Gratitude is defined as 'The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation" and as we come to the end of 2012 I am very conscious of the blessings in my life. So, in support of lists and clarity and end of year bollocks - I thought I'd share five things for which I am grateful this year.
1. My beautiful man - together for over eight years, married for over three and parents to two small forces of nature, it's been a huge year for us as a couple and parents. Its been tough at times, ugly at times and sometimes it has seemed like we haven't had a conversation or a sleep in weeks, but through it all he remains my best friend, my mirror and my world. He has a big heart, a stubborn streak and procrastinates to Olympic level but to have him any other way is not to have the real him. I am grateful for a love that is steadfast and unwavering and kind.
2. My wonderful daughters - these two loves are fabulous and fierce individuals seeking to find their own way right from the word go. With only 19 months between them they have bought chaos and love and terror into our lives and I am so thankful to have such wonderful individuals to try my parenting on. My biggest fear as a parent is that I'll fuck it up but despite me, they are fantastic examples of humanity. I love them for their independence, their smiles, their inquisitive minds, sticky hands and cuddles. I am grateful for the opportunity, that so many others are denied, to be a parent.
3. Friends and family - I know this is clichéd but I am blessed with a plethora of people from whom I take inspiration, am offered support, share experiences and spend time with. These people are all unique in their own way and enhance not only my life but that of my little unit. We have laughed, bolstered, been bolstered, cried, eaten, drank and danced our way through a year of big highs and big lows and I am grateful for all those that have been part of 2012 whether its for a season, a reason or a lifetime.
4. Self acceptance - as result of a PND diagnosis I embarked upon 'therapy'. It's been a challenging journey as I don't fit my own idea of somebody that suffers from depression but exploring the inside of my mind has been rewarding in that I am getting better at self acceptance and viewing my world in a different way. This has given me the freedom to try new things, be more of myself, actively accept others as they are and to sweat the small shit much less. I'm extremely grateful for the support of people around me as I've evangelised about 'owning the diagnosis'.
5. The internet - I know! Weird huh? This year me and the internet have really come into our own. But I am very thankful to all the anonymous people that invent crap like the internet and zip lock bags. The internet has given me access to the world. It has educated me, amused me, entertained me, infuriated me, connected me. Ignorance is no excuse and our ability to explore ideas, enhance our understanding and connect with people across the globe that are passionate about so many wonderful ideas and concepts has never been so easy as it has in 2012. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be exposed to so many exciting thinkers, doers and Joe-ordinaries who are changing the world one step at time.
I am of course grateful for many more things in life but I find it harder to explain how Neapolitan Twist icecream and fresh blueberries made 2012 a great year. But trust me, they've had their place. :-)