Monday, 22 December 2014


I have been reading up on gratitude lately. Having always self-identified as 'ambitious', the concept of focusing on what I do have instead of striving for the next thing felt counterintuitive at first. Shades of resting on laurels, or even self-indulgence. Sitting around slapping myself on the back instead of looking at what can be improved and made better.

But I find myself more and more agreeing that to live in such a way is deeply harmful. Not only does it promote dissatisfaction and a constant sense of deprivation - endless wanting without having - but also it means that, as the old saying goes, you don't know what you've got til it's gone.

Here are 10 things I'm grateful for this week:

1. A family party which has made us all feel warm, festive and loved.

2. Beautiful Christmas flowers from my brother in Singapore.

3. The way Violet holds out her bowl or plate with both hands and says 'Eee-ished' (finished) when she's had enough to eat.

4. Giggling with Noel and feeling really close and reconnected after a long, hard and tiring run-up to Christmas.

5. The kindness and generosity of my late grandfather, which has helped make Christmas a little easier for us all this year.

6. Sitting in our living room with the Christmas lights on.

7. Eating party food for dinner and chocolates at any hour of the day - or night.

8. Planning a New Year's open-house drinks party for our street.

9. A good friend with whom I can be completely open and honest.

10. The boots I have bought Violet for Christmas. They're really more for me than for her.

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