Saturday, 30 January 2016

Days of Gratitude - Hard Times, Tea, Zentangles, the Sunday Assembly, and The Perfect Rainbow

The month of January draws to a close and the Sunday Assembly Gratitude Group continues.  Whether it will survive as planned until the end of the year remains to be seen.  Half a dozen of us post every day or nearly every day - out of fifty people who signed up.  I hope the others are being able to celebrate gratitude in their own way or are being encouraged by those of us posting random and non-random good things from our days.

The last week of January has been really difficult for me, largely due to the quite debilitating psychological effect of a certain appointment that will be mentioned later.  But there are always still things for which we can be grateful.  While this diary mentions some of the hard things I want it to focus on the good, even when that gives an unrealistic picture of my life as if it's some mental health paradise where I can do anything and power through like the most flawless superhero.

It's been tough to do anything much.  So tough that I haven't even begun the book pictured below and I really want to do that.  But finding the mental energy to do anything has been a real challenge.  I have to begin the book - she's written a follow-on course which is published next week.  Does anyone want to buy me a copy?!  (Also "Exposure Anxiety" by Donna Williams, "Meister Eckhart" by Matthew Fox, "The Nine Degrees of Autism", books on the Morrigan, "The Tain", and the poems of Rabindranath Tagore all of which have expanded my Amazon wishlist in the last week.  Slight book addiction even though just lately they have been very hard to read at all.)

One day of January remains.  I am fragile inside so will do only what is wise for me to do.  The current plan includes attending the Sunday Assembly.  If you ever feel like attending a Sunday Assembly and there's one near you then go along.  You won't be turned away - they are explicitly radically inclusive.  And even if you decide you hate it, at least you will have had the chance to sing some songs, listen to some interesting people, and eat some cake.  I recommend it - and I say that knowing the apparent paradox of me liking to be both at the "godless assembly" and at my church on the same day.

 24th January

Quiet day. Yesterday wiped me out more than I thought last night.

But grateful I found the energy for church and even for a few of us to get to the pub afterwards. Soooo worn out now but they are people I love.

And grateful that this book arrived and I can begin it tomorrow. Looks to be much fun.

 25th January

I have focus choices today that could lead to depression or to calm acceptance and gratitude:

A. How hard it's been to get through the day due to what my head threw at me. How bloody awful some of the moments have been and how hard it's been to deal with anxiety and other things. Yeah, I could choose to see this day as terrible.


B. I have got through the day. That is an achievement in itself.
C. The wonderful person who helped me back to the light today. Twice.
D. The light bulb moment and idea this morning that is actually rather good and quite exciting. And which, if it can happen, will benefit people in a way that currently does not exist.
E. I have a home, family, friends - including a Facebook anniversary with Ellie - food, a piano and guitar to play, soft toy friends who got named today, and so much more.
F. Saturday had such smiles and unicorns. And the previous Saturday included someone who could be the Saint of Unicorns. And there will be many more good days, some including unicorns.

26th January

Written on the 27th

A really tough day.

Grateful for Amanda's words to me. Grateful that I wrote something that makes a big project feel less like an amorphous blob.

And grateful that even on bad head days I can be quite good at a Sudoku on Puzzle Nikoli. Yep, I am showing off about a meaningless skill!

27th January

Grateful that even though I had a panic attack at the bus stop and had to give up I still made it later to sit in a certain cafe where nothing matches and drink tea.

And for a certain joy for a little while earlier because no matter what tomorrow brings, life is awesome.

28th January

Well that was horrible! A word that could express anyone's experience of an ATOS assessment.

Grateful for the very good woman who took me there and sat with me in the appointment, without whom I would never have managed to get there or get through it. Grateful for the awesome people in my life.

I'm actually grateful to have felt so rubbish for the assessment because it meant she got me on a bad day without me having to say "Yes, I know I appear stupendous but sometimes I fall apart." I was a mess and that's probably a good thing under the circumstances.

Grateful that it's over, for better or worse.

Grateful to be back home, safe, with hot chai, and that I have very good friends here of a type that really confuse ATOS assessors when in part of your answer to "Do you live with anyone?" you say "... and eight friends. One of them is a unicorn." The photo is not the unicorn!

29th January

No photo today - because I haven't got permission to share the image.

Grateful for the card that a very good, close friend made and sent to me this week and for everything that it means to us. For memories of what she has drawn on the front of the card - a perfect moment in a day that's already featured in the month's gratitude. I really am most fortunate that she is a part of my life.

And - in a more shallow but equally valid way - grateful for the charity shop sale which had a cool Per Una coat and a cute posh party dress for a Pound each.

Added afterwards:

Come to think of it. I am grateful for this morning's rainbow, right across the sky.  And then it became a double rainbow. Gorgeous but my phone couldn't fit it all in the picture.

30th January

Grateful that, as it turned out, I was buying a little present for a friend at exactly the same time as she was buying me a little present, 100 miles away.


  1. I do hope that your Gratitude Group continues. Your posts are blessing people far removed from your group, including me. Thank you, Clare.

  2. Thank you for your words too. Still going with gratitude. And still haven't had the energy (or very often a clear space) to begin the Zentangle book. I need to to it - a sequel has just been published and I can't justify buying it yet!


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