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