This past April, I bought a gratitude journal… my first ever.
I bought it because I could feel myself slipping into a darker place as the pandemic rode its first wave – isolating me from friends and family, cancelling all my art shows (which meant most of my income), and cancelling my planned travel. My thoughts were consumed with loss, disappointment and the anxiety around finding a new way forward. I was struggling to see any positive in all of it. But I thought if I had to write down 5 things for which I’m thankful every night before bed, perhaps I could sleep better and replace the negative energy with the good.
I am now 2 full journals in, and am about to start #3 as the new year turns. It has definitely helped me. This 5 minutes of positive thought has shown me that there is still much to be thankful for. In re-reading some of the pages, the entries that turn up most often have to do with either spending meditative time painting or in conversation with new/old friends and family. These moments of connection have been the saviours in my war against my nasty inner demons.
So thank you to those of you who have supported this blog (and me) this year, and especially to those who reached out with words of comment. These small conversations have meant the world and let’s do more of that next year.
I leave you with my favourite paintings of 2020 – the ones that inspired me to be thankful, to remember better days and to hope for more to come. Wishing you a healthy, connected and demon-free New Year!