Something positive.

I saved this for the very end of the day on purpose, because it is an end of day suggestion, and because it seemed appropriate for today:

As you head to bed, perhaps you’ll consider giving yourself a few minutes to try something that might be outside of your usual routine: a short, quiet gratitude reflection.

Not sure today, with all its horrors from Afghanistan and more news about the COVID surge, held anything worth an expression of gratitude? Or does the idea of feeling grateful leads to feelings of guilt, because of the world’s great suffering?

Here is some cold truth: Squelching your own happiness will have no effect on the world’s suffering, other than to add to it. And even if you have had an unspeakably horrible, sad day, looking at it through a different lens, might help your aching heart heal.

So, as you lay yourself down to sleep, perhaps you’ll join me and take a minute to think of, and be grateful for, just one sliver of joy from your day: a first sip of morning coffee; an empty chair when you needed to sit; the light coming through a window, ripening pears. There’s no need to stop at just one thing, but likewise don’t make this hard work. Reflect easily, and let something positive, and peaceful be the last thing in your mind as you drift to sleep.

That is enough for today.

Postscript: There is a wonderful, and short, guided meditation called “Nightly Gratitude,” led by Jeff Warren on the Ten Percent Happier app. Access might require a subscription, but there’s a 10 day free trial for new users.

This post is 7/56 in a self-directed challenge to write something (SOMETHING) every day – a birthday gift to me from me, because writing gives me a place to put the clutter that lives in my head.


  1. Sounds fun, but I can’t. After seeing that Chinook hovering over the US embassy in Kabul and realizing that I saw the same thing 50 years ago in Saigon, I am as angry as I’ve ever been at our leaders. Biden lost me today and he won’t get me back. I flew medivac missions in the war in Vietnam. We never left anybody behind and now the country has proven that we’ll leave anybody behind and can’t be trusted. Sorry, but I have nothing to be happy about.

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  2. A lovely reminder Jennifer that we do have to pause and feel gratitude for the blessings in life, and I love how you put it “Squelching your own happiness will have no effect on the world’s suffering, other than to add to it” So true, and thank you for that.

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  3. I couldn’t love this post more, Jenny. I often start my day thinking out loud of what is good about this particular day. I recently thought it would be useful (especially on those days when for whatever reason I haven’t done my morning “what is good” routine), to, at the end of a day, reflect on what was good about the day I just got through. This post speaks to that and I appreciate it!

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  4. Thank you! This is something everyone should remember. It is very hard but everyone need it. I like the idea “….ripening pears”, it’s sweet idea.


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