It is easy to forget to be grateful. I’m not even sure what we are grateful to – not to a God, because we are secular humanists, aren’t we? Maybe to other people. Maybe to the world. Maybe to blind chance. Maybe even to ourselves.

These things don’t always notice your gratitude. But you will.

It is easy to skim over the small details that make up a life, and concentrate on the big events – the exams passed, the holidays, the parties, the promotions. And they are fantastic – though the fizz wears off  pretty quickly – but as the Mad Hatter points out, it’s much better to celebrate un-birthdays than birthdays. There are 364 of them a year.

I have kept gratitude journal on and off for a while. It’s something I like to do. I enjoy recalling and recording the beautiful, transient moments that make life a little better. It’s funny what comes up: the time my dear friend’s teenage daughter gave my little girl a manicure (and that’s a long time ago); the perfect combination of bacon and avocado; the work colleague who brought me a cup of tea because I looked tired.

I wonder what it would be like if you did the opposite? If you kept a journal of things that irritated and annoyed you? Things that got you down?

I think I might have effectively done that for a while as a teenager. I’ve often tried to keep diaries and not succeeded very well, but I’m pretty sure that if I could track them down I’d find they were pretty moany. I’m also pretty sure that if I read through them I’d find I’ve forgotten most of those terrible things that made my life so desperately unhappy. Or they’d look so laughably trivial I really wouldn’t understand why they made such an impact.

My life is a mosaic of good and bad moments – and quite a few that pass by unnoticed. Drawing my attention to the good moments reminds me why I’m alive and why I want to be alive.

So happy unbirthday to you.

About sarahsouthwest

I'm now in my early 50s. I started writing again as a way of exploring the world, and feel that over the last 2 years I have really grown as a writer. By day I work with children and young people with mental health difficulties. I juggle my own two children, my work, my writing practice, generally managing to keep all the balls up in the air.
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8 Responses to Gratitude

  1. bookjunkie says:

    Lovely post…thank you 👌🏽😊

  2. Thanks for reminding me about what matters 🙂

  3. Cezane & Michelle says:

    So much to learn from your blog, bound to enjoy my time here with great Intel that i have seen on offering so far.Keep going! Feel free to visit my blog for any assistance. Cheers! – Cezane

  4. Iridacea says:

    Thank you for this post – laughed at the idea of writing a list of all that irritates- I think I have known a few people who have one of those.
    I have toyed with the idea of writing a memoir from two perspectives, one from the idea of being born lucky a tale of goodness and gratitude, and the second story all the evidence of why life sucks. Same story, same events different mindset. Sometimes I do find myself spending a bit of time in the malevolent world view – which seems like a voracious storm- whereas gratitude land brings into focus tiny beautiful details- I know where I like hanging out more- glad you spend time there too.

  5. Julie says:

    Love them sarah.
    I’m not saying you’re not good at your job but you mY have missed another calling!
    I’ll miss you so much. We will need a forum!! JB

  6. I like to write about the good and bad. Whenever I read about diaries this Oscar Wilde quote comes to mind “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” Lovely post 👏

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