What a month. Started off super busy and then ended up super ill. Lots of chocolate, of course it was Easter, and lots of sleep and napping. Also a little bit of escapism, delving into TV shows and watching some really great and hilarious films. Everyone needs a little escapism every now and then.
I have worked super hard this month, evidently to the point of being ill. Really need to take a step back, breathe, pause, and listen to my body. At the time, I didn’t think I was particularly drowning in anything. But I suppose when you’re dedicated to the finish line that is so close, you can lose perspective of the bigger picture and not realise how far you’re pushing yourself to breaking point.
It’s interesting that I’ve watched webinars on such things and have written about this before. Yet at the exact same time, I am doing it. Even with the daily gratitudes, I thought I was fine. But I feel now that I need to up my mindfulness game and really focus on me, myself, and I. And I’m learning to build and maintain healthy boundaries. So, here is April’s gratitude journal:
1 Chocolates and work: grateful for chocolates and work today. My Hotel Chocolat goodies have arrived from work, super grateful for a mindful workplace that appreciates staff and values employee wellbeing. This also means we will have a biscuit tin after the chocolate biscuits are eaten too, which I am also very grateful for.
2 A couple of things today. Grateful for colleagues today, as we were all coming together and working hard on a bank holiday. Also super grateful for the hubby today, doing the chores, sorting things out, and being respectful and understanding of my working space.
4 A few things today. Grateful for sun today, feeling the sunshine and warmth streaming in was lovely. Also grateful for afternoon naps, completely shattered today and fell asleep without meaning to. Grateful for photos and memories, as I’ve been going through old files and seeing pictures of Merlin again when he was a little younger – or more middle aged – and he was just as adorable as I remember him. Also grateful for progress and perspective. Looking through those old pictures and remembering the person I was back then. I’ve come a long way: I can actually put myself first these days and not bend over backwards for people who, in retrospect, didn’t deserve it. I’m grateful that over the years I’ve realised sometimes you have to look after number 1.
5 Skincare: grateful for skincare today. Had a little flare up, perhaps due to stress from working long hours, and applying skincare knowledge to soothe the skin has been super helpful. Grateful for the plethora of knowledge out there, I’m really learning a lot about different types of ingredients and what they can do.
6 Heating: so very grateful for heating today. It was super sunny yesterday so we thought spring has sprung. But this morning was super cold so I’m grateful we have heating to warm the flat and warm ourselves.
7 Lie ins: grateful for a lie in this morning. Waking up and listening to some classical music and gently waking up in a warmish room. It’s always nice just remembering the last bits of a dream too. Grateful for this calmness first thing in the morning.
8 Memories: grateful for memories today. Looking through old photos of yesteryear and seeing so many things happening; life events, parties, and holidays. Seeing pictures of our Old Boy, of old friends and family. Grateful for these memories and grateful for these pictures capturing these times. This was all before camera phones too.
9 Dogs: grateful for dogs today. Watching Schitt’s Creek and there were dogs in this episode. Also watched a few videos of dogs, and it’s said dog videos soothe you. Also just making me really want a dog again. Grateful for the existence of dogs.
10 Hubby: grateful for the hubby today. Working again today and it’s nice having someone support you, getting food for you, and helping you so you don’t have to think about such things. It’s nice being looked after and I’m grateful for the hubby for doing just that.
11 Modern Family: grateful for this hilarious and heart-warming show. We’ve been watching this from the beginning for a few months now and it’s almost the end. It’s been nice watching the kids grow up and the adults deal with life’s curveballs. Grateful for this sunny and heart-warming family show.
12 The future: grateful for future prospects today. I know that the aim of the gratitude journal is to remain present and reflect on things in the current day, but places are opening up, and it was sunny, and I’m hopeful for the future today. I’m hopeful for opportunities and new adventures, and I’m grateful for being where I currently am to know what I want.
13 Conversation: grateful for conversation today. Speaking with the hubby and having an absolute laugh, time passing by, just speaking out thoughts. Grateful to have meaningful conversations, grateful to feel heard and listened to, grateful to be able to speak, listen, and communicate.
14 Reading: grateful for reading. Started reading again last night and feel the book I’m currently reading is getting more and more interesting. Grateful for reading and books and beautiful words pieced together.
15 Dinner table: oddly grateful for the dinner table today. I use it as a makeshift desk for most of the day and in the evenings push everything back to make room for dinner. And it’s actually really nice to sit at a table and eat, actually presently take in the food and converse. Grateful for this space today.
16 Films: grateful for films today. Watched a film for the first time in weeks. Saw Something Borrowed, which was a lot better than expected. Interesting dynamics in relationships and some pretty funny moments too. Somewhat inspiring, grabbing life and taking opportunities – or making your own opportunities.
17 A few things today. Grateful for books, poetry, and stories, as we visited a book store for the first time in months. Grateful for sunshine, blue skies, blossom trees, and ice cream. We went for a walk for the first time in absolutely ages and it was such a lovely day.
18 Webinars: grateful for webinars today. Watched a recording of a webinar I missed this week and I found it very useful and insightful. It made me reflect on life, habits, and goals. It made me question and consider the kind of life I want to craft for myself . Very grateful to have access to such resources and opening my thought process to new techniques and ideas of wellbeing and life improvement.
19 Sunshine and daylight: grateful for sunshine today. Such a nice, lovely day. The heating is off and hopefully it can stay off. Just so nice to wake up and for it to be light, finish work and for there to still be some daylight left. Grateful for the changing season too I suppose.
20 Painting: grateful for painting today. Did some more paint by numbers this evening and it was lovely. Really fun seeing something come together and I love the colours of this one, so warm and bright.
21 Open communication: grateful for open communication today. Had an honest conversation about mental health with a friend and grateful they feel safe to speak with me about such matters. Also grateful that mental health is more openly discussed these days.
22 Perspective: grateful for perspective today. Read something about judging others and it helped me re-evaluate my impression on others. One can judge due to envy, where you want what someone else has. One can judge due to jealousy, where you want others to not have what they have. One can judge due to disgust, where you don’t want what others have. Grateful to have the space to figure some things out.
23 Palm Springs: grateful for this absolutely hilarious film this evening. Needed a laugh and it was just the right amount of humour, thoughtfulness, intrigue, craziness, and romance. Absolutely love Andy Sandberg. Grateful I have a dance I want to learn now too.
24 A few things today. Grateful for having an organised and relatively stress free day. Grateful for a friend who I caught up with, chatting about work, homes, the future, just life. Always grateful having authentic conversations with friends. And grateful for As Good As It Gets, finally watched this long film this evening. I wondered how Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt won their Oscars before watching the film, but after watching it – it makes total sense. Not the film I was expecting at all, but a wonderful film and highly recommend it. Beautiful character development, and of course, also grateful that there was a dog in it too!
25 Several things today. Grateful for the hubby for organising such a wonderful day today. We visited the Tulip Festival at Hampton Court Palace, a lovely historical place and it was an inaugural festival with my favourite flower. Grateful for tulips for existing and their vibrant stunning colours. Also grateful for the weather, it started out really windy but the sun came out eventually. Grateful for dogs, as we saw a few today. Grateful for the time with our Old Boy, Merlin, who passed three years ago today. Sad we couldn’t have taken him on our tulip filled walk, but super grateful for all the walks we did have with him.
26 Exercise: grateful for exercise today. Trying to alter my mindset from someone who tries to exercise in the mornings to someone who is a morning person that also happens to exercise in the morning. Good release of endorphins and listening to good upbeat music too.
27 Laughter: grateful for laughter today. Watched a couple of episodes of Schitt’s Creek and it’s lovely seeing character progression and development, it’s also nice seeing how people change with or without money. Grateful for this show providing laughter and moments of escapism. Also grateful for friends just making the most of current situations and finding the funny side, giving me some random hearty laughter today.
28 Body: grateful for the body today. Been aching this evening and in slight pain, not quite sure what’s happening, but grateful for the body usually carrying me throughout the day ache and pain free. Maybe it’s old age. Maybe it’s stress. Grateful for receiving the signal to take it a little easier.
29 Several things today. Grateful for the hubby today, walking me to the doctors, collecting my prescription, and helping me do everything this evening. Grateful that he can mentally support me and also physically carry me too. Grateful for antibiotics and painkillers, easing the pain. Grateful for doctors prescribing things very quickly. Grateful for the body, evidently I’ve pushed myself a little too far recently. And grateful for podcasts, providing insightful entertainment on an evening where I can’t really focus my eyes.
30 A few things today. Grateful for barley water, tasty and nourishing. Grateful for sleep, as I was able to get a decent night’s sleep pain free. Grateful for Schitt’s Creek, turning out to be quite a lovely and sentimental show. Grateful for The Mitchells vs The Machines, what a hilarious film with some great one liners, definitely what I needed.