Personal post: On counting your blessings

As we head into day three of the most epic post ever written (you’ll see… I promise) I wanted to share something a little personal with you all while you wait.

See, I’ve been feeling pretty lousy lately. Losing my dad has affected me more than I admit or talk about. At times, getting from one end of the day to the other is an achievement, other days I’m on fire, full of beans, ready to rock. It’s just the nature of the grief game.

But today I want to try something I did with my dad when he was unwell. At the end of every day for a long time, we kept a special notebook where we wrote down five blessings from that day. I won’t bore you with them every day, but I wanted to write down my blessings as a one off – and to encourage anyone out there who’s suffering in any way to do the same. No matter how bad it is, there’s always something to hold on to.

So here are my five things to be thankful for lately – and I’d love it if you lovely brides and suppliers would share yours in the comment box below, even anonymously, if you feel able.

My five blessings

Yes, that’s a smiley face pizza, made by chef John

I have an adoring husband who is pretty much the textbook definition of the nicest person on the planet. Every day he cooks me dinner because it relaxes him and because I’m a lousy cook. I’m pretty much like a house pet – if someone didn’t feed me I’d just starve to death. Actually, I’m worse than a house pet, I can’t catch my own food if I have to. But back to the point… over the last couple of months, I’ve been all kinds of messy – crying in the morning messy, angry with the world messy, clingy to the point of terrifying messy – John has done nothing but behave like I’m still the most amazing person in the world. How lucky am I?

In August, I married one of the most important people in my life. Unfortunately, I did it under the shadow of the prospect (and eventual reality) of losing one of the other most important people in my life. I’ve never once heard John complain or ask for more than I can give. I will spend the rest of our lives showing him how grateful I am that he chose me.

I have the kinds of friends and family who I can call in tears and come away from the conversation laughing. There are some pretty special people in my life, the sort of people who have a firm sense of self, who live from a place of complete kindness and who call me all the time just for a chat and a giggle.

Even people I don’t know very well have rallied around to support me, whether it’s someone’s daily inspirational messages on Facebook that seem to arrive to pull me out of a moment of despair (thank you, Kelly), or just people who know what it’s like to lose someone important.

I have a job that goes at my own pace. Once upon a time, choosing my own hours was a luxury because I just liked being able to work when I was productive. In the last eight months, it’s been a Godsend. If I’d been working an office job when my dad got ill, I don’t know how we would have coped.

If I had to go into an office every day and hide my grief, instead of letting it out when I need to, I also don’t know how I’d cope. Having my own business is the biggest blessing in the world – I’m so thankful that I found my little corner of this world. I’m so thankful that so many people believe in and follow that little corner. Not everyone gets to control their own destiny in that way, and I’m so lucky to be able to do so.

I have music. I’ve always been an enthusiast, and I’ve always sung, but on my wedding day my dad begged me not to keep on ignoring my love of singing in favour of “real life”. The week after he died, I turned up, trembling and completely out of my depth at my first singing lesson in about ten years. Two months later and I’m going every week, singing every day, writing songs, playing again and even *gulp* joining a group to see how I like it.

It doesn’t bring my dad back, but it lets my feelings out and it certainly makes me feel closer to him. If he’s still out there somewhere and he’s watching, I’m sure he’d rather I sing to him than cry about him.

My four little furry scamps that keep me entertained all day. Having pets should be mandatory therapy – there’s nothing like the moment when everything feels hopeless and then one of my kitties jumps into my arms, just a fluffy, purring ball of love and affection. Sure, four can be a bit extreme, especially when they’re tearing around the house after each other, but working from home would be very lonely without them around to keep me company.

I find that counting my blessings has been the hardest thing to do lately. So many days I’ve slipped into the trap of feeling like the world is a big and scary place – and that it might just be against me. But I think that facing my blessings head on is a braver thing to do than facing my problems. So here they are. And please feel free to share yours in the comment box, even if you want to be anonymous. We’d love to hear what makes you happy.

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