Alongside the theme of mindfulness and wellbeing this year, there has been such a great emphasis on gratitude and the positivity to brings into our lives. Research says that it strengthens our emotions, develops our personalities by increasing our optimism, and even contributes to our physical health too. I started a gratitude journal during the year but unfortunately, it ended up like most of my other good intentions of putting my life or words onto paper; on a shelf.
I will kick off the new year with a second attempt at practicing gratitude. For this Christmas season, I have decided to write a list of twenty-four things as a summary of 2018. I chose this number because that is how old I am and is the number of Christmas days I have celebrated. It is also the number of days of advent which is rather fitting too! 🙂 They aren’t listed in an order of importance but are randomised because surely a ranking system would defeat the objective of this exercise!
I used an image from Calvin and Hobbes because it resonates with me so much. It also has snow which is Christmassy… 😛
So, without further ado…
I am grateful for:
1 – the opportunity to surprise my parents and brother in Calgary in March and spend Harry’s birthday together
2 – such a “first world (but honest) problem” of having a concierge at my previous address for any parcel deliveries! I love all click & collect options now
3 – the perseverance that led to a change in my job to a graduate consulting role
4 – reacquainting myself with a calculator, maths and studying despite being so nervous and apprehensive – and passing!
5 – always being warmly welcomed by my department team I worked with for most of my Resourcing career, no matter the occasion
6 – sunday mornings starting with yoga and a coffee in Shoreditch
7 – living in a connected part of London that I am familiar with and build upon the memories I already have in the area
8 – my parents living seven hours behind when I cannot get to sleep and want to speak to someone
9 – crosstown vegan doughnuts (and to Christine for introducing me to them)
10 – the number of friends who appeared at Bar Elba in June
11 – the greatest showman soundtrack which still sits in my top ‘listened to songs’ on spotify
12 – tc + the humongous scarf that will mean I can never say that I am cold
13 – giving myself time and headspace think and go through any emotions to work out big decisions
14 – the ability we have to travel anywhere – near or far nowadays
15 – being inspired by those i follow on Instagram to be more sustainable and look after the world around us
16 – having a greater understanding of resilience and emotional intelligence although it is still hit and miss in practice!
17 – the friends from far and wide who still respond to my messages and actually want to talk to me despite my lack of communication
18 – the health of my family and friends this year. Last Christmas one of our family friends had started recovering from a battle for his life, and this year he has been able to fly to Australia with his family – just amazing
19 – the conversations with friends and people I meet that are shared over a meal at a restaurant or café we have never been to before
20 – having a manager who works in a completely different style to me and learning how to adapt and work with them – it is a great challenge
21 – friday night drinks after work and my appreciation for a cold pint (i am not the alcoholic I sound like I am!)
22 – being invited to friends weddings that all kick off in 2019 and beyond…!
23 – the introduction of oat milk and my now increasingly expensive habit of having an oat milk mocha every day
24 – my one line a day book and being able to look back over the year and see how much has changed or what I have learnt
This list staggers me. It wasn’t the easiest to write because it is a task to dig deep within yourself and recognise all the little and big things that can happen in a year, let alone a week or a day. And I have to admit, writing these down has actually changed my mental state this morning.
I woke up at 04:12 after nine hours of sleep. I gave into the jet lag last night. The flight and journey over here hadn’t been the smoothest mentally and I end up feeling guilty for feeling mixed emotions about coming all the way here. But now, as it is a more appropriate time of 07:45, it is time for Christmas Day to begin.
Merry Christmas everyone!