The last couple of weeks have been dire and I have been trying to find something to be thankful for. I am rarely ill with the ‘bugs’ that go around so I was absolutely shocked when I got one of these nasty ones. I have always looked after my immune system so it seemed even more shocking. I cannot remember ever being this ill in all my life.
What kept me going was the birds using my feeders. I managed to get outside every couple of days to fill the feeders and I can see them through my kitchen window. And then when the sun appeared . rather infrequently though, that also helped. I am now much better but not yet 100%. But I am still here so I am thankful for that. My son did the shopping and got me out a couple of times in the fresh air for which I am also thankful.
I am now in the third week and am much more able to do things so I have spent some time working on new items for my web site. (cerianwen.co.uk) as some of the pages were well out of date. I started with my family history page and have been working more on this. Some of the stories in my family history are quite sad but when I look at how many people are living now and how they lived then, there does not seem to be a lot of difference in the help given to those less fortunate. I am thankful for what I have and thankful that I have enough to have a reasonable life. I am not rich but I do have enough to pay my bills, eat and have clothes. There are many less fortunate and I would like to be in a position to help where I can.
I am looking forward to being able to get out more soon and enjoy the countryside again.
As a family history researcher and as an elder, I have a fair amount of knowledge about the past and how lucky we are today. For myself, I remember rationing on food, clothes and anything else that was available even sweets. We made do with a little and my parents learned how to make a small amount go a long way. We did not have a phone or a car and used public transport or walked everywhere. It was nothing new to walk into town which was over a mile away. I walked to school as well until I was about 12 years old and had a cycle. I remember that the air was so dirty that washing was only put out on the line to dry when the wind was blowing away from us. After the Clean Air Act, we now have much cleaner air but this is getting worse again due to the heavy use of cars. The recent publication of the 1921 census brought home to me how lucky I was then as a child. In 1921 there were strikes in the coal mines because the government had given them back to their owners who wanted to pay the miners less money for their work. The area I lived in was full of coal mines, pottery manufacturers, iron and steel works and brick yards. It was a dirty place to live but there was no choice if you wanted to work.
So how is it different today? Generally we have good housing, food and clothes and many families have cars and mobile phones as well as access to the internet. But people still moan about not having this or not having that or the shelves are empty in the supermarket. I was trying to remember the first supermarket I used. I had always shopped locally or at the small co-op as I got everything I needed that way and vegetables and fruit were fresh.
We have had some restrictions over the last few months or so and many have got fed up with this and moan about it all the time. Why not take some time to be grateful for what you do have? Look at what you need versus what you want. I am sure you will find there is a difference. Changes are on the way, some big ones that will make use stop and take stock. If we are going to make our planet safe for us all then we have to change how we live. Start now before we are all forced to change whether we want to or not. Be grateful for what you have and keep it safe.
I feel blessed this morning. Although it is cold and frosty, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. I watched the squirrels scampering about in the garden and the blackbirds digging for worms. It was such a joyful experience and I feel truly blessed by this.
Despite the restrictions still in place I took a blood test the other day and then broke my already broken tooth in half. I need to now find a dentist but after I got home that day I discovered that the gardener for this place had made me a small garden patch of my own on a corner of an existing lawn. I can see this small patch of garden from my kitchen window and I am quite excited at the thought of what kind of plants to put there. My son will help with this of course as he is busy growing many plants from seed but they will not be ready to plant out for another couple of weeks at least. But another thing to feel blessed for.
My son is also taking me on one day a week to explore the local environment. There is a lot to see around here on the many lakes formed by old gravel pits and also by the river. This week we explored another one of these nature reserves and after a muddy start the walk was very enjoyable. Lots of fungi and the sighting of a great crested grebe on the water. Another thing to be grateful for and feel blessed.
I love jigsaws as I find them calming and meditative in some way. This week I am grateful for the large pile of jigsaws in the residents lounge which I can borrow and then replace. So a week of feeling blessed and many feelings of gratitude.
I have been thinking of writing about gratitude for some time then this morning, my news feed on social media came up with all these memes about being grateful! Gratitude is something that has been lost for some time as people take for granted that their every need will be met so let’s look at what we can be grateful for in this current time.
Although the western world appears to be wealthy and every one has a home and enough food and clothes, that is not necessarily the case. Every large town and city has areas where there is deprivation of some kind. During this current crisis, many of these people will be wondering where the next loaf of bread is coming from never mind a new phone. We need to look at how we live and be grateful for what we have and share what we have but don’t need with others.
We are being encouraged to go out for exercise. If you live in a tower block and the lift is out of order, just going up and down the stairs will keep you fit but in our crowded cities and towns where is the fresh air for us to breathe? Now there is less air pollution being outside is much better but we are now being told that the air inside our homes is more polluted and we are using far too much electricity keeping all our gadgets charged and usable.
I am grateful this morning for the rain which has soaked the garden. It is more important to me than a mobile phone that does fancy things. I am grateful for the birds that sing and build nests in my hedge. They give me more joy than watching the TV. I am grateful for the fact that I can still get outside and have a short walk despite my widespread arthritis and myofascial pain. I am grateful for being here at this time of crisis so that I can take time to look at how I want my new world to be after the lockdown. What are you grateful for?
Wishes is probably not the right word to use however this is what this blog is about. First of all I wish you all a Happy New Year whatever and however you celebrate. A week ago, one of my friends asked us all to give her one word to describe what we wished for her during this coming year. This brought up lots of suggestions and I am taking some of these words to use in this blog. First of all I wish you all peace during the year. This is peace with yourself and peace with others as well as peace around you wherever you live.
I’d like to wish you love as well. Love for yourself and your family as well as for those around you. Love is a powerful vibration and can change lives. So what else do I wish for you? Gratitude; gratitude for what you have. I give gratitude each night for three things that are not the obvious ones like a roof over my head, food and clothes. There are many other things we can be grateful for. Caring and compassion for others is something else I wish for you. In our current world, compassion and caring are extremely important when there are so many who need help of some kind.
I wish good health for you and happiness. With good health comes another wish, sustainable eating and living. This is another very important thing in view of the changes in our climate, living sustainably, not wasting anything that can be used in some way and not buying what we don’t need. Repairing items that can be repaired is good as well. It is better than throwing them away.
I wish also that you gain a deeper connection with yourself, with others and with the natural world around us and also with the spiritual world. Take time to stand and stare, to contemplate and to reflect, to look at the bigger picture around the current circumstances, to forgive and to share. But above all I wish you happiness. Be happy with yourself and then you will be happy with others.
There is a website called http://www.actionforhappiness.org who produce a monthly happiness guide. I am using the one for this month as my photo today. Can you do the things it asks of you?
This year has had many happy parts but also many sad parts too as friends and family have travelled to the Summerlands. Some themes have been strong in my life though and I have tried to help others to think about the way they live their lives. I have written about the wonders of nature and how I appreciate it. I have written about complacency and uncertainty recently too.
During this festive season gratitude has been foremost in my mind. I am so lucky to have a roof over my head, to have enough food and clothes and also to have a few good friends and family around me. I think about refugees from tsunamis and those feeling oppression in their country and I am thankful that I do not have those kinds of things to deal with.
I have also been thinking about how some people seem to want more and more material things and rush off to the sales to get as much as they can carry whether they need it or not. There is a big difference between wanting something and needing something and I always try to think if I need something before I buy it. Of course I do buy some things I don’t really need as we all do but I try not to do this often.
Over the last few days I have seen posts on social media about the amount of food and drink people have partaken of recently. Is this necessary? Does an excessive amount of food and drink do your health any good? Why not give the excess food to those in need.
Then there is the pollution debate. Plastics, air pollution, water pollution are all there up at the front. I try to do as much as I can about all of these. I try to only buy plastic that can be recycled or reused, I try to keep the air around me clean, I don’t have a car and I stopped flying to other countries many years ago. There is so much we need to think about in the world of today if we are going to make the world a better place for everybody. Next year gives us 365 days of challenges to do this. Think of something you can do each day to make the world a better place for at least one person. That is my plan.
Gratitude is something many of us forget about. At the moment I am feeling very grateful for all the help I received from others this weekend. I have been away on a course and I could not have done the course without the help of others.
I am also grateful for other things, a roof over my head, enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear. There are many people living in our world that do not have these things, many of which are basic to living, such as clean water which we take for granted. I try to think about five different things I am grateful for, each day.
What are you grateful for? And do you let those who help you feel appreciated? Can you help others be grateful for basic things in life?
The photo below was taken this weekend at Denman College where I stayed. I feel grateful to have seen this flower as to me it is very beautiful.
A definite feel of Autumn in the air. Chilly mornings, darker mornings and darker earlier in the evenings. A slight touch of frost the other morning. I love this kind of day when nature can be seen at what I feel is its best, the colours of the leaves as they change each day, the clusters of berries ripening on the trees and hedgerows, and the dewy sight of spiders webs.
Summer is officially over and it is time now to look at what we have already harvested in our lives and what is left to harvest. It is a time of gratitude for all we have received whatever this is, friendship, food, healing, creativity and many other things I am sure you can think of. We are moving towards the Equinox when day and night are equal and we need to take time to look at what we have achieved too reflecting on this and seeing what we need to change in the future.
This weeks photo was taken some years ago in a small park in the town of Leicester just as the leaves were starting to change colour.