Be Thankful…

Today’s post is not the read and run kind. I defy anybody to say that they can’t comment, even if it is mentally, and this post has been designed to make you think…

Be Thankful print Ā£2.52

This December has passed by in a blur for me. Even after talking about #shareadvent I managed a measly 3 prompts before life took over. It’s an American idea to ‘give thanks’ for what we are grateful for in life but for a time of year that for me is about friends and family, kindness and sharing and love, I certainly haven’t done enough stepping back and thinking about how lucky I am.

I thought I’d make a list of things I am thankful for this Christmas and I’d love you to take a moment today or this weekend to stop and reflect and share your thoughts in the comments.

I am grateful for tradition. Today I’m going for lunch, last minute shopping and a nails appointment with my Mum and sister. It’s the third Christmas day out we have had now and I cherish the time for just the three of us, doing girly things. We never get a lot done, but now I don’t live at home it’s a nice chance to catch up in the run up to Christmas before it’s actually the big day and it’s almost all over.

I’m grateful for opportunity. Having Francesca move to Manchester has been great but having the chance to live with her again, although it has brought with it some challenges, has been amazing. I’ve got to know her again in a way you only do when you live with someone and been able to support her more than I would have otherwise. Although some people might think it’s odd, I love being able to say that ‘I live with my sister’.

I’m grateful for partnership. This month Pete has done what he always does, made everything around me work, when I don’t have time to. He’s looked after me, organised me and been there for me, even though this half of the team hasn’t been pulling its weight. It’s the practicalities of unconditional love and I am eternally thankful we found each other.

I’m grateful to be healthy. At this time of year more than ever, I enjoy my home visits through work. It’s always a privilege being asked into people’s homes where they are most vulnerable, the old ladies leaving the door open and the old men who ask you to turn out the lights when you leave to save the electricity. This year I’m reminded as I visit the lonely or depressed or dying that I am lucky to be healthy and happy and that right now, those around me are too.

Lastly, I’m grateful for change. I always consider myself quite a dynamic person but in reality, I don’t like change. Moving has been a big change and since then, I have stalled on getting the house renovation moving, preferring to plan than get my hands dirty and dusty. When it feels like hard work I must remember it will be worth it, that the mess will be finite and the result is creating our family home.

Now it’s your turn readers. You don’t have to write an essay, but what are you thankful for this Christmas?


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33 thoughts on “Be Thankful…

  1. I’m grateful for my husband. He is patient, kind & funny and although we are living in different cities during because of work commitments, he takes care of me.

    I’m grateful to my parents who have given us a massive amount of emotional (& financial) support over the last few years while we finish our PhDs.

    I’m grateful that I live in a society where my potential is not limited because I’m a woman. A favourite teacher at school once told us “it’s just luck where you are born, you didn’t do anything to earn it”, and that has always stuck with me. I’m hugely appreciative that I have had the opportunity to learn when so many people don’t have that chance.

    Merry Christmas Rebecca! x

  2. This is a lovely post, I hope you have fun with you Mum and sister today!

    The things I am thankful for (after a year of which the first six months were absolutely awful and the last six have been challenging but better) mainly revolve around my family & friends who have kept me going during the rough spots.

    My husband who, quite frankly, has stopped me from just lying down and giving up. He’s amazing.

    And slightly more uniquely, my biggest thanks of the year go to the NHS as having spent much of the year in and out of hospital appointments, I am still marveling at how well I’ve been looked after. If everything goes to plan over the next few weeks, I’m going to recommend my consultant for sainthood!

    A lot to be thankful for indeed!

  3. I’m thankful for my beautiful little family, who right now I can hear making breakfast together downstairs (ok, my husband is making breakfast and Freddie is ‘singing’ and clapping).
    I’m thankful for my friends for lots of reasons.
    I’m thankful for the opportunity to write on this fantastic blog because it has made me think differently about work and my future.

    Have a lovely day, Rebecca x

  4. More than anything I am thankful for my family. To my baby girl who for the last year has delighted and amazed me with each new day as she learns more skills and develops more and more personality. To my Mum who has given up 2 days of her weeks to allow me to go back to work. My Dad who I have watched morph into the most soppy ‘Pa’ out there. Finally, to my husband who is there supporting me every step of the way, even when I probably don’t deserve it.
    Happy Christmas peeps

  5. This year I am thankful for:

    1. Our beautiful daughter that we have waited nearly 3 years to meet. This will be my first christmas where I won’t utter the words ‘this might be our last christmas just the two of us’.

    2. My husband, he is my best friend and the voice of reason in my life. The road to becoming parents was the most difficult and stressful experience of our lives and at times it tested our marriage to its limits. Thankfully our bond remained strong and we have now come out of the other side of our becoming parents journey. The experience had taught me to cherish family and friends because when the going gets tough they are the ones that will scoop you up off the floor and give you a hug.

    3. My mum. I am thankful that she will be sat with us around the table this year after fighting the crappy disease that is breast cancer not once but twice. Last christmas she had just had a mastectomy and was still poorly at even though she maintains it was her best christmas because we announced that we were finally pregnant! She is the person that I look up to the most and I hope I can be as good a mum to Olivia as she is to me. I am thankful for having my mum as my role model.

    I think it is all too easy to get bogged down with focussing on the negatives but this post has made me sit down and realise how amazingly lucky I am to have all this to be thankful for.

    Merry Christmas Rebecca.x.

  6. Lovely post!

    Lots for me to be thankful for this year!

    For my healthy body for carrying me through pregnancy and producing a healthy baby and seeing it change shape and then contracting back (umm sort of!) after the birth. And for being able to breastfeed my little one. It truly is a marvel!

    For my family – my sisters – whose babies have brought us closer than ever and to my mum and dad who i appreciate more than ever now and have been so supportive.

    For my baby girl – the love is overwhelming. I am so lucky to have such a beautiful girl. Thank you for making us a family.

    For my husband for helping me (and knowing when to leave me to it!) for working so hard to support us, for loving baby Annie as much as me, for being there. Like you Rebecca – I am also so grateful we found each other…

    Ooh rather emotional now. Its good to take stock!

    Hope you have a very happy Christmas Rebecca – another fab year for Florence finds – roll on 2014 xxx

  7. I am thankful for my husband. So thankful I can’t list the reasons why.

    I am thankful we are able to move to start a new life in a new city.

    Though I will miss them very much I am thankful for all the friends I have made in the last 10 years and how they have enriched my life.

    I am thankful for all the new friends I will be getting to know in my new city.

    I am thankful for being sent a good hairdresser recommendation, invited to a hogmanay party and invited to a social for residents of our block and how that makes it feel like our home before I’m even there quite yet.

    I am thankful that lots of people seem happy and keen to host me on the many trips south that I will be doing as I work in London and live in Edinburgh.

    I am thankful that people here seem so very happy to have me around a while longer.

    I am thankful everytime someone acknowledges that this might be a little bit hard for me to get my head around – those people make me feel less weird/ungrateful.

    I am thankful for my family, both biological and those I consider family I am not related to. I’m going to miss them but I know they are part of my life.

    I’m thankful that Edinburgh is not that far away.

    I’m thankful that wherever M is, that is where home is. So that when I travel up on Saturday I will feel like I am coming home.


  8. I am grateful to my beautiful baby girl who celebrates her first birthday on Christmas Eve. She has brought so much joy in to our lives and our families’. I’m also grateful for the miracle that brought her in to existence as this time exactly 2 years ago I was told our chances of conceiving with IVF would be less than 1%.
    My husband has been a total star this year and supported me through PND and like you, I am eternally grateful that we found each other.
    To be honest my grateful list could go on forever and one of the best things about this year is that every single day I have given silent thanks for all I have: an incredible husband and daughter, wonderful friends and family, a warm flat and always enough to eat. I’m not really sure we need much else?
    Have an amazing Christmas Rebecca. Xx
    P.S I am also eternally grateful for modern medicine and anti depressants – they have made ALL the difference…

  9. What a lovely post.

    I am most thankful for my little family. My husband, who always supports me no matter what. I am so lucky to have him in my life and thankful that I met him just at the right time. My darling daughter, I am truly blessed to have her, she is amazing and makes me laugh everyday with her antics. The baby boy growing inside me at this moment, I can’t wait to meet him in February and complete our family.

    I am also thankful for my parents and in-laws who support me going back to work by looking after my daughter and who are both always there for us.

    I am thankful that everyday I feel loved by my family and friends, even if I am having a down day this thought manages to cheer me up.

    I am thankful for my health, when I hear of people having trouble conceiving or being ill it really puts into perspective how good my body has been to me over the years. Once this pregnancy is over I am going to make sure I appreciate it more and keep fit and healthy.

  10. I am grateful for so many things. I’m grateful for my husband who is always there to support me, encourage me, make me laugh and who always says yes when I suggest getting a takeaway pizza cos I’m too tired to cook šŸ™‚
    I’m grateful for my parents who are simply amazing and who are both positive and happy people who try and make the best of every situation despite battling ongoing ill health for years now.
    I’m grateful for my extended family on both sides, his and mine, we are really blessed to be surrounded by lovely people on all sides including of course our friends who have become family.
    I’m grateful for my job which allows me to live well, to have a cosy flat, a car and more than enough food on the table every day.
    ( ” and the old men who ask you to turn out the lights when you leave to save the electricity.” this broke my heart Rebecca, I am so so lucky with everything I have and I hope to be able to give some of it back next year.)

    Happy Christmas to all!

  11. I’m thankful for my husband – I suffer from a debilitating condition called Sickle Cell Disease, and he is my absolute rock. He keeps everything ticking over and supports me in a way I can’t describe; I’d need to write an essay! It’s pure unconditional love and I cherish him so much.

    I’m also thankful for my consultant, he looks after me so well and genuinely cares. This recent hospital admission was made all the more scary as I was 6 weeks pregnant. The reassurance I got was amazing. I still don’t know if our little peanut will be ok, but I am still thankful for the amazing care I received.

    Merry Christmas Everyone! x

  12. Lovely post Rebecca and I hope you have a wonderful time with your mum and sister today.

    I am grateful for my beautiful and fun loving daughter who brings us so much joy and who will help make our 3rd Christmas without my dad that little bit more bearable as we see Christmas through her eyes.

    I am grateful for my husband who despite driving me nuts somedays is working hard at his new job so that I can stay at home with our daughter. I am grateful that he loves and is embracing his new role which makes our move from Manchester to Kent worthwhile.

    I am grateful for the good friends that I have left behind and who have remained in touch and visited us in our new home. I am also grateful for the new friends I have started to make in an area where we don’t know anybody.

    I am grateful for my little moment of peace right now so that I can have some ‘me’ time and catch up on my favourite blogs, emails etc. whilst my daughter has a nap which she rarely has anymore.

    I am grateful for spending Christmas in our new home and can’t wait to see Isabella wake up on Christmas Day.

    Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas Rebecca and fellow FF readers šŸ™‚ xx

  13. Right this second I am thankful for full fat coke and salt and vinegar crisps and thankful for a husband that drove halfway to london at 2am to collect me from a random train station…

    I am also thankful for a happy, healthy, vibrant life filled with people I love, and who love me.

    The past year has been emotionally challenging, as my friendship group of 20 years fell apart and I was sorely let down by people I thought I could rely on. However, the upside to that was that I focused my energies in to more positive relationships, made new friends and although I have never, ever been complacent about my friendships and have always put in 100%, I will be eternally thankful to the people that really came through for me when it came to the crunch.

    Also, now that I’m coming out the other side of that heartache, I’m pretty thankful fothat it happened – without the mess of the last year, I wouldn’t have been able to make a number of clear decisions about my future.

    I’m also thankful for all the amazing opportunities I’ve had this year, and I’m thankful that I actually realise how fortunate I am to have had them.

  14. I’m thankful for my wonderful husband who has stood by and been an enormous support this year when I lost my Aunt and Uncle within six weeks of each other. They had been married over 60 years and I miss them both very deeply. It makes me appreciate the strength of my marriage and how I’m looking forward to growing old with the other half.

    I’m thankful for the tireless support of the NHS who have helped my 70 year old dad recover from his advanced bowel cancer. They have been and continue to be amazing.

    And finally, I’m thankful for my sister who is a great companion for all our cultural adventures in London and for being a fab cat sitter when needed.

    2013 has been a hard year in someways, although very positive in others. Overall I’m very much looking forward to starting 2014. Happy Christmas and New Year Everyone.

  15. I’m thankful for all the people who have made me feel so loved and supported this year – both through fun things in the first half, and by emotionally (and sometimes physically) getting me through the shitty second half.

    And I echo the NHS shout.

  16. This Christmas I am thankful for my family and friends, who have been more supportive than ever this year with us getting married and deciding to move to Australia.

    I am especially thankful for my husband who has made me smile on the darkest days and has stood by me and our decision to move even when we’ve been questioned and/or ignored because of it.

    I am also thankful for my job. As a primary school teacher I often get told I must be crazy and it’s often a thankless job. However, I adore my children and the friends I’ve made and however hard it may get, I know that, in some small way, I am making in difference in those children’s lives.

    Rebecca, this is a great idea and one reason why I love a few American blogs. We should appreciate what we have more often.

    Merry Christmas!

    Anni x

  17. Everything! I 100% know how fortunate I am to be me, to have the freedom of choice and people who care for me as well as a healthy body to run through life with. Shit things happen every day to everyone, they’ve happened to me numerous times this year but I refuse to dwell. Over the years I’ve learn’t not to focus on the bad shit, I deal with it, then move the hell on and only give my energy to the good stuff.

    So what am I grateful for….?

    The fact that two years ago on boxing day I walked into a pub (with a hangover from hell and looking like shit) & met the love of my life. Because of him I wake up with a smile on my face every day, he makes me live in the moment, let’s me have my say (who knew I was SO opinionated?!) tells me when I’m being a knob (which is often), looks after me and makes me feel alive. Sure we argue and disagree about things, but the next day I always love him more and when it comes to the big things we’re on the same page.

    My family, even though they are bloody hard work, often moaning and full of doom and gloom. I get to spend Christmas Day with my Mum, My Dad (even though they separated 30 years ago), My 81 year old Nana and her 75 yr old ‘boyfriend’ (and watch them holding hands & gazing into each other’s eyes – too cute!), my partner and his Mum. It will no doubt be the same old process, same well trodden path with Dad a little tipsy as Mum has taken 2-hours longer than she said to cook dinner, My nan will be telling us not to tear the wrapping paper so she can keep it for next year (never does) and the dinner will be wolfed down in about 30 minutes. But there’s something about that familiarity and those incredibly precious people together in one room that gets me every time. That and the copious amounts of Baileys!.

    My brain – an odd one but true. I’ve learn’t a lot about the old grey matter these last few years, that sometimes it doesn’t function as I want it to and that even though I am bursting with happiness and contentment with my life, sometimes the black fog really does cloud all of that. Someone once told me the brain is a muscle just like every other in your body and for it to work properly you have to look after it, nurture it and exercise it. So this year that’s what I’ve been doing…and I think I’ve finally cracked it.

    Merry Christmas everyone. Michelle xx

  18. Iā€™m thankful for a husband who supports and understands me, and who looks after me even if Iā€™m too caught up to look after myself. He is also very tolerant of my penchant for buying huge items of furniture on ebay that we have no way of transporting/storing, and tolerant of my side of the bedroom being an explosion of books and clothes.
    Iā€™m thankful, incredibly thankful, that we both have jobs that pay enough for us to have been able to save for and buy our flat in London. We were in Paris last weekend, and as well as being thankful that we have the means and opportunity to travel to beautiful places, in Paris we saw a lot of homeless people doing whatever they could to keep warm, and that brought home how lucky we are.
    Iā€™m also thankful for a weird but wonderful family (who insist on sending fragile presents from Australia!) and supportive, understanding, vibrant, inspiring, clever, hilarious friends. Merry Christmas!

  19. I’m grateful for my wonderful husband and family, for the fact that when we finally decided to have a baby we conceived without difficulty, and for all of you who have just said you are thankful for the nhs. You might not think it from the press, but most of my colleagues and myself give 110% every single day when we work in the nhs, and the constant bad media gets very demoralising. So as I head off for another night shift at short notice,covering someone else who is off sick, it really helps to know we are appreciated. Thank you.

  20. I’m thankful for all my family and friends who have supported me during my diagnosis of early stage ovarian cancer and that only surgery was needed.

    I am thankful because through this I have met the most inspirational and supportive women who are living their lives with this disease, who have offered advice, support and kind thoughts to anyone who happens to need it.

  21. Such a lovely post!

    Like many others, I am grateful for my lovely husband, who can make a rubbish day better just by having a quick chat on the phone or a sneaky after work hot chocolate in our favourite cafe.

    I’m grateful for our families being so supportive after we moved to Australia in 2012 (along with leaving our jobs in the UK and selling our cars etc) and then quickly decided to move back again, with all the stress and practical problems this created while we were looking for somewhere to live, jobs to get etc!

    I’m grateful for being a GP, as even with the long hours its always a privelege to see the difference people can make to the lives of others when they need help.

    I’m grateful for our vw camper van finally being finished after the renovations took much longer than expected, and Im grateful my husbands work is flexible so we can look forward to being able to start our new business in full swing now!

    I think it’s great to look back and reflect at times, and with 2014 looking to be exciting in so many ways, I hope I can take the time to realise how much I have to be grateful for!

  22. I am grateful for every moment. Even tho I may not realise it more often. There are lot of people who don’t get to see the day. There are loads of people who are hungry and lonely. I am thankful that I have a shelter. To be honest, the list could go one.

    I know that we concentrate a lot on the things that we don’t have but if we are start writing our blessing, i think we won’t be able to stop

  23. I am seriously grateful for my wonderful husband. He is my rock and I don’t know where I would be without him. He puts up with everything I throw at him (not literally!) and continues to love me regardless.
    I am thankful for my amazing family. For my best friend who is more like my sister and for my niece and nephew, who have taught me that children aren’t the terrifying things I thought they were ( and can actually be loads of fun!).
    There are so many other things I am grateful for though. Finally having a job I love after years spent hating where I work. Having a roof over my head and not having to worry about heating bills or how I’ll pay the electric, or even if I can afford to eat today.
    Most of all though I am thankful that I live in a country that is stable. Where I can go out when or where I want. Without fear. That I can love who I want, say what I want, wear what I want and for the most part it is accepted. There are lots of places in the world that don’t have that luxury, I thank my lucky stars everyday that I was born who I am into a family that love me unconditionally.

    Thanks for this post Rebecca, it really me sit back and think.
    Happy Christmas everybody, hope you all have a magical time.


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  26. OMG, I’m in tears reading this post and everyone’s comments!

    I am thankful for my husband, I love him to the moon and back. I’ve always said if I searched the world I’d never find another like him.

    I’m thankful that after 3 years of trying we will get to welcome our first child into the world next year. I’m in awe of my body for performing such a task and filled with excitement for the coming year.

    I’m thankful that we have an amazing family and family around us who shower us in love and support.

    I’m thankful that I live in one of the best cities in the world and live a comfortable life.

    What more could one need?

    Merry Christmas one and all xx

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