In keeping my promise to make a regular habit of a short-form, weekly gratitude post, here’s my second attempt at showing appreciation.
This week I’m grateful for:
Quite literally, it’s an edible a Cookie Monster!
*An excuse to buy cartoon cupcakes. My cats’ third birthday proved an excellent occasion for me to purchase these buttercream masterpieces.
*My new audiobook. Audible has this amazing policy of allowing subscribers to switch book they aren’t enjoying. Taking advantage of this, I swapped my initial choice for “The Five Minute Rule” by Mel Robbins. It’s an instantly implementable tool, that encourages action. It’s like the Pot Noodle of the self-help genre. A CNN news anchor, her presentation style is really engaging. C complained that she sounds like Jillian Michaels – but I love Jillian Michaels, so Mel’s right up my street.
*Receiving unexpected mail. This lovely Easter parcel land on my desk from Shanghai, along with an email from a former student, filling me in on her new life in Australia. It brightened up my day! My manager commented that my students really love me, and this reminded me how lucky I am that my job lets me touch these young people’s lives.Disney-themed Easter gifts all the way from China
*Having a job. There’s nothing like restructure and redundancy on your doorstep to make you feel grateful to be in employment. A cloudy atmosphere of uncertainty, sadness and guilt-tinged relief fell over our office upon hearing the news of our colleagues’ fates. Drastic life changes can happen in a moment, and can be entirely outside our control.
*Being able to make a Plan B. This week’s events at work got me thinking: What would C and I do if one of us were to lose our jobs? I’m thankful that, by selling our former home, we’ll be in a privileged position where we can make decisions to best insulate ourselves from future financial pain, should circumstances change.
*Kicking social anxiety’s butt! I actually enjoyed staying late for after-work drinks this week. Once this would have filled me with dread, and I’d have made an excuse to go home. Instead, by channelling my energies on making others feel welcome and at ease, this takes the focus away from my fears. I can relax and be more of myself at work.
*Being noticed as “the most smiley” by my manager. The former goth in me cringes at this, but I can live with a bit of self-shame if it means feeling as good as I have of late. I’ve continued to practise my Hour of Power rituals, and I’m holding onto being a happier, more positive person.
*Finding my braves to network with the Big Boss. Advice Suzy Greaves (Psychologies Editor-in-Chief) shared in the Psychologies Subscribers’ Life Leap Club Facebook group – if in doubt, ask questions – helped me make conversation with a senior colleague. I usually find networking super scary, but asking questions gave me a confidence boost and bought time to gather my thoughts. I’m grateful to have taken the opportunity to promote the good work of my team to someone with power and influence.
Sunbathing starts early when it’s your third birthday
*Spring has officially sprung! The clocks went forward this morning, bringing brilliant Spring sunshine to warm up the soil and breathe life back to the earth. Daffodils and crocuses are now in full bloom, a riot of colour against a lush green lawn. It’s our first Spring in our new house, and we’re lucky to have inherited a large, established garden. I’m excited to see what we’ve got growing out there, and to watch the seasons unfold with C.
*Owning our own home. It’s a little tired and tatty, and in need of a face-lift, but it’s still taking my breath away whenever I stop to look around and appreciate the fact that it’s mine. Not only am I over-the-moon for C and I to have our forever home, but I’m delighted that it quite literally opens up to welcome in the people (and cats) we most love. I can’t wait for the Summer months, when we can host barbecues in the garden for family and friends, watching our nieces and nephew play!
*Seeing my partner C feeling happy. Now that he can get out into our sunny new garden, he’s recharging his mental batteries and is much more like an Easter bunny than the Eye-ore he’s been in the dark winter months.
First day of Spring in our gorgeous garden!
*Family who love us. C and I are extremely lucky to have people who want so much to help us live our dream. My Dad gifted us money to buy some proper furniture for our home (and not, according to C, for me to buy a Tony Robbins ticket… =-( ). While I’d rather he showed love through action rather than money, I understand his anxieties prevent him doing so easily and appreciate this as his gesture of caring. In a different, but equally touching way, C’s parents drove five hours (thanks to C’s Dad misplacing his trust in a rogue sat nav) to come stay with us this weekend. I’m grateful not only for their gardening efforts and expertise (of which I have none), but also for bolstering C’s confidence in just how amazing our old house looks after weeks of renovation work.
*Home-made chocolate cream buns. Knowing of my distaste for dried fruit, C’s Mum baked something especially for me. It makes me feel so loved that she went out of her way to do me a kindness.
Finally, I’m grateful for having had the idea to post weekly gratitudes on my blog. Having something I can publish relatively quickly gives my confidence a boost. Writing anything within a few hours, or perhaps a day, like this is super speedy for me. Behind the scenes, I’ve got at least four other draft posts in various stages of editing. I wish I was someone who could simply throw out my ideas, no hesitation or second thoughts, as I pressed publish.
Alas! This is not who I am.
I’m way too much of a control freak to let my words fly straight out into the world. So I thank you, dear reader, for bearing with me while I find my voice. Writing this blog means more to me than perhaps I expected, which is something for which I can also feel thankful today.