Welcome, welcome to the thirteenth week of Ten Things of Thankful. It’s Labor Day weekend in the USA, so we may be a little quieter, which will enable us far more time to pop over to one anothers’ blogs and get stuck into some wonderful conversations, which seems to be a hallmark of this here hop. Keep building that community – it’s a good one, and I’m thrilled you’re part of it.
My week got off to a turbulent start, but improved massively and I’m pleased that it’s proving easy at this end of the week to find those Ten Things. It’s quite the exercise, and certainly pays most dividends when we don’t really feel like doing it.
1. Honesty (i) – I had a pretty bad dip in mood last weekend, and used the blog as writing therapy, partly to get the thoughts out of my head, and partly to try to ‘keep it real’. I don’t pretend it’s all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but this was particularly dire – I lost my sense of humour. Fortunately I have good people around me, who helped a lot with their encouragement, and a wonderful bezzie mate, who came over on Monday and helped to drag me away from the precipice and slam the door shut on The Dark Place.
2. Niece and Neff (i) have been key figures this week, which is lovely (having spent a week with them on holiday, I’ve missed them a lot this week, now we’re back in our separate homes). They spent the day with me on Monday (and my bezzie and her two, and my Goddaughter, her little brother and mum) and we went to the park twice, had lots of laughs and I was clambered all over, hugged, kissed, teased, snuggled and chatted with by these adorable, tiny people. They helped to fill my heart with goodness and hope and brought back the sunshine into my life.
3. Honesty (ii) was hugely, massively important to me mid-week when a friend of mine called me out on my behaviour. I pushed a line too far and massively over-stepped it. She was up front about it and generously accepted my apology. But I am hugely grateful for her bluntness – it made me take a long, hard look at myself and I’ve realised that quite often when I think I’m being funny, I can too-easily make the transition into cruelty and bullying. Honest people with the guts to tell me off are the kind of people I do not want to break friends with in a hurry, and I was truly fortunate in this case.
4. I’m thankful for friends who share wonderful nuggets of hilarity on Facebook. It’s gorgeous that even with such physical distance between us, we can show off the things which make us laugh.
5. Niece and Neff (ii) and my gorgeous oldest-colleague-friend, SusieQ. She nannies, and the three of us were invited to come over to spend the day with her two charges (both of whom I know well, having looked after them from tinies in the daycare nursery where we both used to work). We took a picnic to a local playpark and watched the four children play together, entertain one another and bond while we went on the swings (and pretended not to know them when they got too loud). My favourite part was being jumbled all together in the basket swing with Neff cuddling on my shoulder, Niece daring, hanging off the ropes and SusieQ’s two charges both jammed into the other side as she pushed us. We spent a good 15 minutes there, until the BigSister jumped off, stole both my shoes and ran away, giggling. (Neff later rescued them for me – he is my valiant little superhero).
6. Honesty (iii) in response to my recent attempts at fiction writing, through the ‘Making You Feel‘ series. They’ve been hugely (kindly) well received (though occasionally the subject matter (and my sanity) has been called into question) and my confidence was boosted to the point where I felt sufficiently capable enough to enter a local Short Story Competition. The deadline is tomorrow, and I’ve no idea when the results will be released, but the fact that I felt able to enter has been a lovely, warm glowy feeling around this end of the week. So thank you to everyone who left me any kind of feedback on any of the posts.
7. Am loving Google+ hangouts video chat function, which has afforded me some absolutely marvellous times in Wakefield Doctrine chats (brunch and otherwise) with the creator himself, as well as the wonderful Michelle, GirlieOnTheEdge and (new addition last week) Mizz Roca. We talked a little Doctrine, a lot of life, blogging and fun. It’s mind-blowing, when I think about it, that we can use this tool of the internet to be connected in real-time, in spite of the huge diversity of our time differences and cultures. I’m looking forward to another one on Sunday afternoon.
8. This blog turning 1 year old, and having my 300th Ever Post in the same week. That was pretty spectacular. I also got (appropriated?) a couple of ‘sidekicks’, whose assistance I plan to take on rotation to keep the Deep Thinking, Truth Telling and Good Seeking going, as well as kicking baddie’s asses.
8. Honesty (iv) and the internet. Somehow, such innocuous things as chat boxes and real-time conversation (though typed) can provide a safe space for Truths to be told. I’m hugely thankful that this function allows me to build (albiet slightly bizarre, newfangled, untested-paradigm) relationships with others to the point where, quite suddenly, vulnerabilities have been exposed, guts spilled and Truths have poured out. I am honoured and privileged to have friends with whom I can be this honest, and who trust me enough to be this honest in return. That the impersonal internet is the vehicle makes little difference to me (perhaps it’s even a little enabling, for it precludes the ‘presence’ factor of sharing these difficult Truths, and makes it easier for the focus to be in the thing and not the person…or something) and I am genuinely loving the friendships I am building as a result of meeting people through blogging.
9. Getting back to Netball tonight for the first time this summer – somehow it just hasn’t happened and I’ve SO missed it. I have some wonderful friends there, some wonderful new friends I’m making and there’s a gorgeous amount of banter, ribbing and snarking alongside supporting one another, encouraging each others’ developing skills and just having a whole ton of fun. I also love that when I fell over three times* the lovely ladies laughed with rather than at me (okay, a little bit at me, but I was laughing at me, too).
I also love that they totally indulge and join in with my outrageous tactics, which include a) hugging someone’s arms to their side so they can’t get the ball and can’t move, b) roaring loudly and bull-rushing someone to try to panic them into throwing the ball wrong, c) shouting “BOO!”, tickling or otherwise attempting to distract the person trying to get the ball through the hoop, d) barging, snatching, running sideways into and otherwise indulging in far more rugby-style moves than should be allowed in a supposedly non-contact sport.
10. Husby had a job interview today, and it went really, really well. It’s for a physics technician in a local 6th form college, and he’d be well capable of fulfilling the role, and by the sound of things, he stands a good chance. He’s come a long way to get to the point of finding a job he feels able to apply for and as though it would be within his capabilities to manage (given he’s still on the mend) and I am just so, so proud of him, and so happy that he feels he did so well. Even if the job isn’t his in the end (we should find out on Monday), his strength of character and resilience in getting to this point are well worth celebrating.
*Mmkay – about the falling over. I’m not usually *that* clumsy, but somehow there seemed to be a lot of contour lines on the pitch tonight, and two of them were responsible for tripping me up. The third fall was more of a ‘got crashed into’ than me being uncoordinated.