I’m excited about this easy little crafty post, because it has so much meaning to me. Along the journey of life a few years back, we chose to seek out help from a psychologist who said something very interesting: “The thoughts you think, control the chemicals your body releases. If you are able to change your thoughts, you can change your chemical balance. If you can’t change your thinking, then medication can help make it easier.”
Stress is my enemy. A little spurt of stress can put me in bed for a few days, too weak to even walk unassisted. I can’t control all my stress, like when someone cuts me off in traffic and nearly causes an accident; when a bat gets in my house and flaps around my bedroom; or when someone I love gets sick or dies. But there is a lot I can control.
This past week, a lot of stressful things were going on in my life. Here’s what I wrote in my Fit Yummy Mummy journal: Oh Girls, Life has kicked my tail… My grandma is on hospice and they don’t think she will live through the night. She is 90 and forgot who I was long ago, but I remember who she is. Her daughter, my Auntie, was on death watch for a short time last week, but miraculously recovered for a little while longer and has been moved to a rehab facility. …my mama hurt her leg mysteriously and can’t walk very well…. I tangled with some poison ivy last weekend and am COVERED. Plus the school district has denied to test Heather for learning disabilities even with all the private testing records I sent them and doctor reports. They said they don’t accept any outside of the district assessments and they haven’t observed her long enough to decide what to do about her. I’m so sad realizing that they are waiting for her to fail again before they intervene even though her records transferred from her old school show a clear pattern and need. I’m taking her to another clinic the next state over on Saturday to test her eye/brain connection. It’s so expensive, but if there’s a chance it will help her we’ll find a way to earn the money. I’m trying not to stress about everything, but I’m feeling all the feels anyway and it has zapped my strength. So that’s where I am. Not sure how to pick up the pieces from here while my body has checked out.
That wasn’t even all of it, but it started to feel ridiculous writing so much complaining down. What if instead of that, I had written down all the things that were going RIGHT? I can tell you THIS, I spend way more time thinking about the things going wrong than I do the things I have to be thankful for. I’m sure that has a lot to do with my health struggles.
It’s hard to admit that I am a negative person. Yuck. Just admitting that makes me not like myself very much, so I’m making steps to change. 4o years of consistent negative thinking isn’t going to change easy, but I’m choosing my hard.
I’m starting with this fifty cent notebook. It’s just a composition notebook from Wal-mart. I made a little cover for it by merging this and this. I printed it on regular paper, then trimmed it down slightly to fit the cover.
I placed a piece of wax paper inside the notebook, so I wouldn’t get modge podge all over the pages and stick them together.
Then I put a thin layer of modge podge ($1 in the Target spot bins) over the back of the picture, and stuck it to the cover, starting on one edge and smoothing it over to prevent air bubbles. Then I took my brush and put a thin layer of glossy modge podge over the top for durability.
Here’s the best part, the brush strokes in modge podge are visible after it dries, giving printed art a hand-painted affect. To take full advantage of this, I went back once more and added brush strokes to the water color flowers, following the natural curve so each flower would look hand-painted.
You GUYS! I’m feeling so clever right now. When it dried I trimmed the corners and added a matching cover to the back.
Before I thought of this little project, I looked on Amazon for a gratitude journal I could buy. There were several good ones like this, this, and this. They were each less than $10, but the DIY one was the more affordable option for sure. Karen at A House Full of Sunshine has a different idea for a DIY journal cover that is darling for all you washi tape lovers. She also had some good thoughts about gratefulness that are worth clicking over to read.
Here’s what I’ll write tonight:
- Heather’s new Irlen filters that are helping her read better
- Family cooperating for Grandma’s Funeral
- A chance to sing with my daughter and my sister-in-law
- Free flute lessons for Heather that make her so happy
- Our cars are both repaired and running well
- A supportive church family
I’m all about reducing stress, not adding to it, so I’m not writing in complete sentences, telling stories (unless I want to), or giving myself a quota. If I’m too stressed to think, I might just copy down a scripture verse or hymn that I’m grateful for, or tape in a coloring page. And if I need to skip a day, that’s A-OK, since none of the pages are pre-dated.
P.S. If you want to hear more about gratitude journals, Sherry talks about hers in the “We’re Digging Section” on episode #11 of the Young House Love Podcast.