The Habit of Being Grateful



Do I really want to see the back of 2014?



Many people might think it’s never going to go down in history as the year in which all my hopes and dreams came true, but you know what – it was.

Because I got rid of a disease that had been secretly growing inside me and I knew nothing about. I was told that I no longer had cancer and in fact they could give me drugs to make sure I had only a small chance of getting it again. I got to stay alive for longer. And isn’t that the only real hope or dream that we all have?

It’s been a year of being thankful, of counting my blessings. A year in which my son committed to spending the rest of his life with his own soul mate. A year when all four of my children made me so proud with their own careers and studies. A year when two of them experienced the joys of owning their first home (and mortgage!).

A year when I’ve been overwhelmed by the people who have been there for me.

  • Those who have called or messaged me on an almost daily basis
  • Those who knew when I was having a tough time and stepped up to the mark, yet relaxed when I was enjoying the better days
  • Those who kept in touch just to say hello and let me know they were thinking of me
  • Those who let me talk about what I was scared of.
  • Those who made me cry with laughter rather than tears of sadness
  • Those whose vocation is to heal – both physically and emotionally – but also showed genuine concern and interest
  • Those who used their skills and knowledge to help me feel better when I needed it
  • Those who had drifted away but got in touch and rekindled a friendship
  • Those who shared their own experiences with me
  • Those who made it clear that I was still part of a team, whether at work or fitness training

I never felt alone this year. Because I always had someone with me physically or as a wonderful message on my phone or a supportive comment online.

And on those few times when I had to be alone, my mum was there for me. Lying face down, strapped in for my MRI scan before surgery and terrified about whether the tumour had spread, I had a huge sense of her being there to calm me. And at my first radiotherapy treatment when I lay impossibly still so that the beams could be targeted correctly, the tears on my face were soon dried by her love that seemed to be in the room.

There have been other great things this year – getting my teaching qualification, losing two stone in weight and finally getting back into my skinny jeans (OK, it went back on during the treatment but so far I’ve lost 6lbs of it again!), booking a couple of wonderful holidays to look forward to – and not forgetting Jack joining our family too!

And you know, sometimes life doesn’t quite work out how you plan but somehow you still get there. I’ve returned part time to work now and enjoying the challenge of teaching a new group of students. My hair is growing and I have the chance to try new colours and styles that I might not have done before. I’m back running around muddy fields in the rain and cold weather, loving the feeling of aching muscles and numerous grazes. My children are focusing on their own hopes and dreams again, rather than worrying about me.

2014 is nearly done – and I’m still counting my blessings.





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