Today I FaceTimed my mom and my brother happened to be in the room. His name is Elliott, and he’s twelve years old. We call him Baby because he has the same name as our dad. I was talking about how time is flying with my mom and asked him “Isn’t it crazy how fast time goes?” He responded,” No, it’s not going fast for me. It goes fast when you’re here.” It reminded me how my loved ones’ lives are all going by the same way they always did. I remember middle school and high school and a routine job. Time did not fly back in those days for me either. It’s easy to forget how time changes throughout your life. I never think about how slowly my earlier years felt, only about my current internal clock.
My brother is such a beautiful boy. He is so honest with me and has impressive emotional intelligence for such a young kid. He knows how he feels and is so empathetic. I miss him a lot, and I always hope I can still be a worthy big sister even though I’m away. I asked him if my electric toothbrush was still in the bathroom drawer because I forgot it and want my family to bring it to our vacation in April. He said yes and that I also forgot my journal. I knew. He then said he read my journal.
I smiled and told him he’s not supposed to read people’s journals and asked him what he read. I smiled because it was a gratitude journal. It was my journal that I started in Morocco last year that I wrote in every morning to start my days off with strong intentions. He told me he read the good things I wrote about myself. He remembered sentences like, “I am smart, I am work hard, I am lucky.”
Not sure if those are all exact words from my journal, but I knew he was referring to the mantras I’d written at the end of each passage. I’d write three per day and repeat them out loud. They weren’t always the same.
These morning journals changed my life. Gina, a friend from high school, inspired me to make this change, and I couldn’t be more grateful (of course). I actually stopped journaling at home in December for a little while and the “lack” mentality completely manifested in my life. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not. But I bought another journal as soon as I got back to Morocco.
I continued my gratitude journals and mantras. Sometimes I’ll repeat them throughout the day if one is being tested, and I need a reminder. Like when I’m working out and want to quit my plank 15 seconds early, I’ll say aloud, “I am disciplined.” I let myself be the entity I don’t want to let down, not society or others. I’m really proud of the practice, and I’m glad he got to see it. Those are the things I want him to learn from his big sister. I hope he’s inspired to show gratitude and to build himself into the person he wants to be. From thoughts to actions.