The Gratitude Column

Prior to getting my happiness planner, it was a real struggle to remember to make a note of my daily gratitudes. It’s easy for any of us to focus on the struggles in our lives, yet there is so much to rejoice in and be thankful for every day.

There is nothing surprising about habits, yet it amazes me that as I continue to make gratitude journaling a habit, I am finding it increasingly easier to notice the things that make me happy throughout the day. The incredible thing is that some things last only a brief moment, but when I sit and contemplate the day, it will stand out to me and remain in my memory like a little light. I am quick to write it down so that I can flick back when things are difficult. It’s then that I find that I’ve forgotten to remember all sorts!

Here’s Week Three’s happy quirks:

  • I’ve been doing yoga for a few weeks now, and though there are moments where I really want to stop, I am enjoying it. I try and get the man involved, but he seldom joins me. So when he does, it is something I greatly cherish.
  • On Wednesday I had an exam, and as I revised fervently on Monday and Tuesday, and all the days before, it occurred to me often that I have been greatly blessed with the easy access to all sorts of learning resources – mainly the internet, but also books, a house with heating to study in, food to sustain me, a car to travel by … so much that I take for granted, yet it is enabling me on this great learning path.
  • One of this week’s highlights was making banana loaf with the man, and goofing around together. There was a time in my life where laughter wasn’t something that came easy, but nor was confidence or hope. He makes me feel good and that does a tonne to my abilities in this odd world we live in. For that I am so grateful.
  • For some reason, I stumble a little in social situations. It’s so important to have friends, and I have kind of got used to moving often and struggling to find people I can feel at ease with. After the exam, I went with a few from my class for lunch, and it was great! Building friendships doesn’t have to be a huge effort – just a genuine and open one, I’m finding.
  • After the exam, I received an invite via Facebook to the next Ladies’ Retreat in September. Last year was AMAZING and so this made me so excited for the event, as well as bringing up some very sweet memories of making new friends and nurturing old(ish) ones, as well as the things I learnt.
  • Post exam I washed the car, which was long overdue but also hugely satisfying! I’d not had much time to do it due to assignments, Christmas and weather – but sometimes a little uncomfortable effort can go a long way in lifting our moods.
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Clean car!

  • It had been a long time since I played The Sims, or wrote on my blog. I cherished every moment of guilt-free, study/ work free time off.
  • Getting the results for my first module felt good, mainly for having completed it and making the realisation that it is right for me to be here right now, doing this, learning about things that really excite me and make me want to know more. This is what I will hold onto, especially with the rise of a dull panic when I think of how far I still have to go!
  • Finally, travelling down for a weekend with the man in Portsmouth topped the week off! From the simple things, like reading a letter from a friend on the journey down, staying in a B and B and enjoying the breakfast each morning, Costa Coffee dates with the man (because he has nominated Costa Coffee as our place) to the big things, like going to Waga Mama’s for the first time or going up the Spinakker Tower and watching ferries and boats trundle above the water.

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Apart from the weekend away, I’ve noticed that these are things that occur every day. They are the moments that slip by so easily, unannounced and unremarkable. But they make a huge difference to me for remembering them.

There is no difference in all the ‘bad’ stuff that happened. I still feel awkward in certain situations, and that can affect my mood. It saddens me when I see the way people speak to each other on Facebook, everyone forever convinced that they are right. Sometimes my marriage isn’t the restful place it is meant to be, but filled with hurt and loneliness. All of these things crept in over the week. But alongside every incident is another incident, and alongside that one, another. I am excited to counteract my negative thoughts with learning and action through yoga. Where people are hurtful to each other, I want to remember the letter my friend sent me as we reconnect. And the sweetest thing is when your hurting heart is softened through the unexpected tenderness of the one who hurt it. Look for the small things and they will add up and outshine all the dark things!

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

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