One aspect of my restorative journaling course, Rawness of Remembering*, involves creating a Things I Like list.
From the course content:
When I was a teenager, and a pretty depressed one at that, I kept a list in the back of my journal: Reasons to Kill Myself. (Yes, I am cringing as I type this.) Morbid, I know – but that was kind of the point. I numbered the items from 1 to 100; I never reached that final, 100th reason, but I like to think that the list of Things I Like is the opposite of the list I had before. And this is by no means some sort of miracle technique that will sap the dark from the deepest of despair — but as with all things we do in this class, it’s only one small bit of a larger picture that will hopefully cohere to give you strength while you recognize, and utilize, your own strength. What are some things that you like? The wallpaper on your desktop? The fact that your dog always greets you in the morning with fabulous enthusiasm? Nutella? Are these reasons to live for, or simply a resource list to go to when you’re feeling a little down? Everyone will have their own reasons for keeping this list…
Here’s why this list has been useful for me. It shows me, when I’m depressed and can’t imagine liking anything ever again, that I have liked things before. My addled brain often thinks that life is pointless, I will never like anything again, and that I actually have never actually liked anything, therefore rendering the list moot — but it’s still there as a reminder of a world that I may someday reenter. And if my depression looks more like melancholy, or a bad mood, adding things to the list — even if I can only think of one or two — is enough of an exercise to get those parts of my brain churning — the parts that are able to see the ability to feel something positive. To like things. Even to love things.
And so with this strange and whirligig time, including the last few years, and the last few days — about which I’ll write more later — I felt compelled to put together my own li’l Things I Like/Love list. A small one, to be sure, and goodness knows by no means exhaustive, but these boots have been heavenly on my feet & on my international journey; Daphne is a love-firework that never stops shining; Teavana’s perfectea rock sugar is a small delight, and almost enough to make me forget how much I miss coffee; the steady rebuilding of esmewang.com has me thinking, daily, about my body of work, and about creating legacy.
Do share some things that you like in the comments.
P.S. The Word of the Year giveaway ends in two days — enter for your chance to win a lovely silver bracelet, engraved with your Word, at the entry below.
*Rawness of Remembering: Restorative Journaling Through Difficult Times, is slated to begin again — with newly enhanced content — in May. For first access to registration, sign up here.