This is not the post I thought I’d be writing today. I’ve got two entries that I’m currently working on in my drafts all about moving forwards and what I want to get done over the next few weeks, but for some reason I decided today to look back.
A few years ago I started writing ‘morning pages’. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re basically stream-of-consciousness pages of writing that you’re supposed to do first thing in the morning. Apparently it helps with your creativity. You can write about absolutely anything, but they often tended to be quite diary-ish on my part.
It just so happened that the notebook I picked up today contained entries from 2.5-3 years ago, when I was in my final year at university. I want to share two of those entries with you, and I then I’ll talk about them afterwards. It’s a little long, but I would ask you to please, keep going.
Sitting here on this sunny Sunday afternoon, salted caramel brownie (one of Batch Bakery’s) and coffee (from Aroamaah!) at hand, this is the best time I’m going to have to get back into the swing of this. It has not escaped my notice that just under two months ago I talked about the need to write and post more regularly, then wrote just one more blog post and vanished from the face of the earth (or at least here and most of my social media) for an embarrassingly long time.
I don’t have reasons, I have excuses. They’re not particularly good ones: I got really busy in the couple of weeks before I went on holiday, and then I was really busy during my holiday and afterwards I was stuck getting back into the swing of things and trying to find a routine and my sister came to stay and it was a heatwave and I went on day trips with friends and….
None of these are good reasons to just stop writing. But I found myself getting into a bit of a funk, for lack of a better word. I had a wonderful time throughout most of the things I was doing, but there was lots of the day-to-day that was up in the air. So for the last 6-8 weeks I’ve been eating less healthily than I would like, not doing regular exercise, my sleep schedule has been all over the place and I have had no routine to speak of.
This realisation has been dawning on me for some time, but it really came to a head Tuesday evening. I’d been working from home as I had a number of things being delivered (sadly not the main item I was looking forward to – a new laptop – but yay parcels! all the same), and shut down my work laptop shortly after five pm.
I’ve been having real difficulty starting this post today. The trouble isn’t deciding what to write about – if anything I have far too much that I want to share and discuss with you and part of the problem is figuring out how to get it into some sort of coherent form.
To start with I thought that now we’ve reached May it would be a good time to do a check-in for this year. Where has the time gone? It seems only yesterday we were discussing New Year’s Resolutions (or lack thereof) and setting intentions for the year ahead. That year is now one third of the way through, so it makes sense to see where we’re on track and where we’ve steered off-course.
This morning I woke up relatively early, and it being Sunday I decided that the best way to spend the start of my day was away from any phones or laptops. This allowed me to have a good long read of the latest issue of Darling magazine, which arrived a week or so ago now but I’d yet to flick through properly. One of the main themes that came across whilst I was reading was that of gratitude and appreciation – there even being a whole article dedicated to the topic (A World Framed by Gratitude by Ashley Abercrombie). This took me back to the last time I thought in depth about gratitude – back in January 2014 on a completely different blog – and I wanted to share what I wrote back then with you now.
I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude over the last few days. It started when the actor Tyler Hoechlin tweeted a link to this TED talk by David Steindl-Rast, the topic of which is “If you want to be happy, be grateful”.
This resonated with me, particularly the parts about taking a moment to stop and observe the world around you so that you don’t take everything for granted. It’s not something I do very often, if at all.