The Gratitude Attitude

It’s all too easy to focus on the negative right now….things we can’t do, people we can’t see, places we can’t go.  A good friend  said to me , when my son was very ill, that mustn’t let ourselves go too far down because it’s too hard to get back up.  I tried to focus on that at the time, and I’ve been remembering it lately.  It’s a cliche to ‘count our blessings’ but cliches exist because they’re true – they stand the test of time. Many of the things that cheer us in the normal course of day to day living are still there. Maybe we just have to look a little closer for the blessings, try a little harder to appreciate those simple things which bring joy.

I came across a book a while ago, The Gratitude Diaries by  Janice Kaplan. I am most definitely not a fan of self-help books but the recommendation in the Sunday supplement was strong. I have no experience of ‘the book that changes one’s life’, nor do I believe that it exists, and I didn’t even finish this book (it droned on too long), but the underlying message is clear and, if we take it down to basics, it’s about looking for, and celebrating, the good in a situation. 

Who could fail, at any time, to be grateful for:

  • A family that is safe and staying well
  • Being able to communicate in so many ways
  • Food essentials (and some extras to enjoy)
  • Heating and warm water whenever it’s wanted
  • Books to read, music to play, TV to watch and a comfortable place to enjoy them

How lucky I consider myself to be able to tick each one of those. But even in lockdown, there have been unexpected bonuses to be grateful for. Little things in the main, but nevertheless they have given a lift to the spirits, a moment’s delight. In response to my last post, June at Fancying France commented that she was able to enjoy her white lilac in bloom, something which is not usual as she spends much of her time in France. The little bonuses for me are:

  • Getting up later
  • Enjoying a mid morning coffee in the garden on weekdays (I’m usually either at work or the gym).
  • Not always feeling that I have too much to do (got to get somewhere, do something etc.)
  • A tank of fuel in the car bought two months ago is still more than three quarters full.
  • Watching things on TV that I rarely have time to enjoy
  • Time to sit and make cards without feeling that I ‘ought’ to be doing something more useful. Here’s a few I made earlier

Cards

 

 

 

15 comments

  1. Excellent reasons for which to be grateful, Eloise. I try to list five things for which I am grateful, every day. I began doing so well before I began blogging. Unlike a lot of others, however, I am not saving much money by staying at home! I generally don’t do get my hair or nails done, so didn’t have those expenses in the first place and what I’ve saved by not going out to eat, I’ve spent on buying more groceries at regular prices rather than purchasing sale items for the most part! But, I’m grateful I am able to pick up groceries at the curbside or have them delivered and being able to pay the higher prices. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since reading your blog, I have admired your five things to be grateful for, Bless. It’s a good reminder to be glad about the little things. I’m definitely spending more on groceries as, firstly there are few offers, and secondly, shopping less often. There’s no nipping out to pick up something I forgot!

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  2. I wrote a comment but it appears to be missing, never mind, I enjoyed this post and it was very timely. We need to take stock of what we are grateful for, such as our homes, our families and the small things in life that give so much pleasure, such as spring flowers, a blue sky, the scent of grass and lavender, having sufficient food to eat and even taps from which clean water flows.
    Margaret P

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    • Oh yes, clean, safe water is an absolute joy. We take it so much for granted that it’s easy to forget…..but we shouldn’t. Ever.

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  3. I agree with you, Eloise (love your name). It does help to look for the good, big and little. I think that a lot of little blessings make for quite a big one. And the biggest blessings right now, for me, is famliy being safe, housed, and fed.

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  4. It might be a cliché but I have counted my blessings for a considerable time; my mother used to do the same. I love your list. Having read your post, I was thinking that before the white lilac, I should have mentioned the immense joy I have from having youngest son back in the nest! In fact, I’m just penning a post on this very subject. I hope you are enjoying your BH weekend. We have had the most glorious weather.

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    • Glorious here on Friday and Saturday but what a cold, windy day it is today. It goes without saying that having your son home would beat the lilac!

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  5. I have, somewhat guiltily,been enjoying lockdown as I don’t feel we have to go out and ‘do things’. I’m grateful for having online shopping brought to my door, and when I found it difficult getting a delivery slot, I opted for a more-local company and they were able to deliver next day, not the full range of supermarket goods, but sufficient groceries of all kinds – bread/meat/dairy/veg/fruit/eggs etc – so that we’d certainly not starve. Also, no one is going to call and so we don’t have to jump out of bed, shower and dress so should someone call unexpectedly, we’re not caught in our dressing gowns at 11 in the morning.
    I say “guiltily” enjoying lockdown because lockdown is a for a purpose; to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and the NHS safe. The virus is truly a killer and we must take it seriously, but now is the time to be grateful, as you say. I’m grateful for the obvious things, for a roof over our heads that we own and don’t have to pay exorbitant rent for, having a lovely bed in which to sleep, not a thin lumpy mattress; having a home in which we actually live on the ground floor so that now in old age we don’t always have to go up and down stairs many times a day even though this, so we’re told, is good for us (we do have an upstairs, by the way); having a garden, small enough to manage but spacious enough to feel out-of-doors; a summerhouse in which to feel away from the house, just for a change; a lovely family who contact us daily, either waving to us from the garden or texting or phoning us; books to read (an understatement – a huge library of books to read, ha ha); and, also, the money we’re saving because we’ve simply nowhere to spend it – no tank in the car to refill with petrol, no hair salon open for my 5-weekly hair appointment, no manicures, no pedicure or podiatry appointments, no lunches or coffee out; no newspapers unless our son gets one for us occasionally, and although we’ve spent more on food because we haven’t always known when the next delivery slot would become available,we have actually saved money during the lockdown. And also, time to write my blog and reply to others’ blogs, and simply enjoy not feeling rushed.
    Margaret P

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditto almost all of that, Margaret. We have four levels in our house so there’s always a lot of up and down stairs. The time will come, I’m sure when we say ‘enough is enough’. I never imagined that we would stay here so long (23 years). We were actually looking in Worcester (half an hour away) some years ago, and even went as far as viewing a house but then my son became more unwell and we decided it was better to be around the corner. I have tried not to think too much about the savings on those missed hair appointments, manicures and lunches because I might feel guilty about what they usually cost! Certainly we are spending more on food for the reason you give, but it will all get eaten in time.

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  6. My friends and I have been discussing how much we have to be thankful for. If I get a bit sad missing little GD, I look at the videos and photos of a happy healthy little girl playing in the garden, helping daddy and mummy then I feel very thankful they are all well. Definitely very thankful for zoom and the telephone, somewhere to sit in the sun and lovely walks nearby.

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    • I’m able to see my granddaughters at a distance but not my grandsons which is so sad. But like you, thankful that they’re all well.

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