August has been a heavy month for me, filled with so many emotions. Life events, a funeral, a wedding, farewells, good byes, reunions. So many emotions all in just one packed month. Places have been open for a little while now, but I feel it’s only this month that we’ve started actually leaving the flat. Meeting and seeing people for the first time in over a year, and add in a life event or two, that has been my August.
Reading back on my daily gratitudes, I feel like an actor playing different roles on different days to different people and audiences. Though it has been odd, it has also been wonderful seeing old friends again. Being with people that celebrate me and being in places that welcome me, it has been joyous refilling my cup. And also finding joy in the every day ordinary moments too, finding humour and laughing about such random things has helped me get through this past month for sure.
Unsurprisingly with age, I have been in physical pain this month. Mentally, I feel I have reached a turning point – the penny has dropped multiple times – and I feel so enlightened and self aware of both my past and present. Hopefully I can use this new found awareness and knowledge to better utilise tools to better improve my mental health for the future. So, here is my August gratitude journal:
1 A few things today. Oddly grateful for something finally happening, having spent over a year planning it. It’s finally happened! No more planning and no more stress. Somewhat bittersweet, but I’m grateful that I finally managed to do Go Ape, even if it was 9 years later than planned. Grateful for nature, trees, and dogs. Saw so many happy fluffy dogs today. Grateful for having the strength to be the bigger person and rise above situations that I would have previously not been able to.
2 Body: grateful for the body today. Aching almost everywhere and have a couple of bruises too. Grateful for the body keeping me pain free most of the time. Also grateful for my muscles. Grateful for stretching, although somewhat painful, a deep stretch feels quite good.
3 Tea: grateful for tea today. Waking up to a nice warm mug, filling me with warmth. The hubby opened all the windows this morning to air out the flat, making it cold. So I was grateful for liquid warmth soothing me this morning.
4 Naps: grateful for naps today. Dozed off a little just before lunch, evidently I was super tired! Grateful to be able to listen to my body and take a break when necessary.
5 Resources: grateful for resources and having access to information that I hadn’t had access to before. Learning and better understanding the human psyche and piecing together why people do and say what they do and say. It’s been enlightening and I’m grateful for this new perspective and hopefully I can learn to choose peace over drama.
6 Several things today. Grateful for drugs and vaccinations, had my second jab today and all the pills to help me. Grateful for the hubby for helping me get things from high cupboards that I can’t reach due to my achey dead arm. Grateful for our past selves for being prepared and doing chores pre vaccination so we don’t have to do them this coming weekend. Grateful for eureka moments and better understanding people and decisions and life. I’m learning a lot from the free resources out there and it has been so enlightening, it’s as if I can see clearly now that the muddy waters have settled. I’m so grateful for these tools to better myself and better protect my mental health.
7 A few things today. Grateful for poetry, words, and writing, providing catharsis and allowing me to process thoughts and feelings. Grateful for drugs, hot water bottles, and blankets, had some not so nice side effects from the vaccine and struggled in and out of sleep today. Grateful for the hubby, as we were trying to look after each other through our shared pain and discomfort.
8 Several things today. Grateful for the hubby for looking out for me, having deep philosophical conversations, making me laugh, and somehow always managing to get funny club songs stuck in my head. Grateful for self care, looking after myself mentally and physically, vaccine side effects got me bad and I’m grateful I have tools to cope better. Grateful for sleep, as I was absolutely exhausted yesterday and needed some epic recuperation. Grateful for time, self awareness, and better understanding as I’m reading up on mental health and I’m learning so much. Today has been an eye opener and I cannot unsee or unread so many things and I’m so grateful for the wealth of knowledge out there and the increased ease of accessibility. Things make a lot of sense now, and I feel I can see clearly for the first time in a long long while.
9 A few things today. Grateful for progress, life can throw you curveballs and you never know what to expect sometimes, whilst other times things work out kind of neatly. Grateful for the hubby, though he was still ill today, he has been a great help sorting things out and being a great comedian cheering me up and making me snort with laughter keeling at the knees. Grateful for time and authenticity, just humming and razoring off the hubby’s hair, sometimes it’s just the simple things. Grateful for friends, as some people just bring you joy and have great ears and just make you feel loved and welcomed.
10 Skincare: grateful for skincare today. Been doing gua sha and using facial oils, very relaxing and soothing – just have to remember to breathe when I do it. Grateful for this self care, allowing me to better stay present.
11 People and interactions. Grateful for people and having a good support network, people have been very kind and lovely. Grateful for funny interactions, as we had the most lively train announcer today. Really spoke as if he was a race horse announcer, speeding through all the names of the runners, but it was just the names of the stations. Definitely made an entertaining journey.
12 Several things today. Grateful for a support network today. It’s been a long and arduous day, physically and mentally tiring, spiritually exhausting. Grateful for the people in my life supporting me and making sure I’m ok. Grateful for people taking care of me, as sometimes it’s nice being taken care of. Also grateful for an opportunity to say goodbye. The day started off rainy but soon the clouds parted and the sun shone down on us. Grateful to be outside and with nature for a little while. Grateful for words and poetry to help with expression. Grateful for life.
13 Sleep: grateful for sleep today, having a lie in. It’s been a super busy week, in two locations, stretching physically and mentally. I am drained, to say the least. So I’m grateful for a little extra sleep today.
14 Nature: grateful for nature today. Being in the outdoors, basking in the sun (with sunscreen of course), listening to crickets cricketing. It was lovely.
15 Weddings: grateful for weddings today. Attended and helped out at a wedding today for a dear friend. Reminded me of our own wedding and other weddings of friends we’ve been to. Ah, memory lane. Grateful to be able to share these days and joyous moments with people in my life.
16 Sleep: super grateful for sleep today. Got back home from the wedding yesterday and just slept till dinner time! Recuperating and dreaming away, grateful for a nice firm bed too, to assist with back pain.
17 Farewells: grateful for the opportunity for a farewell dinner today. Got a chance to have a meal and say goodbye in person with a colleague of the hubby’s who I’ve been catching conversations and exchanges with since lockdown and working virtually from home. It was nice giving her a good send off and gifting her some good old Shakespeare.
18 A couple of things today. Grateful for friends, colleagues, and connections. Caught up with a friend and colleague and it was nice – and absolutely hilarious – just catching up after a few weeks, which felt like 3 million years apparently. It’s lovely to feel celebrated. Also grateful for information and epiphany moments. Learning lots and gaining awareness about mental health and relationships, it’s as if the penny’s dropped or the muddy waters have cleared. I have labels and names and I better understand things now – it all makes so much sense now. Hindsight sure is a beautiful thing.
19 Good vibes. Grateful for good friends, tasty cocktails, and overdue catch ups today. Another farewell dinner with drinks – at least, a see ya later, anyways. Sad for us but exciting for a dear friend. We have been through a lot together over these past few years and I’m so grateful for these people being in my life. They bring me joy and so much laughter, we learn so much from each other, just such random things! Previous lunch time chats with these ladies have essentially been free therapy sessions. I love them dearly.
20 Musical soundtracks. Grateful for musical soundtracks today. Listening to The Waitress musical soundtrack, bringing me back to theatre trips and when things were more normal. Also just such a great soundtrack.
21 Outdoors: grateful for being outdoors today. Visited a lovely Surrey town, exploring castle gardens and walking about. It was lovely being outdoors, smelling fresh cut grass, seeing beautiful colourful flowers, seeing tall enveloping trees, seeing cloudless skies – it was utter bliss.
22 Several things today. Still super grateful for nature, breathing in fresh air, walking where there are fewer people to weave and wade through, grateful to be outside. Grateful for the hubby for a free therapy session during a very tasty brunch today. Grateful to be heard and understood, grateful to have someone help me work through issues and explain tools to be utilised to protect my mental health. Also grateful that someone is actively looking out for me, careful that I don’t go overboard throwing the baby out with the bath water. Grateful that the muddy waters are slowly clearing, helping me realise that life is full of greys where many things fit in the middle of a venn diagram and slowly accepting that not everything can be neatly compartmentalised.
23 Back to basics: grateful for going back to basics today. Grateful for going back to a simpler skincare routine. I have been breaking out – most likely stress related – and reducing irritants and products have helped soothe my skin. Grateful for going back to first principles at work to better understand what goes on in the background, as new things have been happening. Grateful for going back and re-evaluating my past to better understand the person I am today.
24 A few things today. Grateful for breathing and breath work. I felt overwhelmed and stressed a fair few times today, so this has definitely helped soothe and calm me a little. Grateful for the hubby, giving really warm and soothing hugs. Grateful for me. It’s been well over a year since I started this gratitude journal and I realise I have yet to be thankful for myself! I have been through hell and back lately – or maybe I’m still there, I’m not entirely sure. But I’m grateful for me today: putting out fires, staying calm and cool headed, being pragmatic and solution focussed, just getting shit done. I’m aware I’m still in survival mode and I feel I am close to falling apart at times – in fact several times today – but I know I have a good support network and I’m grateful that, somehow, I can still be a trooper and see through each day. So definitely grateful for myself today.
25 A few things today. Grateful for teeth, healthy teeth mainly, as I had a painful trip to the dentist. Grateful for painkillers, reducing said pain. Grateful for the hubby suggesting making porridge for dinner, as he watched me trying to eat by cutting up food into tiny tiny pieces as I couldn’t open my jaw wide enough to bite. And also grateful for the hubby making said porridge and making sure it wasn’t too hot for my sensitive painful teeth. What a star.
26 Porridge: grateful for porridge today. Grateful that we still have some, grateful that it is very good if you can’t eat properly, and grateful that this meal brings back joyous memories of winter mornings chowing down porridge with chocolate biscuits beside the hubby and our old dog Merlin.
27 Self care: grateful for some self care today. I’ve been reassessing my skincare routine and changing things a little to relieve some skin irritation. I’ve also been looking after my teeth and gums, careful of what I’m eating or drinking as my teeth are still quite sensitive. I’ve also started stretching again which has helped me stay better in tune with my body, raising awareness of aches and pains before they become bigger problems. Grateful for this extra awareness, hoping to nip things in the bud before they become bigger issues.
28 Reunions: grateful for reunions today. Saw some dear old friends who we haven’t seen since before the first lockdown. It was lovely reuniting, catching up on the past, and talking about the future. Also grateful for the venue as there were lots of very tasty food all round and the vibe was really good. So grateful to have my cup refilled.
29 A couple of things today. Grateful for learning about glimmers, which is the opposite of triggers. Grateful to learn more about mental health and focusing on positive tools to help me. Also grateful for seeing Be More Chill, a musical with a message to be who you are and do what you want to do instead of complying with what everyone else wants or expects you to say or do.
30 A couple of things today. Grateful for art, as we visited a Van Gogh immersive experience with VR and it was amazing. I felt overwhelmed with joy and so appreciative of Van Gogh, taking everything in. It was so peaceful and relaxing, I wish I could go every week. Also grateful for food, as we also visited China Town to get some pastries. So tasty. What a wonderful and inspiring day.
31 Clarity: grateful for clarity today. Having discipline, awareness, self awareness, and better direction regarding where I want my life to go. It’s like this instagram algorithm has been switched on to better focus me – but with my life, instead of the app. Grateful for knowing what I want and knowing the kind of person I want to be.