Challenges

Gratitude: 50 Things

Gratitude- 50 Things

As part of my 2015 happiness project, I am spending March making a daily note of three things for which I am grateful. I’m half-way through the month now, and I do think it’s getting easier to think of three things each day. Also I like to think it has a positive effect on those who read it, too. With this in mind, here are 50 things for which I am grateful today.

 

1. I have all my own limbs, and most of my own teeth.

2. I have some amazing friends, many of whom have bent over backwards to make their presence felt in recent years.

3. I am alive. Trust me, it was touch and go there for a while – but I am here. And I’m staying.

4. I have the world’s most gorgeous daughter, don’t you agree?

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5. I may have had a fairly miserable pregnancy, but I am very grateful that S’s father disappeared from our lives shortly after she was born.

6. I live in a lovely flat which, while rather chilly over the Winter months, is safe and newly decorated – two things I didn’t have at the old house.

7. A friend died suddenly, two weeks ago. He was truly one of my favourite people, and he leaves a gaping hole in many lives – but I am so grateful to have known him in the first place. I have fond memories of him, and am lucky to have those.

8. I’m grateful for S. She was born 5 weeks early, and the only trouble she had was a bit of jaundice and no suck/swallow response. I am so bloody lucky.

9. I’m grateful for my dad, who died ten years ago, but whose values still guide my life – and whose voice I hear from time to time, asking me what I think I’m playing at.

10. I’m grateful for the first, second and third person who told me to watch The Secret. It took me a few attempts, but I finally listened and now I believe it is changing my life.

11. I’m grateful I managed to make a good decision on S’s nursery, almost by accident. I chose the nursery closest to where I lived, having visited them once. I had visited several but this one could offer me the hours I needed to return to work, so I took the space without really thinking much about it. Turns out I hit gold.

12. I’m grateful for the lady who taught me primordial sound meditation eighteen months ago. My practice waxes and wanes, but it is important to me.

13. My sister Af, who is at the top of the short list entitled “people with whom I will leave my child.” She is conscientious and pays attention to the way I parent S, so I know there is little difference when I am not here. Also the look on S’s face when she learns Auntie Af is coming to play is absolutely priceless. It’s a massive treat for her.

14. The Big S my Little S was named after. She was like life support when I had my breakdown, checking up on me and visiting on a regular basis. She shared her name with my baby and now she’s having her own baby and I am so excited I could explode.

15. A view of the Cathedral. Having grown up in the shadow of the country’s tallest spire, it sort of became part of the background scenery. A few years ago I visited another cathedral, and remember looking up and actually saying, “is that it?” All cathedrals are not created equal – and I can see an absolutely magnificent one from my kitchen window.

16. Nietzsche was right.

Nietzsche that which does not kill us makes us stronger

17. My bed hasn’t collapsed yet, despite daily abuse in the form of toddler jumping.

18. I live in the centre of an amazing and beautiful city. S can leave our front door and within minutes we can be at the market, at the supermarket, at the park, at the library, at the bus stop.

19. I was sent a Davina McCall exercise dvd to review, right at the point where I was thinking, “ergh, I really need to do some exercise…”

20. Last week while waiting for a bus in an area I don’t really know, I met a man who had just moved there. I’ve no idea who he was, but we had a genuinely nice conversation while waiting for the bus.

21. I’m grateful for all of my bad experiences – even the really terrible ones from which I am still recovering. They have taught me lessons I needed to learn.

22. No matter how mad and discouraging my day has been, when I go to bed I lay down next to the one person in the world who will love me no matter what. No day is bad enough to overshadow that privilege.

23. I am fit (ish) and healthy. I know plenty of people my age and younger who have all sorts of maladies.

24. My hernia is getting better

25. I am grateful for this blog, and everyone who takes the time to read it. I set it up because I was alone and scared with a tiny baby. It has helped me to feel far from alone, and given me some amazing opportunities in the process.

26. I am eternally grateful for my fridge, which came from a skip when I moved into my flat three years ago – and it’s still going strong!

27. My first proper boyfriend, who took me to Glastonbury – the place, not the festival – numerous times.

28. My neck piercings, two of which are now 11 years old and still going strong – having been pierced (by a professional) in my mate’s kitchen.

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The back of my head in 2005, before my third neck piercing.

 

29. I am blessed with a child who is really easy to please. A walk down the street to see an RSPCA collection box in the shape of a dog is often all she needs to brighten her day.

30. I have a weekly column in the local paper, which I love to write. It gives me experience of writing something printable every week, but also a voice, should I feel the need to raise it.

31. I’m grateful for the things I take for granted and tend to downplay as “just…” The other day someone called me an IT whiz because I found a way for him to email a file. It’s easy to forget that not everyone can do the things you don’t really ascribe worth to.

32. When I had my breakdown and moved out of my house, I got rid of an awful lot of stuff. So many things were sold or given away. But I kept my print of Where the Wild Things Are, and now it sits in our kitchen, where S regularly points at it and says “Max is wearing a crown!”

33. I am eternally grateful for the community midwife whose support dragged me through my pregnancy. I’m convinced she knew more than she was able to tell me, and she did her best to keep me safe.

34. Similarly, my gratitude for my health visitor knows no bounds. She saved S and I from a fate worse than death when she started asking me the questions I should have been asking all along – and when she stood in my living room doorway and told me, “if I was your mother, I would stand in this doorway and physically stop you from going near him.” She made me realise my misgivings were not just in my head.

35. I’m grateful for the boyfriend I had when I was 20, who told me “don’t worry about the spot on the end of your nose; everyone else is far too busy worrying about the spot on the end of their own nose to worry about yours.”

36. That boyfriend also suggested I start keeping a diary, because he kept one and he thought I might like it too. I now have a massive stack of old diaries filled with… well, mostly crap – but there are some gems hidden in there somewhere just waiting to be put in a book!

37. The pub I worked at the summer I had my breakdown. I couldn’t cope with my proper job, but having to be in that restaurant, looking reasonable, by 6pm two nights a week, kept my mind ticking over. It kept me from going completely off the rails; I had to keep track of the days through my drunken, addled haze, to make sure I didn’t let people down.

38. That pub was actually the perfect place to recover from a breakdown. My shifts were so busy, and that Summer was so hot, I ended my shifts feeling cleansed and emptied of the blackness that had been filling me. I would get a drink and sit in that garden and attempt to refill myself with the sunlight instead.

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The table outside the kitchen, where I would sit and read (and drink) after I finished my shifts

 

39. I’m grateful for Dawn, our Home Start volunteer who visited for two hours a week, but made it feel like the best two hours of my week. All she did was hold S while we talked, but for two hours a week I had a break. And she often arrived with biscuits and magazines.

40. I’m grateful to have grown up where I did, close enough to the countryside that we could wander off at the weekends across the fields and rivers. I didn’t realise how lucky I had been, until I commented to a friend the other day that I didn’t understand how children grew up unaware of things like where meat and milk come from, and she said, “yes, but lots of children don’t grow up surrounded by it like we did.”

41. I’m grateful for the angel reading I had just before Christmas. Whether you believe in that sort of thing or not, the things I was told gave me hope and peace and helped in a difficult time.

42. Team Umizoomi, who I hate but S loves – and they seem to be teaching her a lot (in their own, irritating way)

43. I’m grateful for Facebook, and the way it’s allowed me to get back in touch with so many different people from different points in my life. People I’ve worked with, people I’ve lived with, people I went to school with when I was small. Brilliant!

44. I’m grateful for my YouView box, which was a freebie from Talk Talk and has enabled me to do away with normal TV and the license fee all together. We hardly see any adverts, and only watch the shows we really want to watch.

45. I’m grateful that Tesco have started selling caramel syrup; it means I can make coffee at home (with less syrup), rather than buy one on my way home from the nursery run… in theory, any way!

46. I’m grateful that I live right around the corner from a gym that charges only £15 per month… no excuses!

47. I’m grateful to have had a bloody good education, and all of it for free. Only a small percentage of people in the world can say that.

48. I’m grateful to apparently still look quite young. It was annoying when I was 18 and couldn’t get served anywhere; now I’m a 33-year-old single mother who’s not had much sleep, it’s kind of handy! (even the acne can be seen as a bonus)

49. There’s a furniture shop in town that has a fabulous and varied range of wooden animals in the window: pigs, ducks, cats, elephants… and some really tall giraffes. They change their stock fairly regularly, and walking past their windows is an absolute joy when S is with me.

50. I’m grateful for that little something inside me.. instinct, I suppose, that has somehow allowed me to raise (so far) a fantastic child of whom I am immensely proud. Advice from most of the parenting books I read in the early days went out of the window, and I think it’s served me well. I can only hope it continues to do so.

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I’d love to know some of the things you are grateful for today…

”The

Vicky is a single mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. You can find her blogging, business and social media tips at VickyCharles.com.

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