The Gratitude Column

There has been an ongoing fight between the cold weather with its dark mornings, and me. There have been some days where I have longed for home comforts, and even knowing that this isn’t forever, being neither here nor there has been disheartening. But thankfully there have been many little things that I really shouldn’t take for granted:

  • New hair (new hair new me, right!?)
  • Interacting with my lecture material, being curious and finding joy in finding new answers.
  • Hearing about some big, life-changing plans from a close friend that, although will take her miles and miles away from here (8,500 miles to be more precise), will also give her some pretty exciting opportunities to do something big with her life.
  • Actually doing the things on my to-do list; making time for those long overdue cards for some friends/ family, and finding that the little time it took to write them left me feeling a little more balanced as I reflected on the news I was telling them. There is something calming and deeply satisfying in having to process reflective information that we intend to write down rather than type. It’s slower, and requires more fore-thought. It’s very therapeutic. Then, actually sending the cards left me with a sense of achievement after I’d addressed my to-do list, rather than putting it off.
    Equally, I felt the same when I addressed those tasks that I least wanted to do. Calling up the maintenance people to arrange an appointment for our broken cooker. When the whole household is out all day and separated across several miles, it’s hard to organise a good time, and so the process can seem daunting. Add another million things onto the to-do list and we’re doomed! Picking out the positives and thinking of how it will impact the future really helps.
  • The breakage of the cooker is a bit of a frightening story. I don’t do very well with loud noises, so when I popped a pan of water on the hob to boil and it suddenly went ‘flash’ and ‘bang’, tripping the electricity, I was all shaken up and too terrified to turn it back on after we’d restored the electricity.
    The outcome of this situation was us having to use the microwave for any meals. That, and the wonderful memory of eating microwave meals whilst watching the rugby after a long day of working. Just a little reminder that there can be something fun in any situation!
  • Which leads me onto our future …
    The man has his postings for August, and it is very far from where we are based now. It brings up a whole lot of difficult questions, and a lot of stress and worrying how we are going to cope away from each other, or if I gave up this dream of working as a radiotherapist. A chat with my tutor lead to some more information, thus opening up some more options for us. Which in itself is a little reminder that there is always more than you think there is. Bringing in other people will give you better perspective and more information, and perhaps even just that little extra emotional support that we can often only find in conversation and interaction.
  • One of my fondest memories from this week is a very simple one. I had a class in a different room to the usual ones we use. Tucked away behind the main buildings, I imagine it was built with its surroundings in mind. Sitting at a table, preparing myself to go over some monotonously important legislations, I couldn’t help but keep looking up to the windows, which framed the trees outside perfectly and made each view look like a beautiful picture. It was as if God was saying, “I’m right here, all around you, everywhere in your living!”
  • Finally, what kind of week would it be if it didn’t end with a Costa date with the man? We went to a Costa in the new Next store in our area, and I absolutely loved seeing the home décor and all the furniture there. It made me dream of our future house. It reminded me of what we are working towards. Not in the ‘neither here nor there’, but home. Our home.



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