Trying to be Grateful Everyday
I don’t think anyone can have missed the fact that we’ve been through some difficult times over the last 18 months or so. As such, I don’t think that emotional energy and resilience could ever have been so important; for our generation at least.
One of the best ways I have found to create this emotional energy and resilience is gratitude. Gratitude isn’t an action and it isn’t an automatic response to an external event. It’s a choice. Importantly, it’s a choice that you can learn to make without even thinking about it. Many years ago, I made the decision to be aware of the things I am grateful for, and to make sure that I express that gratitude.
I should add though, that I try and be grateful everyday. Sometimes I'm just not feeling it though, or I simply forget. Practising gratitude is just like any other skill - use it or lose it!
In that vein, here is a (very much non-exhaustive) list of things that I’m currently trying to remember to be grateful for...
The friends I made during the time in the Army. I think it can be difficult for those who haven’t experienced this to understand the bond we all have and the support network they provide. It is reassuring to know that these people would drop everything to help me out in my time of need and I will always be grateful for that. I’m also grateful for knowing that I would do the same for them.
All of the volunteers at the races I compete in (although these are thin on the ground recently thanks to Covid). Competing in any form of race or event is energising, it motivates me. I have a reason to work hard, training week after week, and the energy on the day of an event is just electric. I spend the whole morning in a state of excitement, but I also make sure to think about the people who are giving up their free time to give me this opportunity. They stand at the side, watching, supporting and facilitating and I try to remember in my ongoing self-pity to express gratitude to each and every one of them.
My health. With so many of us thinking about our health with a sense of fear and trepidation during this pandemic, I am mindful of how grateful I am for feeling fit and healthy and having the ability to do everything that I want to achieve. I have been particularly grateful for my health ever since my heart operation in 2016.
I am also so grateful for the love and support my wife has shown me over the last 22 years of marriage. The joy I feel from having someone in my life who is a partner in every sense of the word and who will always be with me is something I am determined never to take for granted. I’m also very grateful that she knows me well enough to know that she was my first thought when I started writing about gratitude, so I won’t be in trouble for placing her at the end of this list.
I know I have so much in my life to be grateful for, and I try to express that gratitude whenever I can. Writing down the things that I have been grateful for each day in this journal really helps me to remember all of the things I value so deeply and ensures that I always end the day with grateful thoughts.
And I’m grateful for that too.