing writing courses, the journals have fallen by the wayside. I do like yours though. I like the collages and the positive theme.

  19. Staying positive can be hard...but, trust me, it's well worth it!...:)JP

  20. I see a whole lot of determination here. The smash journal is a good idea. My oldest lovely does something similar. It's like an idea book or just a tribute to things she likes. I like Michaels too- too much! Have a great weekend. Have Tucker send the snake over to the neighbors dog- just an idea!


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