Appreciation

We’re about to say goodbye to the old year and say a big HELLO to the new one. Well, as big as it can get this year. Let’s be honest 2020 wasn’t particularly a great one, but who knows what the next year is going to bring? We don’t know what to expect, because we’re not freaking fortune tellers, and maybe we should appreciate little things that did bring some happiness into our lives. I deliberately avoided talking about global pandemics in previous posts because you hear about it everywhere and we all deserve a break from it. It is hard to skip it in the “end of year” post though.

Just briefly… I do realise that many people had lost their closest during this year, their jobs, their relationships, friendships, and maybe their stability when it comes to mental health. When I look at what I just wrote I kind of appreciate that all this year had cost me, was a few meltdowns, a lot of overthinking, and some self-distracting self-hatred, which is never good. It all feels trivial as people had lost way more than me it seems, right? It’s been a rough year for many, and everyone had their own problems to deal with. It’s just wrong to compare them with someone else’s obstacles, so as much as I acknowledge that people went through bigger or smaller hell during this year, I went through my own, and I will not say it’s any less important- it is in fact very important, to me. And if you’re thinking that you shouldn’t exaggerate your problems just STOP. Reflect on it, talk about it or not, do whatever you want, but never think that your complications or your loss are less important than someone else’s. It’s good to be SELFISH sometimes ;).

Ok, I made you go through your shitty memories of 2020… Now, what about listing all good memories, small and big ones, and taking a little moment of gratitude? I read somewhere that being grateful for everyday things is going to positively influence your happiness and satisfaction in the long run. Think of it this way… If you don’t appreciate what you have today, you will not be grateful for what you will gain tomorrow. That’s a good point, right?

If you’re like me, you might think “Ok, I pretty much did the same thing every day which was pretty boring so what is there to appreciate”? Well, here’s my list and you can tell me if it gives you some ideas of what you could be grateful for. Focus on positives.

  1. For starters, I was constantly tired of my job, I couldn’t get enough rest even going on two weeks holidays. The moment I was back at work for one day, it would instantly make me feel like I was never away and the tension was back. Then lockdown happened. Six month holidays! I know, I know it’s wrong to say, but I fucking enjoyed not being at work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not grateful for pandemics, I’m grateful for the time I could spend away from work.
  2. I’m grateful for my partner and the support he gave me even though I was not the easiest person to be around and vice versa. I think if it wasn’t for all these difficulties we would never find out what are our “on the edge” sides. I’m grateful for being strong together and not letting this horrific time take over.
  3. I’m grateful for my family and friends to be there for me when I needed to fight my demons. I’m also grateful that I could be that person to them. It’s all about the balance between giving and receiving.
  4. I’m grateful for access to fresh coffee, I make every morning in a little pour-over coffee maker, which I received as a thoughtful birthday present. The whole process of making coffee is so satisfying and relaxing and the taste of it is just exquisite.
  5. I’m grateful for the ability to speak two languages.
  6. I’m grateful for my body. We all have imperfections and I’m aware of mine but I have everything in place, I can walk, jump, run, grab things, tickle my partner’s feet (what basically starts a war). I can taste the food, smell fragrances, see objects and scenes, create memories, I can sing (I can’t but you know what I mean) talk, whisper, and shout. I can do everyday tasks without anyone’s help.
  7. I’m grateful for music that helps me to disconnect from the rest of the world if needed. For people that create it, so it helps us- regular humans to get away without moving from our homes.
  8. I’m grateful for people that are not afraid to talk about everything and anything that still might be considered taboo. I recently got into podcasts and can not stop listening to them. My favourite is Estee Lalonde Show. She talks about beauty products, novel ways of relaxation, meditation, vaginas, cervical screening (and the importance of it!!!!) All eye-opening and so informative.
  9. I’m grateful for my analytical brain. Yes, it is highly connected to my overthinking issue but at the same time, I would not be here typing these words and creating posts that truly make me happy. Also, because of it, I ask a lot of questions, I’m curious and without it, I would not be the person I am now.
  10. I’m grateful for the memories. When I think of my best memory I automatically go to when I went to London Borough Market and ate oysters with my partner. The combination of the vibe, people around, diversity, the sounds, smells and the perfect weather- sunny but not too hot, brings me to my happy place. I love to eat oysters so much now because I associated that moment of warmth in my heart when I was sharing that memory with the right person. It’s not the oysters- it’s all about the memory ;).
Oysters at London Borough Market

So as you can see, it could be anything. Maybe you’re grateful for your dog that loves you no matter what, or a cat that only loves you when it’s feeding time and it works for you? You might be grateful for having the roof over your head or for still having some chocolates in your secret cabinet. It could be literally anything. Instead of shaming the bad year, focus on the positives and carry on with the gratitude over next year and another one and another… Well, this is my plan to brighten my future. What’s yours?

Love, Selfish Jo

P.S. Happy New Year.

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