Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Days of Gratitude - Desolation, The Sunday Assembly, And A Touch of Skulduggery

I am typing this on August 1st.

It's been a rubbish day in my head.  I've done my best.  A Blob Thing post got written.  A Clare post got written.  Something got read.  Puzzles got solved.  Furniture was rearranged.  But it's been very difficult indeed.  Some days are like that.  Leaving the house was not an option today and for a while I was physically shaking.  Yeah, it's been bad.

And that's one of the reasons I keep this gratitude diary going.  It's one of the reasons why I have posted in it one 204 out of the first 213 days of the year.

Because on the crap days, on the days when it hurts even to budge off my bed, I can look back.  And see how good the good days can be.

Maybe today was so bad in in my head because of yesterday.  For Clare, I did amazingly well at the Sunday Assembly.  By Clare standards I was bloody brilliant at social and at dealing with it all.  Hey, I rocked!  But even on that good day it was hard and tiring and maybe it wiped me out more than I realised last night.  Or maybe today was just one of those things and the crap isn't related to yesterday at all.  Maybe.

And that's another reason why keeping this gratitude diary has been good for me.  Quite a number of the days have been difficult.  It's sodding hard to live them.  The best days are hard, but the difficult ones are sodding hard!  But the diary is a discipline.  I want to post things I am grateful for on every day if I can.  I've missed nine days.  But not because they were all bad.  Some of them were very good indeed.  To find the gratitude on the tough days is worthwhile.  Because then a day that I could just mark down as bad can be shown to not be all bad - and often can be shown to be pretty good apart from the sodding hard bits.

When the idea of a gratitude group was suggested by someone from the Sunday Assembly Newcastle I readily joined.  It's become important to me.  Even if I was described yesterday as the person who keeps the group going.  Sometimes it does rather feel like the Clare show with a few guest stars popping up.  I wonder, if the group ended, whether I would manage to keep up the diary on my own.  I hope so.

So here we are, it's August.  I have much to look forward to this month.  But it's got off to a very rocky psychological start.  Never mind.  The final three days of July contained a heck of a lot of awesomeness.

29th July

Grateful to get out and have lunch with someone today.

Grateful for sunsets, this from my front door tonight.

Grateful to have finally started to read Desolation, by Derek Landy.

And grateful for what I coincidentally read on Facebook just before getting on a Metro and starting that book. Derek Landy announced that Skullduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain will return. Isn't that exciting? A whole year of waiting, of anticipation. So awesome.

(Everyone should read Skulduggery. Everyone. Except the strong evangelical Christian I know who found the first book to be so evil that it became the only book she ever burned. Yes, it's THAT good. It's worthy of burning!)

30th July

Grateful for the surprises on today's walk:

A deserted play area.

A graveyard. And a found accidental poem on a gravestone that may one day become a writing prompt.

Stepping stones. I got a bit happy flappy. Okay, a lot happy flappy.

Free strawberries, cream, shortbread and tea. And a quiz and some music too.

Also for trees.

And for the way a river changes so much in just a few miles.

And for this phone and its camera, bus routes, bus passes, and the book of stories bought in a charity shop.

Yes. It was a good day. The list of positives could get very long.

31st July

Well this is an obvious one.

I am grateful for the Sunday Assembly.

Guess what Blob Thing will be blogging about in the near future.

I wrote this on my Facebook wall:

The Sunday Assembly was great today.

I wasn't overwhelmed. I could deal with it and actually talk with people and not rush off quite quickly afterwards. That's so much better than I've been in a long long time.

A wonderful talk about science and art.

A person talking about writing and that was an encouragement to plough on and get enthusiastic about writing for myself.

A person in amazingly cool clothes complimented me on my clothes.

A conversation about names and I said I had dreamed my own and they hadn't had a clue that I would ever have changed my name.

One of these days I'll get properly involved with the Sunday Assembly and do something useful rather than just drinking tea, eating cake, and occupying a chair. Perhaps it should be soon.

It is what it is. I think enthusiastic people will build it into something better. A true community rather than just a group of people meeting for an event sometimes - something most churches don't manage to become.

Maybe the Sunday Assembly in Newcastle can do church better than the church. I hope so.

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