How often do we pause in our busy stressful lives to take a moment to appreciate what we have, rather than be constantly striving for more?
Being thankful and counting our blessings can promote positive mental health and well-being, which may ultimately boost confidence and success. These positive emotions can help us to deal with adversity when it does occur.
I’m eternally grateful that life has handed me the cards that it has. Some of these things have happened because I have made them happen, because I have been determined and driven, but others have fallen into my lap with no effort at all because of the circumstances of my birth, where I live or grew up.
So, I decided to make a ‘Gratitude List’ to remind myself just how lucky I am, and to be continually thankful and grateful for all these things which I know I sometimes take for granted. Make one for yourselves and consider what you have to be thankful for …
- My two beautiful children. An easy one to start with, but my greatest achievement is that they are both well-rounded, kind, compassionate and strong individuals. I am extremely proud of both of them.
- My counselling work. As I have written in previous posts, my counselling career was relatively short, (17 years), but I hope that during that time I helped some very unhappy people find a way forward.
- My happy marriage. Quite simply, Andy is my soul mate. I genuinely believe there is someone out there for everyone … don’t give up if you haven’t found that special person yet.
- My parents. Both are still alive and healthy and although I don’t get to see my Dad as often as I would like (he lives in the USA), we have a very close bond.
- My career working with vulnerable people, particularly offenders. I started my career working in sales, but in my mid 30’s I took a huge gamble and trained as a counsellor and I have never regretted it. That career path has led me to my dream job which is where I am today.
- My love of animals. I hate to admit it, but I think I probably prefer animals to people. Animals have always given me comfort, companionship and unconditional love.
- Manchester United. In 42 years United I posted about how my love of this football club has seen me through some very dark times.
- My health – exercise and fasting. I am eternally grateful that up to now, I have been healthy and have not had any serious health issues. However, I don’t think this is purely luck. I have exercised regularly for the last 30 years, and recently have also starting fasting, having been very impressed with the benefits that short term fasting can bring and the kick start it can give to the immune system.
- My degree in History from Sussex University. The opportunity to have a free education and the doors that this has opened for me have proved invaluable, as has my resulting ongoing love of all things historical.
- My childhood being brought up in Devon. Although I now live in Hampshire, Devon will always be my home. I will never forget having the luxury of the sea a ten minute walk from the house.
- Rescuing Buffy. Although we have 3 cats, Buffy came into our lives in July 2014 as a rescue. Perhaps it’s because she is a survivor – she certainly has a special place in my heart.
- Starting a Blog. I can hardly believe that six months ago I had not even considered blogging, I didn’t even know what a blog was! The last 3 months have been a revelation and I hope that I can grow and become a better blogger as time goes by.
- The wonderful world of films and cinema. I love films. I can lose myself in the stories and having a son who studies film at University is a joy as we have so many wonderful conversations about films we have seen.
- Reading and Books. My Kindle is one of those possessions that I would need to take to a desert island. I love to read. True crime, historical fiction, biographies, science fiction, I love them all and always have at least two books on the go.
- The opportunity to travel and have holidays. I love to fly and would spend my life travelling and exploring if money allowed. We have had some lovely holidays since our marriage, and Andy and I have big plans to do a lot more travelling when we retire.
- Wisdom that comes with Age. Do we get wiser as we get older? I think we probably do, at least in some ways. One of the most important things I have learnt is to stop and allow myself time to think before I take action/respond to a situation. I wish someone had told me that when I was 20!
- The Internet. How I love the web! I can’t believe how I ever coped without it.
- Living in a free county. Yes, there is a lot that is wrong with the UK today, but I can’t honestly think of another country that I would rather live in. We continually take for granted our health service, the amenities and the freedom we have. Not to mention the stunning coastal areas, the countryside, the history, clement weather……
- An alcoholic tipple (or two) From chilled gin cocktails to mulled wine… what joy!
- My home. It is comfortable, safe and warm. What more could I ask?❤️
When I feel like things aren’t working out in my life….. a gratitude list helps me appreciate life again. The gift of love, family, friends and yes a little bit of wine gives me so much joy too!