Tuesday, December 31, 2013


My friend Faith wrote this post on her Household Diary blog listing ten things for which she is grateful. It inspired me to do the same. I'm taking gratitude for my family as a given and here, in no particular order, are ten more things for which I am grateful:

1. Our neighbours, who have been a tremendous blessing in our lives. We have four sets of neighbours (two on either side) who all lovely people. We socialise and have fun together, the kids have built in playmates, and most importantly we are a support network for each other. In an emergency we each use each other as our first port of call for help, whether it is babysitting in the middle of the night because someone has to make an emergency trip to hospital, running a load of laundry because a washing machine has broken down, collecting a child from school, or borrowing a pint of milk.

2. My colleagues. I work with a group of extraordinary, quirky and very individual people. Sometimes they can be exasperating and it is like being part of a disfunctional family, but there isn't a single one I would want to be without and some have become dear friends.

3. My car buddy, whose company makes travelling to and from work far more enjoyable. I have discovered that under what can be a prickly and pessimistic exterior there is a kindred spirit - a fellow history geek (ancient history in his case) who also loves classical music and with whom I have a huge amount in common. Special thanks to him for introducing me to Horace, ancient Rome and Shostakovich's Jazz Suites, for entertaining conversation about a huge range of subjects, and for a lot of laughter.

4. My bedroom, which is the one place I can (sometimes) find some time alone. It is my happy space.

5. Hot showers. I am a shower person rather than a bath person. My morning shower wakes me up and makes it possible to face the day (I am not a morning person!).

6. Good health. Apart from occasionally succumbing to asthma related chest infections I am lucky enough to enjoy very good health. So generally speaking do my family - even the scoliosis Tevye has had since he was a child does not cause too much of a problem and does not affect his quality of life. We are very lucky.

7. English countryside. Almost every day when I drive to work I will be treated to a wonderful view - a beautiful sunrise over the fields, or a row of stone houses in a picturesque village.

8. Transport. The ability to hop in the car or onto a train and go more or less anywhere I want to go. After many years when Tevye and I shared a single car the ease of having a vehicle accessible whenever I need one is something I don't take for granted.

9. Music, both to listen to and to play. I am so lucky that I had an aptitude for music and was able to take lessons as a child. Playing in bands and orchestras is a wonderful way of relaxing if I feel stressed, is fun and sociable. I can't imagine a life without music.

10. Technology. I love my iPad, my phone, my Kindle, the internet, Spotify, blogs, Facebook - all these things that allow me to connect with friends (some I know in real life, some I don't), and that both entertain and inform me.

I think this year I am going to try to focus on gratitude and write down every day three things - however small - for which I am grateful. If I could keep it up for the entire year that would be over 1000 things. I doubt I will manage that, but I am going to give it a try.


Faith said...

Nice list! I wish I was closer to my neighbors. My house is set apart and we all lead very different lives. I always feel I don't make enough effort to really get to know them. I miss my old neighborhood where we were much closer to our neighbors.

ellie said...

What a fabulous post! Thank you, very inspiring.

Caroline said...

Lovely post, really enjoyed reading it. How lovely to have such good friendships with your neighbours.

Missus Wookie said...

I really enjoyed your list - and found my gratitude journal was a nice addition to my evening prayer routine - a nice way to settle down and center.

Hoping we have nice neighbours once we've moved.