31 Days of Gratitude

Flatlay image of daily gratitude journal

I think we’ve all had to look a bit harder to see the good stuff this year, so at the start of December I decided to take a moment each day to think of something from 2020 that I’m grateful for.

I originally shared these on Twitter, one tweet each day. It was especially nice to have a few other people joining in – old friends and new – and to see the similarities and differences in the things we are each grateful for this year. In general, it feels like the big overwhelming events of 2020 have made us all reflect on the simple things close to home that we sometimes take for granted.

As a way of recording my own moments of gratitude all in one place I’ve turned them into this quick blog post.

I’d love to read your own thoughts on what you’ve been grateful for during this hugely challenging year. Feel free to share yours in the comments below.

Day 1. Today I am grateful for the amazing trip we had to Hawaii in January – seeing a beautiful new place, spending time with family, and attending a wedding. It feels all the more special since we don’t know when we’ll travel overseas again.

Day 2. I am grateful for being a mum, and for all the activities I’ve done with DorkySon this year: go-karting, bowling, mini golf, board games, soccer, swimming, cycling, Lego, baking, basketball… 11 is a brilliant age and he always reminds me how important it is to have fun.

Day 3. I am grateful we live somewhere with so many open spaces nearby. We have a sports oval, walking tracks and several beaches all within a few minutes’ walk. Our daily walks during lockdown were good for both mental and physical health.

Day 4. I’m so grateful to have a job I enjoy. Freelancing is varied and interesting, and the clients I’ve worked with this year have all been lovely. The ability to work flexibly during learning from home and during DorkyDad’s recent health challenges was an enormous help.

Day 5. I’m grateful that when I had a computer disaster in the middle of the year, I was in a position to replace it right away. Even though it was an awful experience, I was up and running again within a week, which I know makes me very lucky.

Day 6. I am grateful for all the incredible food we have in Tasmania. I remember being so shocked when we moved here how TASTY everything was. Carrots that tasted like carrots! That sense of wonder hasn’t worn off yet – I’m still grateful every time I shop.

Day 7. I am so grateful for the babies who arrived safely for friends and family this year. Some women I know spent their entire pregnancies in lockdown and missed out on so much, but there could be nothing more special than reaching the end of that with a tiny new human being

Day 8. I’m grateful for the couple of nights we had up the East Coast in July. I love trips where you just chuck all your stuff in the back of the car and don’t need to fit it all into one plane-friendly bag! We’ve lived in Tasmania for more than seven years and I feel like there’s still so much to explore.

Day 9. I am grateful for the incredibly generous resource that is Yoga with Adriene’s YouTube channel. When my weekly Pilates class got cancelled early in the year, I turned to yoga instead and it has been amazing – good for both physical strength & mental headspace.

Day 10. I’m grateful that our friends and family overseas – especially in the UK, US and Canada – have managed to stay healthy and safe.

Day 11. I am so grateful for DorkySon’s school. For the hard work, kindness and care of all the staff, and for the amazing opportunities they’ve given him this year – within the class and extracurricular. Only one more year of primary to go, eek!

Day 12. I am grateful for the warm, sunny days that make everything feel easier. It’s wonderful to live somewhere that you can trust you’ll actually get a proper summer each year.

(I’m slightly regretting that one, since it seems to have rained nonstop since I posted it…)

Day 13. I got yet another new pair of glasses this year and I am SO GRATEFUL for my access to good eye care. I’m reminded of this every single morning when I put my glasses on and they allow me to read, write, drive, watch tv, go out in the city, and see the faces of people I love.

Day 14. Back in March, the Tasmanian Government announced Small Business Emergency Support Grants for people affected by COVID closures and cancellations. I am grateful that I was eligible and that the application process was so smooth & easy. Mine was approved in a day and paid the same week. This might sound silly, but I really appreciated that the application was done mainly on trust. No accounts submitted, just a 200-word statement of how you had been affected (which presumably is how they were approved quickly). It felt like a very Tassie way of working. More significant support & more complicated applications came later in the year, but to have that one available so easily and so early on during COVID was a huge boost & made me feel as a sole trader like the state government had my back.

Day 15. I’m grateful for all the books I’ve read this year, most of which have been excellent – for entertainment, information, provocation & distraction.

Day 16. I’m grateful that Tasmania was spared the worst of the bushfires last summer, especially as there were still areas recovering from the previous year’s fires.

Day 17. I’m grateful that when I needed my first filling this year it was so teeny-tiny that I didn’t even need any anaesthetic. I love our dentist!

Day 18. I’m grateful for online communities. Social media gets a bad rap, but all my ‘friends in the computer’ bring me great joy. I’m grateful for the connections, the knowledge sharing, and the humour – goodness knows we’ve needed to find things to laugh about this year.

Day 19. I’m grateful for JobKeeper. I know it was far from perfect, but as a family where both earners are freelance, that support made an enormous difference to us. I’m also grateful that work picked up so much that neither DorkyDad nor I were eligible for the second round.

Day 20. I’m grateful for the multitude of ways I’ve been keeping in touch with people this year. Not a day has passed without emails, WhatsApp and Messenger, Zoom calls, voice calls and even – because I’m lucky to have amazing friends – handwritten letters & cards.

Day 21. The first of a whole series of health-related things I am grateful for. I am grateful for our incredible family GP and her work to make sure DorkyDad was diagnosed quickly and early, which including coming in to deliver results when she was supposed to be on holiday.

Day 22. I am grateful for the exceptional medical care DorkyDad has had over the last six months. We have been so lucky with the team of doctors and support staff, and equally lucky to live in a place where it has been possible to undergo treatment without interruption.

Day 23. I’m deeply grateful to Cancer Council Tasmania and Canteen Tasmania for the brilliant work they do. Hugely useful written resources; friendly, kind and approachable staff; and personalised support that all three of us have benefited from this year.

Day 24. Last health one. I am beyond grateful for the generosity and support of our community over the last six months. For the food, flowers, phone calls and a hundred other things. I feel like we’re on track to spend the rest of our lives paying forward all that kindness.

Day 25. I am grateful for so many reasons that we were able to have a very-close-to-normal Christmas this year. (Even if our normal still means staying in pyjamas and not leaving the house all day!)

Day 26. I am grateful for our lovely garden, which is bursting with life at the moment. Bees, butterflies, skinks, lavender, lemon, a great little herb garden. DorkySon’s Christmas gift to DorkyDad this year was a bird bath, and within a few minutes of us placing it outside there were two noisy miner birds having a dip, along with an Eastern Rosella perched on a nearby branch and waiting to get in on the action.

Day 27. I am very grateful for our house, and especially for the generous amount of space it offers. It allows me and DorkyDad to each have a separate home office, and when learning from home was happening, DorkySon had a separate space with a desk too. I feel lucky every day to live here.

Day 28. I am grateful to be a year older. To be more comfortable in my own skin, better at setting healthy boundaries, braver about saying both yes and no. I’m grateful to have learned a lot this year but also to understand how much there is still to learn. Getting older is the best.

Day 29. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to be creative this year. There have been fewer than usual – I’ve done lots of copywriting & a few features but I haven’t published a single piece of creative non-fiction for the first time in about ten years. I’ve still written lots of notes and ideas that maybe I’ll have time to polish next year, and along with journaling and blogging that has been enough to keep the creative part of my brain ticking over.

Day 30. I’m grateful to have rediscovered the joy of bike riding this year. As a form of exercise, it’s so much more FUN than running. It makes me feel like a kid again, standing up on the pedals with the breeze in my face.

Day 31. I am grateful for my marriage. Even the biggest challenges are made easier when you’re doing them alongside someone with whom there is mutual love, trust and respect. DorkyDad makes me laugh, lifts me up, and helps me be my best self every day. Even in a year that has been super hard at times, I have felt so lucky not to be doing it alone.

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Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

2 responses

  1. Oh Ruth, how wonderful to read and be reminded of the blessings you have felt and received. We all have so much to reflect upon, be grateful for and learn from. The smallest of boosts give us the power to forge forward despite often difficult times. Thank you and may this New Year 2021 provide something to fill every page of your ‘Today I Am Grateful’ diary, a present to yourself. xx

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