There have been numerous times throughout my life when I have consciously set aside time for a gratitude journal of sorts. And, almost always, there’s been with intention, an act with a reason behind it.

This week is no different. It’s the Week of crazy after all, and I don’t want to end up drowning in the a sea divided by opinions, hatred and fear. Over the weekend I made a conscious decision to withdraw myself from the world a bit , to wrap myself in a cocoon of blissful ignorance. I avoided social media and all online sources of news today , quite deliberately. I just didn’t want to see evidence of division and I didn’t want to see hostility.

For the record, I actually enjoy politics and I am excited about following the election tomorrow. Give me some popcorn and a calculator and I’ll happily check the maps and add votes. With the commentators muted. I enjoy rhetoric and theology and thinking about policies and paths forward. I also don’t mind a bit debating or disagreeing with someone over politics. So long as it is done respectfully.

Anyway, so back to my gratitude journal.

Today is day one — and it was not too crazy. I had my notepad ready and jotted down every time something happened that made me happy. And every time I was overly conscious of how ordinary and simple the things I found were. That’s always the case , though, isn’t it? Which memories do you hold the most dear? Huge celebrations or the quiet moments where nothing major happened except that you were surrounded by those you loved , by doing something you loved or by making space for your heart to just rest?

Today, I am grateful for :

1. A good day of homeschooling & Poor Richards Almanac

2. Being silly and it making the girls laugh.

3. Winnie the Pooh GIFs, ones showing hugs

4. Chatter Chats , even short ones

5. Music , specifically today Alabama’s Christmas album

6. The online sermon I listened to

7. The fact that Hulu has the comedy show Perfect Strangers. Because memories. And laughter.

8. I counted 10 stars and the moon was crystal clear for the second night in a row.

9. Prayer

The other thing I’ve noticed about keeping gratitude lists or journals is that they help you actively seek out things for which to be grateful . I found myself watching for the next thing I could add to my list; I also found myself consciously trying to create conversations and memories and moments that I could add to the list. Kind of turned the day into a game, a treasure hunt in which each positive interaction was a piece of the gold.

The result?

A sense of contentment and a renewed sense of anticipation for what’s in store for tomorrow. And an assurance that even within the crazy there are flowers blooming, kindness occurring and even humanity uniting still.