December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

I learned to recognize appreciation and freely express gratitude a few years ago, and I know that each year I appreciate my ability to do so. Since 1999 I have kept a Gratitude Journal that I would write in every night before bed. I would think back on each day and remember three of the little things that made me smile.

But a strange thing began to happen, during the day, I would begin to look ahead to the time I would write in my journal, and would consciously go about my day recognizing things that could go in my journal. It changed my life. It changed my attitude, my point of view, and my ability to see the greatness in the banal.

But this year was different. I no longer write in my journal, as I found that I just had so much to be grateful for, that I was forcing myself to whittle down my daily list so that I could fit in into the day’s entry. So, instead of paring my list each, I decided to cut the list out altogether. This allowed me to recall all the things that I loved in the day, instead of having to make them vie against one another for a spot in the journal.

In 2010 I stopped writing in my gratitude journal because I came to appreciate that I was just grateful for so much. I can’t wait to not write in my journal in 2011, too.