Monday, 28 July 2014

It's Good to Talk! Why Those Grateful Clouds are Back

The signs are looking hopeful  for my friend  Paul who had a stroke last week.  It's early days and rehab will be a long haul but M, his wife tells me that he is now sitting out and the strength is returning to his paralysed leg. Importantly he's speaking again.     Just hang on in there and keep chatting mate!  I'm looking forward to a time when I can banter with you soon. Apparently this is  one of the indicators that suggests that a full recovery is more likely. Excellent news indeed. Those agnostic prayers must be doing the trick!

And so with a heightened awareness of how fragile life is, I'm in an appreciative mood.  For these are days that are largely rich and fulfilling. So I will  embrace  them fully while they last.  No-one knows what is around the corner.    Here's what I've got to be grateful for at the moment.  Happily it's a long list.

  • The beautiful, beautiful summer that we're having this year.  Off to enjoy being by the seaside at my Mum and Dad's house in Southend for a few days.  The cozzie is packed!
  • The ability to be myself and not give a damn!     Bien dans ma peau as the French would say. Underneath all the kookiness that I accept others can take or leave  I feel that I'm pretty sorted.
  • Having a job that I love.  As I was told in a kind personal email from the head of faculty, lots of people with PhDs applied for the university lecturing job that I went for.  As such, I haven't even got an interview.  However, I'd already worked out for myself that the 'dream job' might not really be my bag.  Being cooped up inside without clinical contact time would probably have lead me to go a bit stir crazy and we can't have that for...
  • ...I'm healthier than I have been for years.  Even the dreaded hayfever is in abeyance. Exercise is a joy and my head space is a depression-free zone.  Sure there's a lot going on up there but it's all pretty   life affirming stuff.  None of that persistent self judgement that went on when I was ill.  Even when bad things happen I keep looking forward, get on with living and bounce back.
  • The fact that I mostly see others for the goodness in them.  It makes it easier to rub along with the world. 
  • Friends, family, especially Lou.  I talked about why they're brilliant  just a few days ago.  Many have been with me for yonks but this year there's been lots of new people on the scene who I  hope are going to stick around with me for a while.   
  • Dancing. I've discovered late in life now I'm not self conscious just what a joyous activity this is. Saturday night in Exmouth having a boogie with Disco Queen Tanya after a fantastic sea swim was immense fun.
  • The   ability to enjoy solitude.  I don't need others around me all the time. Yesterday was one such lovely day alone.
  • Contentment and lack of dissatisfaction.  I focus on what I have and not what is missing.  And money can't buy  much of what I value.
I know there will be times when I won't be so lucky. We all have times of suffering, heartache and stress. But I reckon that  if I get good at being thankful in times of abundance then gratefulness will come easier in days that are darker for me.


  1. What a brilliant post- that echoes my sentiments exactly as to where I am now too after years of mental health illness.

  2. What Aril said, without the depression...