Forgive me some self indulgence, but there’s nothing like spending a few days sick in bed to make you grateful for all the wonderful things that surround you. I get sick very very seldom, and getting hit by a nasty bug last week (Dr- you can’t go to work for a week. Me- Oh my GOD they are going to be crabby with me!. Dr- No they won’t. People find shingles repulsive. They’re not going to want to be around you) made me realise just how much I rely on my good health and my ability to do all the things for all the people, all the time.
But now I’m up and have makeup on for the first time since Saturday I’m just feeling full of love and gratitude (kind of like a drunk guy with all the ‘I love you man’s) and want to take a moment to reflect on all the things that are amazing about my life. This year has been tough with Jasper’s surgery and all, but as we have always said, since the day he was born, it could be so much worse.
Now there’s none of that #soblessed crap here. Many of these things stem from the pure chance that I was born in a developed country. I’m so happy to be an Australian, with all the freedom that offers. Living in Australia provides medical care and education and welfare for those who need it and so many other things that we take for granted but other countries only aspire too. And of course, the opportunity to vote in two months in an attempt to elect a government that truly cares about the needy and vulnerable in society is a right that we should never over look.
I have an amazing husband. Who is good with money. And who is patient. And who is a great father. And doesn’t criticise whatever plan I’ve just come up with…
Children who are just the most amazing little people I’ve ever met, and who I wake up excited to see every morning (which usually happens immediately as often there is one sleeping nose to nose with me).
A job I adore. Teaching has to be one of the best careers anyone could choose. I’m constantly glad that the ‘oh god, I guess I’d better be a teacher’ decision 20 years ago panned out so well. And the fact that my hours mean that I have a chance to volunteer in the community too- many people just cant do that because there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Beautiful and supportive extended family. I’m so lucky to have a sister who is my best friend, parents who are still alive and I see most days and even a 95 year old grandmother.
I live in a beautiful part of the world, in a cosy and creative home. I mean, look at what I wake up to every morning…
Enough money to feel and clothe my children. Enough to give to others in need. Enough to mean that for most of the time, I don’t have to spend time thinking about how to make ends meet. So many in the world do not get this luxury.
Good health. Pretty much all of the time. This is something that none of us should take for granted. I should probably eat less sugar but…nah.
Great friends. Who make me smile and who make me think. And who are fucking hilarious.
A place in my life where I’m really happy. Some people ‘find themselves’ earlier than others, but some people never do, so I’m calling early 40s not a bad time to go ‘I’m happy with who I am’. There is of course room for improvement, but this doesn’t come from a desperate need to ‘find myself’. Spiritually, and in so many other ways, I’ve found my place, and now I can just focus on the fact that all you need is love (well and food and shelter and an equitable welfare system and clean air…)
There are things that I dislike about the world, of course. Injustice, hatred, just a lack of love and acceptance. But I’ll try and have an impact where I can and trust that other people will do the same. That’s all any of us can do.
I think it’s good to reflect on all the things that we have to be thankful for. For most of us I suspect, this list is a lot longer than our gripes. What else would go on your list?