An exercise in gratitude

More often than not it is far too easy to become bogged down with the negativity, that sometimes we need to remind ourselves of all of the reasons we have to feel grateful.  The united states have an entire holiday for that purpose (given, that is an overly simplistic meaning of the holiday in itself) but, where one day is better than nothing, is one day a year really enough to take a moment to review the world around you to look for the positives?  Maybe the world would be a slightly brighter place if people performed this act more often.

By far, the most gratitude I have is for the love that I have in my life.  The people who make me smile and make me feel special are the most precious things to me in the world.  I am aware that I am more fortunate than most with the quality of friends that I have, but I’m pretty sure that this is all to do with getting back the quality of friendship that you give.  I try to give everyone 100% of me for the entire time that I’m with them and aim to have as little distraction as possible when spending time with them.  As far as I’m aware, this is the reason that my friends are happy to know that I am there for them entirely whenever they need me (or vice versa) but don’t feel the need to have the constant upkeep normally connected with friendship.  The one exception I have to this is Best Friend 3, as we seem to have a strange need to top up our batteries more frequently than most.  I see her every day at work and we struggle to get through an entire weekend so are slightly concerned how every day life will be once I no longer work here!  The only equivalent I have to the level of time we need to spend together would be the equivalent of a relationship.  Every part of us is similar to a relationship, with the exception of the sexual side.  All of these different friendships create the same level of gratitude in my world and it’s all of them together that create the enrichment that I experience.

My family, although probably dysfunctional by many people’s standards, will always be an area to feel grateful for.  I may not get along with my sister for any amount of time but if the shit hits the fan we’re there for each other.  I try my best to avoid her as much as possible based on the fact that she is a big shell of negativity, which drains me to the very core of my being, but at least I have a sister that I can rely on if a family emergency occurs.   My Dad is someone that I put before myself continually, to the detriment of my sanity on many different levels, but is something I wouldn’t change for the world.  I learned to read subtle signs of love and affection from him, as he has always had problems expressing any kind of emotion, and that’s something that’s become invaluable to me.  I am entirely sure that he loves me, truly loves me, and is proud of who I have grown up to be.  That’s full-on acceptance there and something that should never be taken lightly!

The time I have had in a job that I have loved with every part of me.  Even at a time where the ties are severed and I’m just going through the motions until I am finally out of there, I am still able to look back and realise all of the good that it has brought me.  It has given me some invaluable life experience about how children should be treated and raised, sent some phenomenal people my way, shown me that work can feel like family and to earn money in a place that makes you sparkle is something that most people never have the gift of experiencing.  I may never find anything even slightly like it again but I will always be grateful for the time that I had everything anyone should have in a fulfilling job.

Discovering my happy place will always be something that I will be grateful for.  Florida, for me, is the epitome of my perfect world.  There are always things to do, can wear shorts all of the time, magnificent thunderstorms, a place where I can walk around and not feel even slightly odd, an environment of complete anonymity while still having friendly faces all around you.  Really, there are a million and one things that I would be able to list about my love attached to the place but that would just become dull reading!  The main thing that I adore is that it’s the only place you can go, scream for hours, days, weeks, and nobody thinks you’re insane!  Florida has given me a dream, one that I shall strive to achieve and something that would truly make me feel like I have accomplished something for my life.

The person I have grown up to be is actually something that I would feel a reason to be grateful for.  So many people of my generation are materialistic, bitter, negative and selfish.  Thankfully, for some unknown reason, I have managed to avoid most of those character traits.  I only ever surround myself with people who express positivity and avoid conflict if at all possible.  People that I can ask if I’m being an idiot and would give me an honest reply.  They are the people who have helped me become the person that I am today.  Giving myself the time and reflection to truly question who i am is merely a bi-product of their awesomeness.

Having had a Mother who adored me from the second I was born, is something that I was gifted.  For a multitude of reasons people can grow up with rejection but thankfully it was something that I never had to experience at home.  I was given the freedom to be me, with very little pressure put on who i was to grow up to become.  I was never going to be an academic, I was never going to be the greatest money earner but she knew from the start that I was going to be there for the people who would need me to be and that is who I have grown up to be.  My mother is the person who knew that from the start and cherished who I was without question.  I miss her, but it is someone I will be eternally grateful to have had as my own.

I am grateful that I stumbled upon the ability to express my feelings using the written word.  Before I had this outlet, the thoughts and feelings that I had built up within me had no way of being let out which only ever led to frustration and an inability to understand why.  I don’t write to entertain, I think that’s pretty obvious, but it’s always nice when people connect to the things that I say and like to read my ramblings.  So, for people who read my brain dumps, I am grateful to you.

Most of all, I am grateful that I can appreciate the little things.  I am always aware of the things I wish I was able to have or experience but will always be able to take a step back and realise all of the good things I have in my world.  If you have people who truly love you for who you are or people whose lives you have made an obvious difference to by being in it, then you will always have reasons to be grateful.  You may have nothing to show for your life materialistically, but at least you will always have people who could say nice things if they were ever asked to speak for you.

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