Grateful

It is not often I blog purely about another blog.

But today, the blog’s the thing, wherein to catch the hearts of all reading.

That headache? The one I railed at yesterday, and seemed to be on its way out? It crept over the right side of my head and gave me an afternoon’s peace before returning, a painful little gecko, on the other side. It is sitting there now and feeling rough is a way of life.

I woke knowing I was in for a day of discomfort: but I have a mother who had already offered to take my children to church. Blessing number one; I was able to turn off the night’s story and tune into the robin singing enchantingly outside my bedroom window.

The children returned from church and my husband took charge, bringing painkillers and buttered toasted teacakes and hot tea. And I reached down a box of toys I had bought second-hand for Felix, and said: you can rifle through these, son: there might be something of interest somewhere.

And the robin continued, and was overlaid by the sound of a happy seven-year old boy playing with Superman and someone from Thunderbirds and some great Hot Wheels cars. It had the same effect on me as when I was very small, and tucked up on the sofa, listening to my mother pottering in the kitchen. These tiny domestic sounds, they can be infinitely beautiful. Blessing number two.

My husband ambled in to rotate refreshments and I said, can you spare five minutes to sit with me?

Well, he said, I don’t know….I’m cooking the dinner….

So I bartered and got him for two.

I waited for the intelligent conversation which he does so well, but he had got wind of Felix’s box of toys. In his hands were two metal tanks, and within a very short time a battle re-enactment scene was being played out using the earthy tones of the duvet as the rolling hills of the setting.

Next came Superman, with whom Phil matched a model of Scott from Thunderbirds. A short dialogue took place which had very little to do with either intelligent conversation or reality. Just for reference, the man is in his forties.

So: no intelligent conversation, but high comedy as I watched the incredulous face of my seven-year old observing Phil and his son’s toys. This took at least ten minutes: it seems Superman has special powers of spouse-retention I will never possess.

It was chicken pie for lunch, which I did not make. Blessing number three.

After a rest I decided we must all get some fresh air. We hitched the dog to his extendable lead, donned coats and wellies and pottered off to the local sweetie shop.

The sun was shining. This won’t have much of an effect on anyone except the British, who have been living under a blanket of oppressive grey since the snow left us weeks ago. But those in the UK will be impressed. That half-hearted Winter sunshine was out to play this afternoon, and we made it all the way to the sweetie shop and back in an extremely favourable light. Blessing number four.

And when I arrived back I checked a couple of the sites which have sprung up since new year in WordPress’s hallowed corridors.

The most effective,  and the most moving I have found is a blog called 1095 things, which, if you do the maths, means three things a day for a year.

It is written by a someone who has a good job and runs a life which – on the surface – seems to be a successful and happy one. I love his description of his Christmas, which was rendered secure by a bonus from work. I could identify with that feeling of relief that ,when one filled the car up with petrol, one didn’t have to worry. There was plenty of money for visiting and presents.

But New Year came and he realised: he is not, right now, happy. And he knew he must do something.

What he has chosen to do, to get to the bottom of the whole thing, has made me think quite a lot.

Somewhere in the deluge of New Year pop psychology out there in the cyberworld, he stumbled across a list: five things one can do to increase one’s happiness.

One way was to write three things,for which he was grateful, every day. Another was to find some time, simply to be him. And a blog fitted both bills.

And so his blog was born. It is in its infancy, and plain speaking, but every day its author finds three things to celebrate. These range from enjoying mince pies and custard, to fixing the remote without having to pay for help or order a new one. They are the stuff of every day, which slip past our notice unless we stop and clock them.

And you know when you get a sixth sense about something? My gut reaction is that this approach really will bring this man, who has decided to reflect on the simplest things in life, happiness. And I have no idea why I am of that opinion.

So for me, this blog was the fifth blessing of the day, and a big one. Thanks to him I found five things in what would have been a grim day indeed.

I shall pop in every day, I expect, to see how he is doing. And if it only lasts three weeks- so be it. Whatever its future, I wish with all my heart that happiness lies waiting in each post for its author.

Have a look: and be inspired. I was.

28 thoughts on “Grateful

  1. Intriguing, Kate, I do hope we soon find him to read as well!

    Yesterday we had sunshine and I belatedly cleared most of the fallen leaves that covered my drive way…. (delayed this year because of all the weather we’ve been having…there was still a small patch of snow left by the garage door). I have l a narrow strip alongside where I park my car which I couldn’t clear yet, as it had gone dark!

    But getting outside for fresh air was what I had needed too, and in bright sunlight. It amazed me how chatty the birds were, as if they are under impression Spring’s just around the corner, even though we’re not half way through the cruellest month. I too heard a Robin and a blackbird… but the noisiest and liveliest bunch were those big black rooks. Seemed to be having a rave.

  2. I am definitely interested in reading this blog you’re talking about. I think it is a very brave thing to try to change one’s life in order to find happiness. Even small changes like writing a blog can make all the difference and take a lot more presence of mind and discipline than many realize. Good for him.

    I hope you are feeling better now.

  3. Great stuff to start a new week on, Kate.

    I’ve always found journaling a vehicle to help me find the good in each day, though, now, it is more through blogging, and thoughtful prayer works for me as well, but, hey, three things is not a lot to do, is it, and there you are, in pain and fog and finding no less than five.

    Ah, today, a good cup of hot tea to start the day, warm socks to put on my feet, and that darling robin, a bit different than our American robin, so cute and perky atop your post. (My first of many Emma Bridgewater mugs was the robin and I fell in love with it from then on.) 1065 – I will visit.

    1. Do, Penny 🙂 Plain spoken – be aware – but it feels authentic, and the author is totally true to himself. Top bloke.
      I’m glad you liked our robin. They’re very tame here in the UK. And lovely singers…

  4. What a wonderful post! I add this to my L-O-N-G list of things for which I am grateful – not just today, but everyday I read your writing! Thank you! I suspect that the author of 1095 Things has added you to his list as well – to get such an endorsement is a terrific boost! He is herewith added to my blog roll, and I am looking forward to the reminder each day. Our world is filled, tamped down, shaken, and overflowing with wonderful blessings. Taking the time to acknowledge them is a source of endless joy.. Just went through my photo page and Paul Newman looked up at me and I was reminded not just of him, but of you! Now! How many people do you know who can say that when someone sees Paul Newman, they think of them!

    Cheers, Kate!
    XOXO Paula

  5. ahhhhhh, Kate. Your blog and this post are two blessings in my early day already! Thank you. AND I am so sorry that your head has ached…yet I hear the blessings there too. special to have son and husband playing tanks on your duvet while you hunker beneath.
    The bird in your photo is a gift as well. Made me gasp with delight to see such radiance.

  6. Folks, your warmth and kindness is going to be one of my 3 things that I’m grateful for today – thank you 🙂 What a nice bunch of people. You made me smile!

  7. So true, how many things we take for granted every day.
    I suppose the flipside would be creating a blog of three things each day I’m grateful didn’t happen to me. A different angle on the same thing. I’ll have to consider that…

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