It’s safe to say this year has been somewhat tempestuous, a heady mix of highs and lows, that have at times made the many wonderful things I have in my life, a little hazy to recall. This was my first year not celebrating Thanksgiving with American friends + colleagues, but that certainly hasn’t stopped me thinking about the things I’m thankful for.
I recently joined the Bullet Journal bandwagon and one of the most popular page ideas is centered on gratitude. On days that seem a little tougher to get through, a quick glance at that page makes it super easy to focus on all the positives. Here are some of the things from my gratitude list so far:
1. My career
Don’t get me wrong, I have worked my arse off to get to where I am today and done it without anyone’s help. From a whole host of internships to my short-lived career in TV to 4 years in PR to where I am today, in-house at west elm.
Approximately 12 years ago, my mum and I landed on a west elm store on my first ever visit to New York. At that point the brand was still pretty new but from the moment I stepped foot in the Chelsea store, I knew it was love. Several US trips and many overweight suitcases of shopping later, I ended up landing an utterly job with them…still not entirely sure how! I’m now 3 years in and while it is by no means an easy ride, I am incredible thankful to have met and to be working with so many creative, talented and inspirational people each and every day.
Our HQ in New York, which I get to visit semi-regularly, also has THE best views of Manhattan EVER. If that’s not something to be grateful for, I don’t know what is!
2. Access to the internet
This might seem a little superficial on the surface, but the network I’ve built online has opened SO many doors for me, introduced me to the most amazing group of people and given me a space to share my thoughts with the world, which has been utterly wonderful in helping me deal with the ‘D’ word this year. It’s easy to forget just how fortunate we are to have the whole world at our fingertips when so many folks still don’t have that luxury.
3. Setbacks that have made me stronger
I’ve talked a fair bit on this blog about a small handful of the setbacks I’ve experienced, but something I’ve recently come to realise, is that without these things, I wouldn’t be anywhere near as strong as I am in dealing with…well…life and I’m pretty darn proud of myself for that.
4. My support system (inc friends and family)
This week started with a prime example of why I’m so thankful for my support system (in short, I got dumped…via text…). Initially I was a little concerned that the hard work I’ve put in to being “happier” over the course of this year would reverse itself but because I’ve got utterly fabulous people in my world, I was most definitely wrong. I’m grateful for having an enviable inner circle who entertain me with witty anecdotes, patiently listen when I need to rant about something and wholeheartedly allow me to be me.
5. The return of Gilmore Girls
Ok, ok. This is a seriously girly one but Gilmore Girls makes me SO happy. I religiously watched every series and even forced stateside friends to send box sets of the later seasons that hadn’t yet aired in the UK so I could watch them early (…thanks Haley). There was a lot of hype about the new season (THANK YOU NETFLIX) and usually when that happens, disappointment tends to follow. Thankfully (and I should say now that at the time of writing this, I’m only 1 episode in) it absolutely lives up to expectation and if anything, the writing seems wittier than ever before. The only thing missing is Carole King’s ‘Where You Lead’ as the opening theme tune. Sad times.
6. Good health
Other than a fairly horrible bout of pneumonia a few years back, I have had absolutely no major health issues in my life.
*touches wood again*
The even better part is that all my family are in the same boat. The only time I’ve ever had to deal with family health issues was when my sister was born 10 weeks early as my mum was ill. Long may it continue!
I’m pretty sure music is one of the world’s superpowers in the way that it speaks so finely to your inner being. It can sway your mood in so many ways – from party tunes that persuade your feet to get on the dance floor to pull-on-the-heartstrings ballads that force tears to stream down your face to power anthems that make you feel like you run the world – it’s truly magical, right? I love making playlists – I probably have a playlist for just about any occasion and have made them after almost every major life event – a bit like a musical diary – and without it, I would be lost. So in the words of everyone’s favourite Swedish quartet, “I say, thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing (badly). Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing. Who could live without it? I ask with all honesty”…ok, I’ll shut up now. I’m annoying myself just writing that.
It goes without saying that I feel INCREDIBLY fortunate to have food to eat but it’s the experiences that come with it that I love the most. I have been lucky enough to go to some of the best restaurants out there but the memories had over a home cooked meal are equally as special to me. One of the rare things I can thank both my parents for, is the education they gave me on good food. A great meal can be the panacea for just about any problem life throws at you and being a born-and-bred foodie with the ability to recognise that, is something I am very thankful for.
9. My education
I went to private school for most my education but unlike many of my peers there, it was something BOTH my parents had to work exceptionally hard to be able to afford. I was by no means hard done by but I wasn’t one of those kids who swanned off on holiday for the duration of every break, I didn’t ski and I was one of the few who’s house was worth under £1m. It wasn’t just any school. It was (and still is, I think) one of the top 10 schools in the UK. Whilst I hated it there at the time (and in fact ended up leaving for sixth form to go to an international school that provided a WHOLE different experience), looking back now it gave me a seriously strong start in life. There is nothing to be more thankful for than an education and I hope to one day be able to give my future kids the same gift.
10. My camera
For my 21st birthday present, my mum gave me a Nikon D90 (a model that is no longer made but it’s still a phenomenal camera). I have always LOVED taking photos and have been blessed with a somewhat decent eye for taking a good one. My dad bought the family a dSLR a few years before he buggered off and I taught myself how to take ‘proper’ photos with that (though, in keeping with my father’s never ending selfishness and despite knowing how much it meant to me, he naturally took it with him when he left). My D90 is one of my most prized possessions. I have a few different lens options for it now and being able to take photos, particularly now that so many of my friends have babies and our memories together feel so much more important to capture, is a skill I feel incredibly lucky to have.
That was way more detail than I had originally planned to share in this post but I’m putting off cleaning the house so had time to kill…sort of.
What’re you grateful for?