The evening that this latest lockdown was announced in the dead of winter, a friend sent me a message and asked, ‘What are you grateful for?’ along with a lovely list of things she was grateful for. It was a good antidote for the frustration (to put it mildly) that the seemingly neverending lockdowns could so easily bring on. I found that I was able to write about a dozen things without even stopping to think about it, which in itself gave my mood a boost.
Gratitude is very important for our mental health and something we could no doubt cultivate a bit more throughout lockdowns and beyond. It feels like an exercise in creating the sort of person you want to be, if you’re not someone who on a daily basis thinks about the good and lovely things in you life. Surely this doesn’t only cheer ourselves up but also radiates out to the people around us?
I have also noticed how many things from Before I’ve sort of forgotten, even though it’s only been about a year with the pandemic. I’ve gotten used to this shrunken-down life that mainly happens within a radius of a couple of miles. Last week I went into town to pick up a Valentine’s dinner as the restaurant wasn’t delivering to our area, and I found myself getting really annoyed with things like how incredibly loud the buskers were. I felt my whole system experiencing some sort of input overload.
Were they always that loud? Who were they even playing for? There were about 6 other people on the street. I’ve never understood why they’re allowed to busk with giant speakers and industrial amps in the middle of the high street anyway, but hearing the racket after months of absence from town really put me in a state of fight-or-flight. It made me realise than once we’re released back into the wild, I might need to slowly reintroduce myself to human society. And wear my noise-cancelling headphones even more than I used to.
So today I want to write two lists: one to remind myself what I’m grateful for and the other to remind myself of the things I used to enjoy and look forward to being able to do again. Whenever that may be!
I am grateful for:
- My friends — my tribe
- My partner
- Our good health
- Our beautiful doggy and kitty, even though one snores like a jet engine and the other likes to walk all over my face at night
- My workplace and my colleagues
- Having an office (I work from home and this is the first time I’ve had an entire room just as my office, it’s the wildest luxury)
- Our key workers who keep the country running, my partner being one of them
- The fantastic green areas in my vicinity. They’ve saved a lot of people’s sanity, I bet
- Music streaming
- E-books from the library, even though the libraries are closed
- Online writing buddies who have helped me stick to my plan to blog every Saturday
Things I am looking forward to:
- Going swimming
- Going out with friends. We’ve missed so many birthdays, I think we must have one giant party for everyone and to celebrate our freedom
- Sitting in a café with a slice of cake and a mocha, reading a book or scribbling in a notebook to the backdrop of the usual “café noises”
- Being able to ask friends to meet up in town spontaneously and just catch up
- Going to Manchester Central Library, one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever seen
- Taking a trip somewhere. Off the top of my head: the Peak District, Liverpool, Whtiby and other seaside towns. Denmark! And, of course, LONDON 🤍
- Getting dressed up and going out for dinner
- Browsing in charity shops. I LOVE charity shops
- Having people over, omg, can you imagine?
- A real holiday somewhere
Maybe more things will come to mind later, now that I’ve started thinking about them!
What are you grateful for? What are you looking forward to? 🙂