A photo in thirds. Bottom third is a band of green gras with three clock dandelions to the right. The next is a brown tilled field. And top is a grey sky against which stands a leafless tree

2022 Grateful 1: The practice of gratefulness

Fifty-two times a year, I blog about something I’m grateful for. For the last twenty-something days, I’ve been doing a gratitude challenge with the lovely Roshni Malek. It’s been interesting reading people’s posts and also dealing with the memories the challenge brought to the surface. The practice of gratefulness takes practice.

I’ve been publishing the grateful series since 2012 and I’ve written about all sorts in those ten years. Gratitude isn’t categorised. It just is. With Roshni’s daily challenge dealing with one aspect of our lives and ourselves, being grateful became more focused and the benefits more tangible. Yes, giving thanks for simply being alive is good. Giving thanks for what sustains us is even better.

We take so much for granted. So much.

At the station yesterday, a chap came flying along this platform on crutches, one trouser leg flapping in the wind. Unbidden, I gave thanks for my legs. Both of them.

At home today, I opened the post and found my annual water bill for #155. When I recovered, I gave thanks, again unbidden, that I had the money to pay it.

At the post office, I picked up a parcel from friends in Thailand and gave thanks for their thoughtfulness and the curry we’ll be having on 2 January.

The practice of gratefulness takes practice.

But the more you practice, the easier it gets. The more you notice, the easier it gets. The more mindful you are, the easier it gets.

As we move into 2023, I’m grateful to Roshni and her gratitude challenge. It put 2022 into perspective for me, showing it not as the rotten year I thought it had been but as a fountain of lessons and learning. And for that I’m grateful.

As for 2023, Donna Ashworth says it best in a poem,\ Life.

No, 2023 won’t be the best year yet.
Nor will it be the worst.
You see, a year is a mosaic of absolutely everything.
Joy, fear, heartache, loss, beauty, pain, love.
Failure, learning, friendship, misery, exhilaration.
Each day, each moment even, is a tiny shard of glass in this beautiful, confusing creation.
2023 will be another mosaic to add to your wall of art.
A wall that shows the life, you are continuously gifted.
A wall that shows you are human.
A wall of survival.
I wish you many broken pieces of glass this year, my friends.
Because this is living.
And before you march on in to another year of ‘everything’, pause to look back, at the work you have created thus far.
It is quite something.
You are quite something.
Now onwards we go, my friends.
Onwards we go.
Happy New Year. Thanks for reading. And for those of you who commented in 2022, thanks for interacting.



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