I refrained from writing these thoughts down on my blog and instead made a list in my notebook to be saved for a later date as I felt that perhaps this post was a little early and these reflections should be saved for New Year (and the realisation that all my American and Canadian friends would be doing the same in a few weeks during Thanksgiving, which we don’t celebrate here in the UK), but yesterday I read an absolutely gorgeous post by Dara from The Clearout about the birth of his baby girl and it tipped me over the edge (in a literary sense – please check out ‘Want To Change the World?’ – I reblogged it.) Suddenly the small list had turned into a five-page epic and I was desperate to collate them all on here to share with you.
My initial opening sentence was going to be ‘This year has been a difficult one‘ and when reflecting on the events of the last ten months as a proverbial ‘big picture’ I suppose it has. I have been so focussed (focused? I’m still confused) on the negative aspects of life that I often forget to pause and give thanks for the continuously good things. These are the things that I think most of us forget to be grateful for.
Fabulous Family, Friendships and Colleagues.
A few months ago, I got on the bus and realised I was ten pence short of the standard fare and only had a £5 note. A man who was standing next to me gave me the money to avoid me walking in the rain to the shop to get the extra change that I needed. I was eternally grateful to that man and thanked him a million times. But what about our family, partners, friends and colleagues – the regular (and unusually willing) participants of your life? These are the people we often take most for granted – the more familiar we become with someone, the more we just assume that they’ll always be there. How often do we stop and thank them? When was the last time you did something nice for an important person in your life, just because you can? If you’re lucky enough to have a support network in your life, make sure that they know what they mean to you and take a little bit of time to show your appreciation.
You Are Here.
Most of you reading this will (hopefully) be in good health. Look after it. Take care of your body – eat well, exercise, get good amounts of sleep. Love your body and mind for what it is. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A friend of mine thankfully recovered from testicular cancer and he genuinely lives every day to the fullest.
You Are Online
In order for you to be able to read this you must be wealthy enough to be able to afford the internet. Without getting into too much detail that means you must also have:
- A device to view it on.
- A home to put it in.
- Electricity to power it.
- The education that allows you to read it in the first place. Most of you reading this will have been given this education for free.
A New Day
How many times have you woken up and inwardly groaned at the prospect of having to get up and go to work? I certainly have on many occasions. Be grateful that you are lucky to have woken up and that you have a job to go to. Each day is a blessing and twenty-four hours is more than enough time to achieve something fantastic.
Experiences of Life
These make us who we are. In May I wrote about some of the events I have experienced that make life worthwhile. There are so many things out there that are truly wonderful and if you get the opportunity to travel, eat fabulous food, see an amazing movie or show, celebrate a birthday or anniversary with others you are extremely lucky. However, I also think that it is important to appreciate the small events that make each day great. This may also mean that you have to appreciate the not-so-positive events as they have led you to where you are now and helped you to become the person that you are today.
The Unconditional Love of a PetThis won’t be relevant to all of you and some may even disagree, but I have always felt that a pet is a part of the family, even if it is just a family of two. If you are lucky enough to have a pet, take the time to love it, care for it, make sure that it is safe and above all appreciate the fact that it will love you in return regardless of the mistakes that you make in life. The company and affection that I have received from my little friend over the years have seen me through some very tough times.
Take the time to appreciate the faith that you may have in something, whether it is based on a religious belief, faith in a person, or even faith that things will get better. Be proud of the faith that you have.
Be thankful for you. Embrace who you are, accept your strengths and weaknesses and avoid comparing yourself to others. Make the best of yourself in everything that you do, but don’t berate yourself if you make a mistake. Be able to look at yourself in the mirror and like what you see, because you are worth it.
What are your thoughts? What are you thankful for? I’d love to hear any suggestions you think I should add, however big or small.