Sunday 30th January 2011

Gratitude 1, 2, 3,

Having a coffee with someone who I’ve known all my life but only in recent months has it occurred to me that they’re actually a good friend & a really special person.

Setting up a standing order to give money regularly to my favourite charity.  Back before I had my new job & was quickly running out of money, I vowed that one of the first things I’d do when I was earning again would be to make a monthly donation.  So satifying to actually be able to do it.

Replying to a whole host of messages & emails that had been building up in the last few weeks.  Feeling organised & back on top of things in anticipation of the new month, when I’m planning on coming out of hibernation: returning to my social life, returning to ‘proper’ posts, returning a life of my own. 

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What a week…

Well, what a week it’s been!  And here it is, summarised in eighteen bullet points that tell of what I’ve been grateful for over those busy days…

Monday 24th:

1 A new airy-fairy, lifestyle-envy cookery programme on the BBC.

2 Having a task that seems like a huge mountain to climb but actually getting through it fairly speedily.

3 Sainsbury’s own brand version of Kit Kats, as I love Kit Kats but try to avoid Nestle products.  Thank you, J Sainsburys, for producing a guilt-free version.

Tuesday 25th:

1 A friend offering to meet me to calm my nerves & distract me.

2 Passing my PhD viva without trauma and with excellent feedback.  Biggest goal in life now achieved – not bad progress for a Tuesday afternoon in January.

3 Going for a lovely meal with my parents to celebrate becoming a doctor, even though my stomach still felt a bit funny & I couldn’t eat much.  It’s also hard to eat when you’re smiling so much.

Wednesday 26th:

1 Avoiding a traffic jam that I seem to hit every Wednesday morning.  Always good.

2 First Cadbury’s Creme Egg of the year.  Yum yum yum.

3 Finally starting on the second sleeve of the cardigan that I’m knitting.  The speed of my progress is decreasing with every section, but it’s still progress.

Thursday 27th:

1 White chocolate and raspberry cookies.  Five words that spell happiness.

2 My boss taking me to dinner in a v nice Chinese restaurant where I had the juiciest king prawn satay I’ve ever had.

3 Going to the bar in my new local and chatting to someone that I met last week. 

Friday 28th:

1 The ability to get loads done at work when you know that you’re finishing early.

2 Coming home to a thank you present that included pina colada jelly beans – a perfect pre-night out aperitif!

3 ‘Our Betterware man is Scottish’: the greatest comment ever over-heard at a Burn’s Night.

Saturday 29th:

1 Staying in bed for a ridiculously long time even though I was awake, just because I could.

2 Balancing table mats on my head with my niece.

3 Staying in my pyjamas for the entire day, just because I can. 

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday… And that was the end of Solomn Grundy

I don’t know why I added that last clause to the post’s title.  The nursery rhyme about Solomn Grundy has no connection to its contents, it’s simply that writing the name of several days in a row reminded me of the poem.  So, with that explanatory note out of the way, it’s onto the main business: what makes it onto my gratitude lists for the latter part of the week?

Thursday 20th January:

1) Managing for once to zip up the back of my dress without assistance.  Achieving this feat always gives me a thrill of satisfaction. 

2) That final push at work: one of those moments where it’s getting to the end of the working day & you’re suddenly fired up and get a seemingly impossible amount done.

3) The whole evening: from the drive home where I felt so overwhelmed with a love of life that I burst into tears, to my first very pleasant night out in my new home where I’m spending half my week, to staying up half the night talking – ensconced in a world that I couldn’t have even imagined just a month ago but immediately felt right and comfortable and like home.

Friday 21st January:

1) My boss doing a treats run mid-afternoon.  Sometimes we all need something sugary & sweet to keep us going, especially on a Friday afternoon.

2) Reasonably priced petrol at a motorway services: where I was working changed at the last minute on Friday morning & I didn’t get chance to fill up for the journey home, hence ended up having to stop at a motorway services.  Drawing up alongside the pump, I was amazed to discover that the price was no higher than in any normal road-side garage – extremely chuffed is the phrase that springs to mind.

3) First dance class of 2011: as we stretched & bended during the warm-up, it felt as though my whole body was thawing – previously a feeling that I associated solely with the warming effects of the first alcoholic drink of the night going down.

Saturday 22nd January:

1) Decided that I really did need some grey trousers.  Went to the shops.  Entered first shop.  Shop had one pair of grey trousers: my size & length and half-price in the sale.  Tried on.  Fell in love.  Got to till and discovered that they were reduced further to one-eighth of the original price.  Had to restrain myself from kissing the sales assistant, such was my joy.

2) A last-minute invitation.  However much I was relishing my plans for a quiet night in, there are occasions when nothing beats that feeling of the eleventh hour decision to go out. 

3) Falling into bed, several hours later than planned, content after a fairly random evening with a very dear friend for company.

Sunday 23rd January:

1) Post-meeting cup of tea at the Quakers: half an hour being truly part of a community – the kind of feeling that I longed for as a wistful child at Brownies but never seemed to happen.

2) Being able to do my brother a favour & knowing that he was really pleased with the results.

3) Having the urge to send a book to someone that I think they’ll like and – thanks to Amazon and the genius invention that is the internet – being able to do this at 8pm on a Sunday evening with just a few clicks of a button.  And, after a few more clicks of a button, I’ll fall into bed, content again.

Three Things Again

So much to be grateful for, such a little list…

1) An out-of-the-blue text from a fabulous friend, which arrived just at the moment in the afternoon when you having a bit of a lull & need a little distraction to pep you up.

2) An unexpected book sale on Amazon.  I say unexpected because I didn’t realise I still had books listed on my seller account.  I admit that the proceeds aren’t enough to retire on, but I still enjoy planning on how to spend my surprise bonus.  A lipstick?  Wool?  A book?  Lipstick?  Wool?  Lipstick? Wool? 

3) Bubble bath!  Hurray!  See you soon…

A mixed bag of gratitude:

1) A new haircut that I think is pretty snappy, even if I do say so myself!

2) A friend bringing me a book that they thought I’d appreciate – what a lovely surprise.

3) And after a long, hectic day, the prospect of an hour or so with some knitting makes me feel all warm and calm inside.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Friday 14th January:

On Friday, I was grateful for…

1) Having a great time making a puppet from a sunglasses sleeve with my cousin’s little boy.  It’s not everyday that breakfast is such a fun event.

2) Feeling that I’d done a good job on a work task.

3) That Friday Feeling.  No matter how much you like your job, the feeling as you head home on a Friday night is still spine-tingling.

Saturday 15th January:

1) Receiving my first wedding invitation of the year (lovely in itself) and discovering that it came complete with a stamped addressed RSVP card – a really thoughtful touch that made me smile all day.

2) Doing the Hokey Cokey with my niece. 

3) Finishing the right front of the cardigan that I’m knitting while watching an amazing Bruce Springsteen documentary (I admit that this is technically two items for gratitude but they were concurrent so I figure that’s allowed to be classed as one).

Sunday 16th January:

1) A v. nurturing, restorative Quaker meeting.

2) Completing a task that was on my to-do list for tomorrow.  Especially as I thought it’d be a mammoth task – once I got started, it was nowhere near as bad as I’d expected.  I actually quite enjoyed doing it, and came away feel v satisfied.

3) Opening a toothpaste box and discovering that the tube has a screw top hence no annoying little foil seal to try to remove.  Happy days!