November 2019

So the Gratitude Journal is still going strong, though I must admit that I did miss a couple of days this month, mainly because I’ve been going to bed a lot later than usual. Reading back on the days it seems I’ve been doing a lot of research into properties and general areas and feeling a little nostalgic about where I currently live and being quite reflective even though I’m not even moving just yet.

Many food related catch ups, mental health related discourses, and events with writers and performers. I’ve found this month a little difficult to get up in the morning as it is a lot darker now in the mornings, but also just getting to bed too late – it’s a vicious cycle really; maybe this is something I should try to rectify over 21 consecutive days.

Reading back on the days it is also making me realise how big the little things are in life and that the best comparison one can make is to yourself, your past self. As I am doing more research and learning more, I am progressing, yet also coming across new problems. But the hubby has found a nice quote to see me through: growth is moving from one set up problems to a better set of problems. So here is my November gratitude journal:

1 Podcast: grateful to listen to another podcast about working away from home in another country, whereby you can be pushed completely out of your comfort zone, but there are ways to give yourself a little home in your away work eg having a local store you visit, having a local bar or pub to visit, little evening rituals to get you through, essentially making a little home when you’re away. Made me grateful to think about the small things to get you through in life.

2 Friends: grateful for a lengthy catch up with friends over brunch about work and life and hopes and dreams. The food was good and the company was great. Also grateful to hear how I’ve helped them back in the day.

3 Communication: grateful for good communication and working together with the hubby on something to organise things, team work makes the dream work.

4 Walking: grateful to be able to walk to and from work as I realise that soon I may not be able to and that many people are currently unable to.

5 Gifs: grateful for these little things bringing me joy and laughter as my friends and I try to outdo each other on finding the cutest and most adorable gifs, I’d say it was a draw.

6 Team building: joined the hubby’s team building evening playing board games and card games, it was lovely participating and thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and I’m grateful to have been invited to come along and gate crash.

7 Progress: grateful for progress, it’s been 1 year and 2 days since I started at my current work and started this new job and I have come a long way. Today I attended an all day conference and learnt even more, and as I sat there looking around at my competitors or potential versions of my future self, I realised how far I’ve come from knowing almost nothing in my current field a year ago and now I’m able to attend a conference and actually understand most of what is being said.

8 Tea: grateful for tea today as it was super cold in the office so it was nice having a hot drink to warm me up.

9 Friends and helpful people: a couple of friends came round this evening to catch up and play video games, it was lovely seeing them again and just chilling, grateful they made the journey over in the rain. Also grateful to someone who had taken us to see a property only to find out it was the wrong one! He kindly suggested to sit in a lovely friendly tavern whilst he knocked on the door of the actual property to see if we could view it and we did. Grateful for this person’s quick thinking and flexibility, and also grateful for the people allowing us to view their home at such short notice.

10 Hair: grateful for my (previously) long hair, I chopped it off today to donate it to The Little Princess Trust. More details about how and why here: Hair today, gone tomorrow

11 Catching up over dinner: lovely evening catching up with a couple of friends over dinner, the conversation turned deeper than anticipated regarding mental health, but it’s good to be able to have open discourse about topics like this.

12 Culture: grateful for culture and grateful for a lovely evening of readings and poems read by Neil Gaiman and surprise guest David Tenant, music played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and songs sung by Amanda Palmer at the Barbican. A great listen and more details can be read here: Neil Gaiman

13 Work: travelled to a client in Somerset today which I haven’t done in months, but used to do almost 90% of the time (general travelling, not always to Somerset), so I’m grateful that my current work doesn’t require me to travel often too much. And I also met and stroked an adorable dog at the station.

14 More culture and conversations: grateful to go to another delightful event seeing and listening to Neil Gaiman talk about a book and general musings with collaborator and illustrator Elise Hurst.

15 Commute: I left home late this morning and I usually walk to work but today I got the bus, not thinking about it and just hopped on a bus, before I realised that the route had recently changed and I had to quickly hop off. Grateful that I can usually walk to work and that there are multiple bus routes that I can take, even if they don’t all actually get me to work.

16 Friends and family: grateful to be able to visit my hometown and see family in the afternoon with my cousin and her youngest, who was hilariously hiding from us, and friends for a birthday dinner catching up.

17 Rest: grateful to have a lie in and a rest after a busy week, grateful to be able to walk along my local high street and appreciate the surrounding area. I feel that as I am planning on potentially moving away from this area I am viewing things and places with rose tinted glasses, but I am grateful for the convenience of where I currently live as I don’t foresee this being replicated where I next move to, wherever that may be.

18 Open discourse: I wrote a piece about mental health and my experience for work and a few colleagues emailed thanking me for sharing, but what I’m grateful for is how relatable some things are. My piece included dogs, naturally, but also physical health, burnout, exam pressure and exam stress whilst working full time; and I’m grateful that people read my piece and could relate enough to reach out and say they feel or felt that way too. I’m grateful to have these shared relatable experiences with others, it makes the world a little less scary and a little more connected.

19 Work and walking: a couple of things today. Work related because my piece is still gaining traction and one of my bosses said that he hopes that people at work are approachable enough for me to let them know if I am ever struggling, which I am very grateful for, both the sentiment and the work culture this openness is encouraging. Also grateful to be able to walk home and walking home with the hubby too, we used to walk the dog together every day and although Merlin is no longer with us, I’m grateful to still be able to have nice walks home with the hubby.

20 Christmas lights: grateful for all the pretty Christmas lights sparkling up my journey home, so colourful and bright and festive, the lights also make the journey home more safe.

21 Relaxing: grateful to have an evening to just chill and relax after a busy week so far, it’s nice to be able to recharge my batteries.

22 Progress: grateful to see that I have come far and progressed, comparing myself now and this time last year I have learnt so much in my job, in my physical health, in my mental health, in so much. As the year is almost ending, I’m excited to see and learn what will become of me this time next year.

23 A hearty meal: grateful to have a very tasty, reasonably priced, hearty meal to warm me up after a very productive but tiring day – I do love gravy.

24 Dreams becoming reality: grateful that I am in a position, almost, to being able to buy property; trawling through sites looking at properties and booking viewings, it brings me great excitement and I’m grateful that I am able to be in this position.

25 Podcast: listened to a really interesting podcast where a life coach was interviewed and there were discussions about overcoming trauma, changing your outlook and habits, and healing. The podcast also talked about how 21 days is the shortest amount of time to create a habit, how doing or thinking or trying something for at least 21 consecutive days is more likely to help you maintain it. Interesting listening and I’m grateful to find this podcast, and I may even put this 21 consecutive days business to the test.

26 Festive spirit: it is 5 days until December and I’m grateful that people are getting into the festive spirit. The Christmas trees are up at work and Secret Santa is also being organised, it’s nice having this extra festive atmosphere, and I’m looking forward to putting up our own Christmas tree this weekend.

27 Health: grateful for my health, even though I could always be healthier or fitter, but I’m grateful as a couple of friends are ill or they have a family member who is poorly, so I’ve been reflecting on physical health today.

28 Work: a colleague’s last day today and although he is leaving, or has left, I am grateful to be part of the company and department I am in. He also mentioned he thought I was brave opening up and writing my piece on mental health earlier this month, so I’m grateful that the piece is resonating with people still. Also speaking to a couple of new joiners tonight who are bright eyed and bushey tailed, I realise that I was in their shoes just over a year ago and I’m grateful for my progress and how much I’ve learned and grown.

29 Food: grateful for joining the hubby’s work Christmas meal after a hard working and somewhat intense week at work, it was nice being included (even though I don’t work at the company) and I’m grateful that food can bring people together.

30 Lie in: grateful for an epic lie in this morning after a late night and a long week, grateful to recharge my batteries and wake up when it is light.