Today I got out of bed at 2.00pm. This is an extremely rare occurance for me, but I was exhausted. This week has been mentally, physically and emotionally draining and I needed to just sleep. It’s been the busiest time at work – the students have finished the last sections of their course and I have submitted their results to the exam board (100% pass and all of them reached or surpassed their target grade), our orchestra and a capella group performed brilliantly on stage at one of the country’s best concert halls with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and with only four weeks to go until the summer the little cherubs at work are getting a little restless.
On Thursday the school hosted an event called ‘Destiny Africa,’ in which we were honoured with workshops and a performance from children and young adults from the Kampala Children’s Centre in Uganda. These children, all of whom were orphans with individual experiences of loss, trauma and hardship were incredible – the enthusiasm, talent and sheer enjoyment of their performance left me feeling emotionally drained (I pretty much cried all the way through), and incredibly humbled.
I was feeling in quite a reflective mood this afternoon – The Bloke took me for a beautiful meal at my favourite restaurant by the canal, the weather was glorious and sunny and I took a moment to take in my surroundings. It’s moments like these that remind me of just how lucky I have been in my life and the experiences that I have been fortunate to have. I thought I would share some of these with you:
1. Performing Barber’s ‘Adagio For Strings’ as part of a large string orchestra on stage. It’s my favourite piece of classical music, and the emotion that this piece evokes can be so powerful it is almost overwhelming.
2. Sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at night, overlooking the Washington Monument. Absolutely stunning.
3. Swimming in an open air pool, surrounded by sunflower fields on a gloriously hot day in Le Mans, France. I kid you not, this actually happened.
4. Exploring London with The Bloke. We like to visit a few times a year if we can and each visit opens up a world of new places and things to see.
5. Moving into my first ever room in the Halls of Residence in 2001. Everything I had with me was my very own. I felt safe there.
6. Eating hazelnut ice-cream and crepes whilst looking out onto the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
7. Watching a cellist play Bach’s ‘Air On A G String’ outside the Sacre Coeur in Paris.
8. Visiting Ground Zero in New York, just as construction on the Freedom Tower had begun. An incredibly humbling experience.
9. Seeing Dali’s ‘Persistence of Memory’ in the MOMA in New York.
10. Running up the ‘Rocky’ steps (the steps leading up to the Museum of Art) in Philadelphia.
11. Watching dolphins swimming alongside us during a boat trip in Malaga.
12. Exploring Pompeii.
13. Performing at the Proms on stage at the Royal Albert Halls in London with the BBC Concert Orchestra in 2000.
14. Karaoke night at The Bear. Brilliant atmosphere, surrounded by brilliant friends.
15. Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton, a specialist chocolate shop. We hired a room out for two hours and we could eat as much chocolate as we wanted.
16. Watching the sun rise on a beach in Malia, Crete.
17. Watching Bon Jovi at Hyde Park in London in 2010. It was the fourth time that I had seen them in concert (they’ve always been my favourite band) and the atmosphere was incredible.
18. Sitting by the Seine in Paris and watching the sunset.
19. Spending the day at a beautiful spa with my friend on my birthday.
20. Having a dinner party with some of my oldest friends. These often last for hours and get louder and more raucous as more alcohol is consumed throughout the night.
The children that I worked with this week were grateful to have food. Puts things into perspective doesn’t it!
What about you guys? What have been your best life experiences to date? What are you grateful for?
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog
I’m grateful for all of it, even the worst experiences taught me things. I have been privy to amazing experiences, large and small, and I’m growing and developing as time goes on. Thank you for sharing this with people.
Well said. It’s not just the good that adds value to being alive.
Reblogged this on U.S. Constitutional Free Press.
Reblogged this on kinginascent and commented:
A beautiful post
First, I think its awesome that you are able to think of the good things in your life, in a time when most people have subscribed to the ” poor me ” ticket and just talk about what is wrong with their lives. Its a refreshing break to see some good news in a life!
Second, I also have much to be thankful for , but it just so happens that I spent yesterday with my teenage son, driving by the ocean and stopping for a pizza. After just a little time hanging out with him, I could not find anything that compares (in my life) to spending time with my kids as they make life’s choices and especially when they ask you your opinion! I love being with those kids.
I also have some special places and event as well that I enjoyed, but I am just enjoying the time right now with my offspring…lol
I was recently asked to attend a conference with fellow bloggers, where they would love to hear from my experiences as being a new blogger who also stutters. I also just got through my first year of college 🙂
Staying at the ice-hotel in Sweden and standing on top of several mountains.
PS I thought your choices very classy.
Being asked by a tribal chief to be in the chosen photo. Humbling and an honour. MM
Fantastic week! I’ve had more great experiences than I can remember.
At the top of the list, going to sleep with my wife every night, and waking up next to her every morning.
1. Shooting my thesis film on 35mm after six months of preparation. The picture below is actually from that shoot.
2. Working on Runaway Jury, with Dustin Hoffman. I love that guy.
3. Getting married outside of the Old Pink House at sunset in Savannah GA.
4. Watching the ducks at the Peabody hotel in Memphis march off of the elevator that brings them down each day from their suite on roof to a running fountain in the middle of the lobby.
Beautiful post! I enjoyed it. 🙂
The Washington Memorials are all amazing at night. I need to see them again soon.
Honestly, the moments with my son, where we lose control over a silly joke or movie. I hope to be able to travel and have more “moments”, but after the last few years, I am definitely putting those ones with Matt at the top of the list.
Most of my best life experiences have involved travelling too, but funnily enough the moment of coming home and seeing my family and friends at the airport probably tops the list. I appreciate them so much more now!
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I’m grateful for warm, sunny days after a season of rain and dark clouds
in grateful that my kids live close to me
I’m grateful for my beautiful grandson
I’m grateful for our freedom
for second chances
for new beginnings
for the peace that surpasses all understanding
**This is a very nice blog.
Love your list, Suzie – you’re quite a traveler.
I’m so thankful for my husband, sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, parents, and many wonderful, long-enduring friends – those are obvious.
I started to compile my own list and realized it was very long. I may post mine on my blog – thank you for the idea. You may just have started something big – not like you haven’t done so before! ❤
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Looking down into the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania (where “Lucy” was found) and realizing that I was standing where human life originated. I can still remember, many years later, what that felt like.
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LOL at number 10. I so wanted to do that when I was in Philly last January but that day the city was hit with an incredible snowstorm and we couldn’t even leave the hotel. I think I’ll have another chance in January again. Love the list. I think one of life’s great pleasures is collecting memorable experiences.