The Book of Good

Last week I asked when is enough enough? Many of you gave thoughtful advice and shared your own stories, and your comments inspired an idea. It’s not grandiose or far-reaching; it’s merely a way for me to keep from getting bogged down in the negative. And it’s already having an effect. My solution?

The Book of Good.

I received a journal for Christmas and before going to bed last Monday night I named it The Book of Good. (Yes, I’m already considering calling it T-BOG.) On the first page I challenged myself to write down at least three good things that happened each day. Every day. It could be as monumental as winning the lottery (I still need to buy a ticket…) or as small as the joy my dog brings me when we play after work. No matter how low my mood may sink, odds are something made me smile, even if for only a second, and even if it was only on the inside.

My hope is by keeping track of the good, I’ll keep a perspective on all the negativity that seems to surround us. I’ve debated posting about my shock over the Arizona shooting, but decided the blogosphere doesn’t need another opinion on that. Instead I choose to look for the good. The people who’ve rallied together. The hope that rhetoric will change. The possibility that mental illness will lose one more layer of stigma.

Another side effect of T-BOG that I didn’t expect: I find myself looking for good throughout the day. I’ve yet to stop and smell any roses (it is winter in Michigan) but I’ve already noticed a change in myself.


About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. ab

    What a great idea! I love the idea of looking for positive instead of dwelling on negative. It has to bring a better out look on things. And as they say – what comes around goes around. Throw out positive – it’s bound to smack you back!

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  3. Phew! For a second there I thought it said God. *shudder*


    Sounds like a great idea, Hooey!

    I’m scarily optimistic most days, so I think I’d run out of space fast, describing the AWESOME biscuit I just ate etc.


  4. Allen

    Ever think this might be your story? This could be the manuscript outline for the book that places you in the Oprah chair. The Hooey Show.

    The negative surrounds us so much that we are surprised when someone does something nice for us.

    Congrats. Can I be on your show? I could be one of your makeover shows. You can take the fat, balding ugly nudist and make him into a fat, still balding, but slightly less ugly nudist with fancy clothes he won’t wear.

    Don’t forget to send airline tickets.

    • I appreciate your faith in me! I can’t see myself becoming a guru of positive thinking — mostly because I tend to roll my eyes at anything too over the top — but I’d be beyond thrilled if this little post gave someone a nudge in a better direction.

      As for your clothes, I can’t help you there… 😉

    • That’s my goal. 🙂

      I’m usually pretty good at recognizing the positive things in my life, but it’s been getting more and more difficult. I hope I can stick with this and that it’ll become a part of my daily routine.

  5. Wonderful idea! It is easier to be critical and to join the lynch bandwagons than it is to step aside and walk a more positive direction. Glad you are surrounding yourself with positive thoughts.

    • Exactly. I certainly have my share of negative thoughts and opinions, but they don’t do me any good. A couple years ago I eliminated a bunch of negative influences in my life — including a couple friends — and I never regretted it.

  6. What a great idea! I definitely dwell on the negative too much. Something nice will happen and I think “Oh, nice!” for two seconds, but if something icky happens I dwell on it all day. I let the nice wash right over me. And Adam! Don’t get me started! I’m reading your blog to him.

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