Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I’ve been finding it so difficult to write on this theme. On the one hand, there are so many things to be grateful for in my world that I couldn’t decide on just one to single out. But it’s also been difficult because even though I know in my head that I have so much to be grateful for, my emotions right now aren’t following suit. I know I’m grateful, but I’m struggling to get the feeling of gratitude up and running. Have you ever felt like that? I’m guessing most of us have.
Things go wrong and life doesn’t always go our way, but there are always two ways to tell the story. This year has a been a difficult one in many ways: my husband’s been made redundant, I’ve been ill for most of the year and not able to work, we have the resulting financial problems, we had the death of a close family member, and we have the current stress of what sometimes feels like fruitless job searching, with the accompanying worry of ‘what will happen if?’. But there’s another way to tell this story: unlike some, we have a decent redundancy package; we’ve had more time together in the last few months and have become closer; we’ve talked in depth about the things that are important to us; we’ve had to cut back in so many ways that it’s clarified our values and what matters most; although we lost someone, we’ve also given thanks for a life well lived; and we’ve realised how very much we really do have. There’s always two ways to tell the story, and to me that’s what gratitude is about: spending at least as much time focussing on what we have, as we do on what we don’t have.
When I get into this state where I can’t get at the feeling of gratitude any more, there are two things that save me – photography and getting outside into nature. Photography helps me lose myself and my worries for a few hours, and being in nature puts it all into perspective and makes me realise that in the big scheme of things, it’s all very small beer. And there’s always some little miracle of colour and light to lift the spirits, as in anngeedee’s lovely shot of swimming birds.
gilly of the camera points both ways