Why repost it?
I think it is important for us to revisit our gratitude lists - especially on dark days when we don't feel there is anything left to carry on for. It reminds us of all we have to be grateful for. And as an opportunity to reflect and add on to our lists. Lest we forget to live in gratitude each day .
1 - My 2 precious boys Nathan and Kyle. I've been Mom for 17 years now. Not sure where the years have gone but I'm grateful I have had the opportunity to have these 2 boys in my life - the good and the bad.
2 - My belief in love despite some hard knocks. I think we all need to believe in the magic of love and embrace it when it when it enters our lives. And we all need to believe in love - even when things are tough and it seems impossible.
3 - My relative good health. Been a bit patchy this year but I've still been fortunate not to suffer any serious health issues.
And I'm focusing on 3 people in my life...
1 - My Dad. I am blessed with a wonderful, loving, kind father. He's not perfect but he's always been the perfect Dad to me. He got me through high school Algebra, never said I told you so when my first marriage failed. Was just there for the boys and I. Is always happy to be a sounding board for whatever challenge I may be facing. He taught me to always honour my commitments and do what is right. That hard work brings its rewards. And that you never too old to have a party or travel.
2 - My best friend Denise. As different as day and night but she has been a rock in my life for nearly 2 decades. She loves cats - Im a dog person. She's religious to my spiritual. Conservative vs Liberal. She has green fingers. My plants don't stand a chance. Loves Christmas and I loath it. But it does show that the best relationships are not about sharing interests. We talk every day and even across a sms or email just saying 'hi' we know if something is wrong. I am blessed when as a young 19 year old I started working in the same building as Den and we became friends. My life is richer and fuller for it. I look up to her for a lot of reasons. Her determination in running her business. The 3 wonderful kids she has raised. Her lovely home which she is always rearranging or doing something to and which is a home. And the crazy she brought into my life!!! She's the fun loving to my more serious personality...
3 - My therapist who I won't name. I'm not shy to admit I have been seeing a therapist now for a year. With the various challenges I've faced she has helped me to start working through them. But more then that. She has given me back my value, self-confidence and belief in myself. She is giving me the courage to love myself despite my flaws. It is hard work but I am grateful I have her to guide me through this process.
3 more people who came into my life that I am grateful to have, know and love...
Melinda - my friend and stepmom. She has been a friend to me when I've needed it. Loved my boys. Accepted us into her family. But more then that she loves my dad unconditionally. She looks after him. Makes him happy and keeps him in line I am blessed to have her there for my dad and myself. I love seeing their status updates sharing their love. Mel thank you for the joy you bring Dad.
Bettina - we met through our sons and our friendship has stood the changing of schools, towns, countries.... Bert has shown me what a strong woman is. Despite tough battles she had raised a son any mom can be proud of. She has made a success of her life through sheer hard work and determination. She's never been afraid to face the world - ready to win with a smile on her face. A beautiful soul inside and out and a 2nd mom to Nathan. Thank you for your strength. It has helped me keep going.
Lara - 5 years ago I went hunting for a beautician and found a lifelong friend. Lara and I have some shared experiences and I am grateful we are able to support each other through friendship, laughter and beauty. This is one of those friendships where we only see each other once a month but we pick up like it was yesterday... Lara thank you for keeping me beautiful in beautiful surroundings and thank you for being a beautiful soul in my life.
1 - Kim, Lee & Morag.... 3 incredible ladies. Despite their own struggles and usual day to day lives they have been an amazing source of strength and love for me over the last 3 years. They have been sounding boards, shoulders to cry on, ears to listen to while I rail against the unfairness of the universe. They have kept me going when I haven't wanted to face another moment. They have checked on me to ensure I'm still standing. Taken over when I couldn't cope another minute. And it has been done out of love and friendship despite us hardly knowing each other and only being drawn together through our troubled kids. Friendships have been formed that will stand a lifetime and like they are there for me they know I am there for them. While I have a lot of support around Kyle sometimes it takes a Mom who is in the same boat to really get it when a comment is made and I am so grateful to have these 3 strong, incredible, feisty, loving women in my life to be there for me.
2 - My photography friends - both online and from Hillcrest Camera Club, On the Rocks and Finding KZN - plus the other photographers I have met through other outings. You have all encouraged and supported my love of photography over the last 4 years. Through all of you I have had a group of friends centred around the mutual love of photography. Through the photography I have formed friendships that have brought me joy and laughter. I've shared wonderful photographic memories with so many of you - too many to mention in this post but each of you know who you are and I am grateful I get to share my photos with you and see your beautiful work in return.
3 - My friends - off and online - When I look at it I am truly blessed to have a wide circle of friends. Sharing many different interests. Some I don't speak to for ages. Others I am in regular contact with. Some are old school friends. Other new friends. Friends of friends that have become friends over time. School teachers of the boys that remained friends long after my sons left their classrooms. Moms of friends of the boys who became my friends. Each and everyone of you is precious to me. I am lucky to have so many loving people in my life and although I may not be in touch with all of you often I treasure and love you all.
I am lucky to have a lot of people in my life that I am grateful for but there are also things I am grateful for :
1 - My photography. I am passionate about my photography. It has been my therapy, my outlet, my passion for the last 5 years. The more I've learnt about photography the more I've learnt about myself. It has taught me to view the world with different eyes. I see light where I never saw it before. I appreciate the shadows and the magic they create for my pictures. I has forced me to stop and look where before I would have just rushed past. I have a deeper appreciation for art that I never had before. I see the beauty in the ordinary and ugly and through my lens I create a piece of art that will last forever. I love to share my work with others and see their enjoyment of my work. I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to pick up a camera 5 years ago and that I have followed through and turned a hobby into a passion. It won't be a career but it will always be a passion.
2 - My love of reading. Through books I can escape into a different world with each book I pick up. I read a lot and I read daily. For me it is a way of experiencing the world and all the cultures without leaving the comfort of my cozy bed. I will one day travel when my boys are all grown up but for now I will visit those far off exotic places between the covers of the latest book I am reading. I am grateful I was blessed with a good education that allows me to read and a mind that is willing to absorb all around me.
3 - My crafting - I was also sure I could not create anything. That I had not crafting ability but I proved myself wrong and have come to enjoy a variety of crafts from cross-stitch, mosaics, card-making, scrapbooking, quilling and a host of other small bits and pieces in between. There is a quiet satisfaction of having made something with your own hands and I am grateful that I have the ability to craft things and create beautiful objects out of nothing.
Day 6 of gratitude is a mixed pot...
1 - I am grateful that I am privileged to have a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, food on the table, clean drinking water from the tap, electricity, internet connection and all the gadgets that go with modern living. Things so easily taken for granted and only accessible to a few of us on this planet. I am grateful for my education. My easy access to reading material from all sources that gives me a balanced overview of the world we live in. My good job. I've been fortunate to be in the same company for a decade. It all has it's ups and downs but I've been lucky to keep work while a lot of people around me lost theirs in the downturn.
2 - All those bad relationships - men, friends, business. You don't only learn lessons from good relationships. In fact you learn damn good lessons from all those 'bad' relationships. Thank you for the lessons. I've been used, abused, walked over, ignored, stood up, stabbed in the back, neglected, abandoned.... but guess what - I'm still here, I'm still standing and I'll prove all of you wrong - I am strong enough to survive it all. And I've done it with a smile on my face and I still love life. You have all made me stronger, not weaker, despite your best efforts.
3 - My animals - the current brood being Rosie, Eva, Spud and Gravy. I love my pets. They bring me comfort. There is always somebody happy to see me at the end of the day (important with teenagers!)... and to all my past pets, Rex, my childhood companion for 16 years. Killer our Dashie who tragically drowned. Kelly x2, Jessie, Nikita, Neo, Shep, Charlie. Various hamsters, budgies, kittens... animals are a blessings who teach us what unconditional love is all about.
The final day for posting and a day for reflecting. I have looked back on my posts and know I have a lot to be grateful for.
My life, my capacity for love and compassion towards others, my belief that charity starts at home and that everybody deserves a second chance. The appreciation of the small things in life and the recognition that in the end love is what counts.
I am grateful for my health and that of those I love. I am especially grateful to all the people who have helped me on the long road with Kyle and continue to do so. I am grateful that despite the tough times Nathan and I are still able to laugh together and both of us are still fiercely protective over that kid despite all the trauma. I was blessed with 2 unique, challenging boys who I love and will protect always.
I am grateful for my friends and family who love me unconditionally and allow me to continue to grow and express myself in my own unique way.
I am grateful for all the material things I am blessed with but most of all for the knowledge as I get older that less really is more.
I am grateful I was given this life to live. Yes there are days I despair and wonder what I possibly did to the universe to deserve all I have been through but then I remember there are people in worse places then me. And what I am going through always prepares me for the next step. I am grateful for the brilliant, the good, the bad, the nasty - all of it combined has made me the unique, strong, resourceful, loving woman I am today.
May each of you live your life in gratitude - despite a rough week this exercise has shown me that I do still have a lot to be grateful for always. — feeling grateful.