Ten Things of Thankful 178 (Election Week Thankfuls)

Election week. The week of dawning horror for so many, and the realisation of nightmares. A week the world has lost a great songwriter. A week which will be emblazoned into many people’s memories, for one reason or another. A funny sort of week to start being filled with thankfulness again – to the point of writing, something I’ve not done in a long, long time, it seems – and yet I am. Very thankful.

When Brexit happened, people clamoured for a re-vote, a re-do, another chance to have their say and this time maybe say something else than they had done, now they knew the results. Many people claimed to have voted Leave, because they didn’t really think it would happen – they didn’t really think their vote would make the difference. People believed in the solemnity of that vote, nationally regarded as ‘possibly the most important vote of your lives’. People turned up. That vote boasts one of the highest percentages of the total population turning out to have their say. Every vote counted, yet people somehow still didn’t believe in the power of their ‘X’, marked next to their preference.

I wonder if the same is happening in America, where people are clamouring, desperate for a re-count, a re-vote, a re-do…a chance to UNdo what’s been done? I heard it was a low turn-out, but still every single ‘X’ made a difference in showing the peoples’ preference. I wonder how many people now wish they’d chosen differently, or could try again now they know the outcome. I wonder too, how many on both sides of the pond are pleased with the results of these landmark polls this year? How many stand to benefit? How many just want to see what happens?

What has happened has been similar, in ways – an apparent legitimising of violence, a validation of prejudice, a tumbling dischord as divides between camps are pushed ever further, knives pushed deeper, exclusivity endorsed, people devalued according to their label or look. There have been people in shock, in grief, in mourning for what they believe could have been, and what they feel now lies in tatters, damaged beyond repair. I have read of terror, of panic, of criminal acts perpetrated in the name of warped principles. I have read of shame and embarrassment and a deep, abiding hurt.

But also this week I have seen triumphs of the human spirit in the face of mass discouragement. I have seen determination in the face of derision. I have seen grace and graciousness in the face of threats and ridicule. And on the day of the results, there were rainbows looped bright across the sky, and more since…each seeming to outdo those previous for vibrancy and light.

These times seem to bring out the best and the worst in people.

an-odd-time-to-be-thankful-summat2thinkon-wordpress-com

I am thankful for the people who have chosen to behave according to their higher principles. I applaud those who have spread messages of encouragement, of hope, of love. I am delighted to see so many hands extended in friendship and unity, in spite of the agony of knowing the world will not be the same again, and for the most vulnerable in American society, it seems suddenly a wasteland, bereft of hope, except in those people who are determined to stand with them, ally themselves with those declared ‘less than’, and insist that together, they will be stronger, they will prevail.

Against what, who knows? As with Brexit, the parameters are not set. The ideas are vague and not yet established in the popular consciousness except as a widening of the gap between Us and Them. Who precisely ‘we’ and ‘they’ are, depends very much on with whom you’re speaking, but as we face flux throughout the West, it is immensely heartening to know so many who are determined not to let it get them down, not to let it change them into that which they are not. Those whom I can count amongst my friends, have made me immensely, immensely proud to know them, and it has been a privilege to bear witness to their grace and fortitude.

Long may it last, for I’m sure it will be tested, but for this too, in an odd way, I’m thankful. I sometimes think times of adversity are needed to help us find the best in ourselves (or, conversely, to cause us to give in and become our worst selves). The self is a thing in flux, and it needs shaking up every now and again, to see what still fits, what no longer matters, and what should be grafted anew – sometimes what we need is the opportunity, and a situation of complacency is rarely (if ever) that.

To every person I know who has written or reached out with the aim of encouraging, offering empathy, extending compassion, building bridges, and moving forwards, THANK YOU  ❤

I’ll stand down now, and step into the wings, to share some thankfuls with far less grandiosity. A huge HUGE one for me is that I am writing at all…that I *want* to write (and that I haven’t forgotten how (or have I? You tell me!).

The past number of months have been increasingly difficult with some health concerns, a family loss, and myriad other big/small/bizarre turbulations of my world. The health concerns were the things which I think affected my writing most – I’ve been struggling with what I can only assume is PMDD, which has left me one week a month feeling wretched, with absolutely no desire to write, to do anything, or even to live. Having established a pattern, I went to my GP and she prescribed me a different version of the pill (which I take to control periods made horrendous by endometriosis) and she hoped a change in the balance of hormones might make the difference. Well…it seems to have worked, and though I’ve spent a week on tenterhooks waiting for my mood to suddenly drop off the edge, it hasn’t. As to the endometriosis, I now have surgery scheduled for a month’s time, which should hopefully put paid to its dreadful influence, and leave me hale and whole and WELL.

In the time I’ve been low, I’ve been so, so grateful for the people who’ve kept in touch, who’ve kept my spirits boosted, and who’ve been with me every step whilst I’ve felt unable to improve upon the silence. I’ve been so thankful for those who haven’t given up on me or turned their backs, for those who’ve forgiven my sporadic contact with them, and for those who have made sure that no matter my ‘presence’ online or off, I know I still have a place in their hearts.

I’ve been thankful for quiet times reading books, when I was unable to bear the ‘rigors’ of managing my real world. I’ve been thankful for a resurgence in ‘oomph’ and my ability to get myself to the gym. I’ve been thankful for times spent with loved ones, for walks in the beauty of autumn, and for the realisation that I’m able to see autumn as beautiful, in spite of the cold and its heralding of darkness and winter-time. I’ve been *incredibly* thankful it hasn’t been too rainy yet…

I’m thankful for my job, for its flexibility and for the opportunity I have to pursue some massage training whilst on this side of the pond, as the matter of my student visa seems one without a quick (or possibly any) solution. I’m thankful for my role in my team, and my place in the esteem and work-world of my colleagues. I’m thankful for new, engaging projects, and so much potential for doing good. I’m thankful I’m working tomorrow at a conference, that I like interacting with lots and lots of people, that I enjoy educating to the best of my ability, about the impact of diabetes. I’m glad I have that chance, and that I’m part of a system which aims to care for people.

I’m thankful for glitterbombs and the pleasure they give me in gathering meaningful gifts and toys and tokens of affection. I’m thankful for the thoughts I have about the joy they might bring when they’re recieved. I’m thankful that when I put words in a card to someone (or they to me), it’s real and tangible and it matters. I’m so, SO thankful for friendship, and I’m delighted when I’m shown snippets of the joy my parcels and letters bring.

Tonight I’m thankful for an empty jar of vegan protein powder (bear with me), which gave me the idea that once emptied, it could hold home-made pickled onions (a bit of a Christmas tradition in my family, though my Dad’s corner of things…and this year we’ve not been much in touch, so I feel funny about ringing him up to ask about them). Tonight I cycled my little legs off to get to the greengrocer’s before it shut, and bought a 5kg bag of pickling onions, 2 litres of malt vinegar, and a packet of pickling spice. I put Bach’s Christmas Music on the computer, and stood at the counter in the kitchen, peeling and peeling and peeling, watching the numbers of lovely little onions build up in the protein jar and two other jars I found, gleeful to the very last tangy orb. They’re all in the oven now (just for storage!) on trays, covered in salt. Tomorrow I’ll rinse them, dry them and pack them back into the jars before covering them with spicy, sweet vinegar, banging the lids on, and letting them steep for at least six weeks.

Perfick!

Most of all at the moment I’m thankful for family – for this little household of ‘we three gals’ (plus or minus Niece and Neff, depending on the day), and the way I’m shown time and time again that love wins. It really, truly does.

I’m testament to it – I’m here.

And (ending on an optimistic note) I hope to be HERE a lot more frequently from now on. I’ve missed this. I’ve missed YOU.

I’ve missed US.

So…how have YOU been?  ❤

 

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48 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful 178 (Election Week Thankfuls)

  1. Hello my dear Lizzi – we don’t talk much, but I hope you know that I am keeping tabs on you.;) I don’t respond much to FB posts but I see them, and I so appreciated your post reaching out to your American friends during the election. I hope your health is on the mend, and you are fit as a fiddle for your upcoming trip! I won’t see you, but knowing we’re on the same side of the ocean makes me happy. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwh I’m glad to know that, my Dana. I’ve missed being me, and being in touch with all my people. I’ve missed you. I’ve been so worried about my American friends…so many of them are either in categories which make them vulnerable, or they have people close to them in those categories, and I really fear that one day soon I’m going to read about one of these atrocities happening in the life of someone I love very much. I’m heartbroken about it, but I need to know that somehow, people banding together in kindness and light and compassion, will make a difference.

      My health seems to be on an up-swing, which is GREAT, and I’m so happy to be coming back. I’m sad not to see so many of the people who mean so much to me. I was saying to Sarah I might have to plan another big trip soon, so I can see everyone again, and more!

      *HUGS* I’ll be glad to be on the same side of the ocean with you. Sad not to see you, though. ❤

      Like

  2. And, I have missed you, too. So wonderful to see you back – being our positive and thankful voice in always challenging times. I’ll be thinking about you next month during your surgery and praying for good results and an end/cure to things that continue to wrack your body. If anyone can do it…you can!
    Because you’re Lizzi – nobody like you and I’m so blessed to call you a friend. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. good to ‘see’ you.
    we knew when you were gone, where it was that you (most likely) were and, in whatever manner preferred by the individual clark, our thoughts were with you. This is a connection that even disconnection cannot destroy, eliminate or de-value.
    being back is good. coming back enhances all of us in that special way that identification among outsiders permits (in the defying of logic and order and even our own highly prized rational outlook on life).
    Our numbers has no meaning, we walk the world alone, yet through small oasis as have been created by the TToT and the Doctrine and Girlie on the Edge and Intuitive and Spiritual (my brain still pronounces it ‘pictimillitude’) we can glimpse each others. Nothing as grand and formal as shouted greetings and hugs of affection, often simply a nod of recognition, which carries a world in the tilt of the head.
    welcome back

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back. I’ve missed you. I hope you will continue to improve in your health. What a time you have had!

    I’ve never had pickled onions, but I may need to try some, just to have the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Pat. I’ve missed being here, and I’ve missed the community. I hope I’m BACK, now! I really do. It’s been an awful time and there’s still some left, with the surgery, but I hope 2017 will arrive and this year and its badness can be washed like dust from my feet.

      Pickled onions are LOVELY! I’ve never made them before, though, so I’m hesitant to suggest mine definitely will be! Time will tell, but I definitely recommend you find some different types and give them a go 🙂

      Like

  5. YAY!!!!!! Ever since I saw you wrote something, I have had your post in an open tab- just WAITING to be read and CELEBRATED! I am SO so so so glad you had the desire to WRITE AGAIN!

    And thank you for your beautiful encouragement for us ‘Mericans. Sigh.. I fear you are seeing a lot of the ‘worst’ of us in the news- some of which make me feel like I’m going to vomit. I will hold out hope that things will settle down and there will be the change our nation needs- on MANY levels.

    I’m so grateful for your family- those precious souls who are truly proof of LOVE wins indeed. ❤

    I'm also incredibly grateful for the new meds working. THAT is huge.

    I love you, and I LOVED reading YOUR WORDS!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The meds working (and yes, they HAVE worked, I think) is a huge HUGE huge massive thankful which I can’t even begin to be grateful enough for. I am STILL MYSELF, and I’m back to writing…and all of that is just MARVELLOUS! I do love you, Kitty, and thank you SO MUCH for your support and encouragement through this awful phase.

      I try not to watch the news because I just find it horrifically skewed towards sensationalism and the promotion of outrage. BUT I’ve seen lots about the behaviour of certain factions of Americans which leaves me bereft and angry. THAT SAID, there is behaviour on the part of others, in other parts of the world, which I would be equally upset with, were it being paraded front-and-centre the way things are with your countrymen at the moment. On the whole I believe that ANY media which promotes divisiveness and dischord is unhelpful in the extreme, and without sticking my head in the sand about its existence, I’d prefer to turn my attention to that which promotes unity and togetherness and peace.

      *walks slowly up to you (because still not operating at even 80% ‘normal’), slides arms around you, and holds you TIGHT*

      Like

  6. Pingback: After a Rough Week: Being Thankful

  7. My, Lizzi, my love. I am so happy that you are feeling much better. Trust me, you have not forgotten how to write. I was very moved by your words about the election – looking for hope and love helps. I’ve kept my words, anxiety and anger about the outcome of the election to a minimum because although Hillary lost, her words are still meaningful and appropriate: We Are Stronger Together and Love Trumps Hate. You are doing things and giving of yourself to others, and in this compassionate giving we elevate ourselves as well as others. Pickled onions sound interesting. This year I infused brandy with blackberries and I’m working on another project for the holidays. I wonder if some pickled onions and a shot of brandy would make a new holiday tradition. Love you, girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My OceanHeart…I do so adore you and I’m so very thankful for your presence in my life…and I’ve never said this but it matters more than I could ever have thought that throughout all my struggle and quietness, we’ve kept on playing Words with Friends…I’ve had ongoing games with you and a handful of others, and even though it’s just taking turns and playing words, it’s made me feel like I’m still somehow included, and not forgotten, and that has been a huge, HUGE deal for me. So I’m telling you now, and THANK YOU for the games 🙂 ❤

      As to the election, I'm absolutely horrified and scared by the manner in which the more aggressive members of society have reacted to the results. There seems to be a lot of pent up anger and hatred being displayed (from both sides, it has to be admitted, but the baser violence is coming from the Trump supporters, it seems) and I'm so scared about what this means for the future. I just hope that behind the scenes, people will continue to operate with care and inclusion and acknowledgement of others as worthy of respect, regardless of differences, because in the end we ARE all more the same than different, and we ARE all stronger together.

      I had pickled onions in Florida and they were UTTERLY different than what 'pickled onions' mean here! I would happily give you the recipe if you want! Your blackberry brandy sounds AMAZING! I should think both would go well with a good cheese (which I shouldn't advocate, really, but I know it would work as a flavour set).

      HUGE love to you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Welcome back Lizzi!!!
    Hard week. I wish us human beings learned our lessons with a little more regularity than we seem to, as 2016 shall demonstrate more than once, as you pointed out. I know it’s been hard for many though. I am worried for the world. writing and reading the writing of other people is all I can do to hold off the feelings of impending doom, as I flex my dramatics through words, violin practice, and working on our podcast with my brother. Glad to see you here again. Sorry to hear of your medical troubles. You’ve had quite the lot of surgeries and things in the last year or so. Hope the pain is on the way out and, even with the colder weather approaching, you will be feeling better. Hope for better for all of us. Can’t give up that fight and you still write with direction and truth, even among the chaos and uncertainties we’re all facing in one way or another. Enjoy your sparkle and your weekend too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We will NEVER give up the fight, and we will keep writing with the courage of our convictions and the aim of engaging and including others, as we strengthen the communities we hold dear.

      History and humanity both work in cycles, and it seems we’re coming from a period of massive change into a time of massive evil, which has happened over and over and over through history. Perhaps we’re made this way – we hit a tipping point and things just implode? I do think that there are ever-larger factions of people standing up for good and right and justice, though, so that’s very encouraging. But yes, I’m with you in being very worried about the world.

      I’m glad for you, Kerry, and all the positivity and thoughtfulness you put out there, and all the determination you have to go on finding the good in life, and sharing it with others. Thank you for your sparkly spirit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful 178 (Election Week Thankfuls) – ladyleemanila

    • Heheh I should try to get it onto a NaBloPoMo prompt list! And for every pointless dumb thing we all write, there is a very meaningful, valuable person behind the screen, so there :p

      I missed me too. I’m glad I seem to be coming back!

      *HUGS* (real ones soon!)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s wonderful to see your words splashed across my screen again, dear Lizzi!!! I’m so glad you’re feeling better and you’ve found SO many things to be thankful for 🙂 You certainly have not lost your ability to write, I can promise you that! Personally, I am beyond thankful that you are one of my best friends in the world, always full of love and support even when you are not feeling well ❤ I don't know what I would ever do without you and am eternally grateful that I don't have to find out!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • *HUGS* I am so pleased you liked this, my dear, because I surprised myself and really enjoyed writing it. It felt almost like old times, and I didn’t think I’d feel that way again. I’m glad it still READS a bit like old times, too 🙂 That’s very encouraging, thank you.

      AMEN to never having to find out what we’d each do without the other. I so, SO treasure your friendship and I’m endlessly glad we found each other here in the World Between the Wires. HUGE love to you, my sister ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Honeybee, I feel like I’ve been stuck in another very alternative planet and have yet to find my way home. One thing is for certain, I’ve missed connecting with you! I honestly have not been able to focus on anything else but this damn election. ” I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” As much as my reasonable and practical brain wants to move on and push forward, the emotional part of me can’t. Not yet. I thank you for your tremendous support through all of this 💩 while in the midst of your own angst. I am encouraged to hear that the new pill may be helping!!!! YES!!!! I miss rainbows and unicorns and glitter. LOVE TO YOU, ALWAYS!! ❤️💚💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honeybee, I think it’s absolutely 100% understandable you feel that way, and I don’t think you should try to force yourself. This means such, SUCH deep things, and it’s such a horror to face, and I truly hope I haven’t appeared to downplay any of just how bad it seems to be.

      You WILL get back up and carry on, but don’t beat yourself up for not being ready yet. *HUGS*

      Re the pill, OHMIGOSH ME TOO SO SO HAPPY! I’ve been through the ‘danger’ week with apparently NO drop in mood, the way I was experiencing it before, and THANK GOODNESS!

      Here’s to sparkling stars, glitter, unicorns, rainbows, and ALWAYS to love ❤ ❤ ❤

      Like

  12. Yay! You know, I’ve started using the word, “perfeck” because of you. In fact, I put that word in “official” after school program bulletins to my employees. Tee hee.
    I know that with the busyness of day-to-day life I don’t always make it over here as often as I like. But you must know that I always feel so encouraged by your writing.
    I was devastated for two full days after the election. My eyes leaked involuntarily like I had a bad gasket in my pipes. My heart stands in solidarity with the downtrodden and I feel a sense of needing to bring the world to a sense of love in a way that I never have before.
    But it’s people like you who have been part of the journey. Who have spurred me on in inspiration when I haven’t felt it.
    So, thank you for you. Thank you for your weekly gratitude posts.
    Thank you for being a bright light, even when YOU didn’t feel like it.
    Hugs to you, sweet friend! Big hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t been…I’ve just been lucky you’ve missed it while you’ve been away. I haven’t written anything in weeks and weeks 😦 I’m not behaving anything like a shining light at the moment, more a guttering candle with ever-less wax.

      BUT. I love that you use ‘perfick’ (I got it off a character in a show called The Darling Buds of May, years ago) and it’s a fun little idiosyncrasy, I think.

      I’m so sad about the election and what it means for the people I love (and for the people they love), and for the vulnerable minorities in America. I worry about what it means for Britain’s stance with regard to America and how much compromise we’re going to end up showing, by supporting Trump. I’m worried that Russia and China and Korea are all going to start planning how they’ll use this. I really REALLY worry about the future.

      And…I’m gladder than ever not to have children. So there’s that. Ugh!

      I’m glad you’re here, still hanging on with our little community ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I cried for two days straight after the election and I still feel grief. I’m with you on the kid part. I’ve really come to terms that it won’t happen and, in fact, am grateful it hasn’t – with everything that’s occurred with the election…and beyond. Sigh.
        But you know what makes me smile? Knowing that I’m a mama bear to the immigrant children I work with. Knowing that I somehow found the courage to stand up more for what I believe in: that I have an alternative religious approach and I work with immigrant families. I stand proud. I stand for love. And as much as I don’t like conflict, I won’t back down. I will fight for EVERYONE I love. ❤ Sending YOU love, too. So much love and light.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My dear, you are mama bear SUPREME to those kids, and I wonder whether that’s part of the joy we get to appreciate in lieu (as well as lie-ins and unbroken nights sleep, and all the other perks)…we get to get our ‘child’ing in other ways, and we get to do our parenting in other ways.

          I’m sorry and sorrowful this result has been so devastating. I have a feeling things aren’t going to improve, and that just leaves me cold.

          Like

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