On Monday my first born turned eighteen. I am now officially the mother of an adult!
A few days previous a friend of my husband was thrown from a horse; when he recounted how her mother had said her life was literally hanging in the balance due to complications I cried. I don’t know these people well and yet I was quite overcome with a feeling of emotion, so crying it was. Obviously, I’m a mum and my children also ride but it went deeper than that. When another friend unexpectedly lost her mother recently and we were discussing the crippling power of grief it occurred to me that there is nothing in the universe that touches our human heart bigger than birth and death.
I have a feeling that we charge through the moments in between of this imaginary start and finish line slightly immune and oblivious to how wondrous the silly small things are.
After I gave birth to my first child apart from feeling like I had been hit by a bus I just remember feeling clever. Like WOW, clever I had grown a tiny perfect human in my own body. (Not so tiny now!) I know I was lucky as motherhood is not the same for everyone. And I was so so grateful for I had witnessed firsthand that not all babies come to us perfect, with every organ fully functioning. For me that feeling of newborn love for my baby was very precious; a time of great joy. There aren’t words elaborate enough to explain the intensity of the emotion. Maybe I should blame the hormones! Even the sleep deprivation was bearable. I was blissed out. Imagine if we could only love all of our nearest and dearest in a haze of deep affection similar to newborn love. Seeing past the annoying habits and ignoring the faults our minds are quick to point out. Making allowances but most importantly being fully present and grateful for their existence, their health and well being. That also sounds a bit like new romance love!
Do we only really start appreciating things once they are no longer available to us? My friend said that her mum used to ring her at the most inconvenient times and chat about nothing that important; this annoyed her and frustrated her to the point where she probably wasn’t always listening. I know I am guilty of that when I am in full multitasking swing. She said she now longs for one of those calls. This also made me want to cry.
So I am a huge fan of showing my gratitude. I could suggest that we all buy a gratitude journal. I have started one on many occasions to give thanks with the written word as I do love a pen and paper and I have even had the kids involved in the past which can make for very entertaining reading at a later date, but… I then lose momentum and forget to do it! I have tried filling the jar with things that I am grateful for throughout the year. It is a beautiful idea. Again… I forget to do it! I like to give thanks before I fall asleep at night dare I say it to God, I know I know I said the God word, you can say universe. I give thanks for my husband my children, health and freedom and love and friends and family and food and my home and the list is endless. Thoughts are powerful and we can all find something to dwell on that we think that we should have or need or want. I want a new kitchen!!!! If you’re listening God! But seriously don’t we all have so much we can be grateful for. For starters our eyes our lungs, legs are useful, sunlight, water another new iPhone, prosecco, yoga leggs again the list is endless. Let us pour some energy into giving thanks.
Another strange habit I have is I actually communicate with spoken words when I am feeling the gratitude love. How very un British of me. As a society that finds it easy to complain and whinge when things are wrong, I moan too. I feel it is important to compliment praise and say thank you when appropriate. There is also social media where you can also share the love. Just the other day I tweeted that I loved my daughter’s headmaster. Which does sound very wrong, I will explain… he is an exceptional, inspirational man doing amazing things for our school with a great sense of humour and I knew it would annoy the kids, (tut tut tut!).
I am never afraid to tell someone that they are doing something well and that I am grateful for it. Positivity same as negativity is infectious I know what I would rather catch.
Love and gratitude always