50 Happy Things 2018: Bloggers Unite to Flood the Internet with Gratitude

 

Hurrah! It’s one of my favourite times of year again – the annual ‘Bloggers flood the internet with gratitude’ co-ordinated by the fabulous Dawn from Tales from the Motherland. If you haven’t joined in before it’s super easy. Set a timer and write a list of things that you have felt grateful for this past year. Full instructions are below. Here’s mine!

 

  1. My children – I made humans – actual humans! They always make me laugh/smile/my heart swell with pride.
  2. My sister – she’s my hero for many reasons.
  3. My husband – often the one who holds everything together while I write ‘just one more page…’. 
  4. My mum – I wouldn’t be here without her. 
  5. My family – It may be getting smaller but they take up a large space in my heart.
  6. My friends – I value them dearly. 
  7. My puppy – he may currently be chewing his way through EVERYTHING but he lifts my day – always. 
  8. My cat – whoever said cats don’t love has never met our affectionate ball of fur. 
  9. The NHS – it’s helped me literally get back on my feet.
  10. A mattress – a sufferer of chronic pain I value a soft place to lay.
  11. A home – a place I can just be.
  12. My garden – I love the outdoors.
  13. Nature – The world is so beautiful if we just stop and pause.
  14. Mindfulness – my practice enables me to appreciate the here and now.
  15. Food – a luxury I never take for granted.
  16. Words – I adore the English language.
  17. Stories – I’m making a career making stuff up – a dream come true.
  18. Water – we turn on taps and voila – we’re incredibly lucky.
  19. Fresh air – I live near the countryside and it’s lovely to just breathe.
  20. Bloggers – such a supportive community.
  21. Charity – we can all do something.
  22. The animal kingdom – It’s humbling observing them in their natural habitat.
  23. Education – my son is off to uni this year & I’m so excited for his future.
  24. Chocolate – Heavenly.
  25. Readers – I love meeting and hearing from those who read my novels.
  26. My publishers who reach an audience with my books. 
  27. My literary agent who has guided me this past year.
  28. Music – I play piano (badly) and love going to gigs.
  29. Creativity – Art, music, writing – it’s all so inspiring.
  30. A dining table. Nothing makes me happier than sharing a good meal with my family.
  31. My gratitude journal – the last thing I write before I go to sleep.
  32. Kindness – no act is too small.
  33. A smile from a stranger often makes my day.
  34. Literary festivals – a chance to hang out with other writers and readers & I spoke at my first events this year. 
  35. Books – my favourite pastime – always.
  36. Wine – a luxury at the end of the day.
  37. Flowers – Watching bees buzz lazily around the borders.
  38. Colour – makes everything seem a little brighter.
  39. Photos – I still print mine out and stick in an album.
  40. A car – not being too mobile I’d be lost without mine.
  41. Stationery – Nothing cheers me up like a notebook.
  42. Cake – baking is therapeutic.
  43. A hug – human contact has the power to heal.
  44. Medicine – I’m incredibly grateful for the advances we have made.
  45. Random acts of kindness.
  46. Memories – Making new ones every day.
  47. Laughter
  48. Time – the greatest gift of all.
  49. Electricity
  50. Mistakes – I’ve learned & grown & I’ll make them again!

Gratitude is so important. Here you can read how and why I keep a gratitude journal every day.

To join in with ’50 things’ set a timer for 15 minutes. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write things that make you happy, or things you feel grateful for. Don’t think too hard; just write what comes to mind in the time allotted. If you use the numbered mode and just type what comes to mind, it’s easy. When the timer’s done stop writing; finish whatever sentence you’re on. If you haven’t written 50 things, don’t worry. If you have more than 50 things great; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! Add the photos, links, instructions, etc after you finish the list––the timer doesn’t matter for getting these details down; it applies to the list only. Add your link here.

 

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Man’s best friend

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This weeks streams of consciousness prompt, the word friend, immediately conjured up an image of my old boxer dog, Bailey. Man’s best friend, my best friend. The biggest character, the warmest heart.

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Right from when we brought him home, an eight week old puppy, skidding across our never before seen wooden floors on bambi legs, we knew he would never fail to make us laugh.

 

It wasn’t long until Bailey weighed almost as much as I did but that didn’t stop him being scared of puddles. When he was smaller I could carry him over them, when he was fully grown, we had to navigate our way around the tiniest pool of water, his ears flattened, visibly shaking at the thought of wet paws.

 

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Bailey’s size belied his gentle nature. When the boys dressed up as policeman and ‘arrested’ him, he sat patiently, legs handcuffed together long after the boys had wandered off to play something else, until they remembered to go back and release him.

Bailey had a myriad medical problems. His body produced steroids, making him grow to giant like proportions, and his too short eight year old life was spent in and out of surgery. Nevertheless the vets remained one of his favourite places to be. We would walk through the front door and Bailey would jump up and down with joy, often catching his paws on the mesh door mat. He frequently ripped his claws off doing this, blood would spurt up the walls as he spun around in happy circles while the other patients looked on in horror. It wasn’t long before we were ushered quietly in through the back door and allocated our own waiting room.

Bailey loved everyone, but his family most of all, he never strayed far from our side. Once my son left the back gate open and it was a while before we realised that Bailey was missing. We flung on coats and shoes and opened the front door ready to scour the neighbourhood. Bailey was sat on the front door mat, head hung, rain dripping from ears. He sighed, shook his head and padded past us to his bed.

Our house was emptier, quieter, without him and not a single day goes past when I don’t miss him.

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Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday – prompt – friend. Write the first thing that comes to mind, no editing allowed.