It’s hard not to be a morbid Milly or cynical Sue at the moment. Wherever you look there’s bad, sad news. Twitter, Facebook, TV, radio and newspapers tell of bombs falling, horrific hijackings and planes missing.
There’s never a shortage of tragic tales. And it’s so easy to get caught up in it and rue the state of the human race.
But sometimes, and more often than not, there’s something to be grateful for. My husband, Mark, has a small production company where they shoot promotional and corporate videos as well as music videos, and on Friday he spent the day in a ‘squatter camp’ to shoot some footage for the Lead SA campaign. Surrounded by the poorest of the poor, his spirit was lifted by a team of nuns and a philanthropist who give of their time, resources and funds to educate and take care of over 450 learners. Without this school, that started off with one little prefab, these kids would have no hope and no future. Mark came home grateful for what he has (even though we often consider it little) and for the opportunity to meet amazing people.
I have a lot to be grateful for too, but forget to take the time to say thanks and count my many blessings. Be they five years old going on 16, or two going on delinquent, I am thankful I have Ben and Emma. The alternative is so much lonelier and quieter.
I am thankful for 12 years with a husband and friend who still makes me laugh, who supports and encourages me and puts up with my crap. A man, who with a slight wiggle of his hips and a wink of the eye makes my knees wobble.
The other day Ben asked for water and while I was getting a cup ready he said “this is taking for long!” And then Emma asked me how long does it take to make water? “Not long at all”, I said ” we turn on a tap and there’s water!” I always try and make them aware of their blessings too and throw in my ‘little pearls of wisdom’ so I explained that some children don’t have it that easy. That a glass of water is a luxury after a long long walk to fetch it, boiling it to make it okay to drink and then having to use it sparingly. “So you see, we have lots to be grateful for.” I finished off. Which lead to another conversation about gratitude.
But to cut a longer story long, we’ve decided to do ‘what we’re grateful for’ at the end of each day. There’s no limit as to how many things we can say, but there has to be at least two things from each of us. Emma and Ben have no problem, from getting cuddles to having a funny story read to them. It’s me, the adult, that ums and ers as I try to think of things I’m thankful for.
And what I’ve discovered, as is always the case with children, they drop in their pearls of wisdom. And teach me to stop looking out for the big things because I’m missing out on the most important.