Friday, 4 March 2016

Days of Gratitude - Lent and Love, Autism and the Buddha.

Here's more from the Sunday Assembly Newcastle gratitude group.  I'll be honest.  I can't see the group lasting out the year in any meaningful manner.  It keeps getting quieter.  Obviously it's hard for people to be consistent in posting things they are grateful for.  It's quite a discipline but I hope people are finding gratitude anyway regardless of posting on Facebook.  It's a shame that the majority of people who signed up for the group - and the challenge of the group to post every day - haven't posted anything at all.  I'd love to be seeing the varied things people have in their lives to be grateful for.

And even I have been missing days.  I missed February 29th.  Never mind, I missed that day for the last few years too and can guarantee to miss it for the next few years too.

So that's February over for another year.  It's not been without surprises.  At the start of February I didn't know that I'd intentionally be taking a break from church and I definitely didn't know that I'd be coming to some conclusions and making some decisions - not that I know what those decisions really mean yet.

I think a post is needed about church:  About the reasons why I joined 26 Februarys ago and the reasons why I am now half way through my Lenten fast from church, a fast that feels more like a feast and certainly nothing like a penance.  I am missing seeing the people.  But I am missing precisely nothing about the actual church services.

In fact, at this point - day 24 of the 46 of Lent - I am feeling better for not being there and it's quite a relief not to be at church.  It's a great church.  No matter the direction my life takes, I won't stop saying it's a great church.  So on Sunday I was talking about it with someone who is now considering going along.  But it feels good for me to not be there.

The two links at the end - I recommend them.  I loved the art and the complete works of the poet are now high on my wish list should anyone want to buy me a present of a book!

Picture: Two large tea mugs
23rd February

Grateful that Amanda will be home soon and we will be able to share the experience of a large mug of masala chai.

One more day with her before I return to Newcastle, to wife and child. But grateful that it won't be too long before I come back here.

Picture: A View across Wayoh reservoir

24th February

Grateful for a day out with Amanda. £1.70 each on the train to get to this place and walk. It started snowing as we got off the train at Entwhistle. But just for a while.

Really good to get out of the city, away from the haste and noise.

Picture: Large Purple Buddha wall hanging
25th February

Grateful to have my own bed and bedroom tonight. Back at home with family and everything that is my life here.

It's been wonderful being with Amanda. I'll be back there with her very soon. Now there is a week and a half to ask questions about my life and my direction, to do some joy bringing things, and maybe take the odd risk and see what happens.

Picture: A Wrist with bracelets including Autistic Pride bracelet

26th February

Grateful that I was able to put self care above respectability today and leave something when it was getting too much rather than stay and cause myself bigger problems.

Grateful to have recognised my sensory overload early enough to be able to act and get myself home without it becoming an issue of not being able to get myself home and/or personal safety.

Grateful to have managed to divert myself from self insults for not being able to do something and to know that I'm worthwhile regardless of all the things I can't do or can't do reliably.

And grateful for the person whose wrist this is, the things we share, and the things she teaches me. She is a big part in my having been able to do the above today in looking after myself.

Picture: Gorgeous love art with quotation by Rumi

27th February

Tough day. Tough year. Grateful to have made it and that there have been so many good things in the last year. In about an hour it's my birth time on what was my birthday until I moved it last year.

Grateful for new friends in the year, greater self understanding and a diagnosis, for freer spirituality, and for love in my life.

Picture: View of Wayoh reservoir through the trees, photo from Amanda

28th February

Grateful for the SA today. Really hard to be out today but grateful to have managed it and actually proud of myself. And happy that I still know all the words to Birdhouse in your Soul.

Grateful for family. Grateful for the friend who was here last night and today and for what we share.

Grateful for the photos Amanda sent today of the week's visit. Grateful for such good memories.

And grateful for things that popped up on Facebook today.

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