Six Years of Thankfulness

I’m stunned.

I’ve been stunned for weeks.

I hadn’t kept track of time (as one doesn’t, when life is ticking on okay and there’s no need to count the days or weeks any more) and it was an out-of-the-blue message from Kristi at Thankful Me, which alerted me to the shocking news that the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop is turning SIX YEARS OLD this weekend.

Six years!

Stunned.

So many thoughts exploded through my mind simultaneously:

Gratitude to Kristi at the new Ten Things of Thankful for keeping my dear little hop going after life moved on and no longer became conducive to my leading it, or even participating. Yes, I’ve grown slack at writing. I’ve been lazy and focussed on the Now. Yes, I handed over the reins and to all intents and purposes jumped ship BUT so many of the wonderful writers who have been part of the hop since the very beginning, have carried on faithfully week by week, and I daresay their lives have been the richer for it. I fondly remember the uplift of reading posts and posts of positivity and silver linings; the gladness of connection with others so like-minded, the miles between us melting away thanks to the wires which held us all together.

I felt shame at letting it all slide so far from my world, so far from my priorities, and so far from my heart.

Then overwhelming thankfulness for all the life I’ve lived in between the start and this day; the changes in my life, and the fact I no longer need the hop the way I once did.

If you delve deep into its past, this blog hop grew from a place of desperate pain and isolation. It began in all-encompassing darkness within which I was utterly lost, and needed the hope and promise of ten things each day to be thankful for, beyond which I felt I had no point in proceeding with life.

I found them, as you do, when you look. And I persisted.

My practice garnered interest from some of those I hung out in the blogosphere with, and before long, my tiny, determined effort to hang onto the shreds of goodness left in life had blossomed into a glorious, gluttonous sharing of thankfulness. A core group of people joined in, expanding week by week to include the itinerant thankful, and passers-by from the Finish the Sentence Friday hop. It was beautiful.

More importantly, it (and the core people who took part) sustained and held me across the wires, when those immediately around me were unwilling or unable to. I hardwired my heart and received sufficient energy and support to keep me going. It probably saved my life.

Time and life moved on from that nightmare beginning, and the wrongs in my life were gradually writ, and righted, and the darkness receded. I was still thankful, but in a manner which garnished life, rather than administering life-giving breath. And believe me, I was thankful for that, too!

The blogosphere evolved. My life evolved. Other people’s lives evolved. The wires holding us together seemed to stretch, became more flexible. I climbed from the arena I had created, and forayed out into the sunshine of real life (still held and supported, but with the miles more present, and the need less insistent than before). Meeting some of the core group of the TToT in real life when I made an epic trip across the USA in 2015, was an amazing, also life-changing time…but in so many ways it seemed to provide a closure I had never sought.

With the encouragement of my TToT peers, I focussed on the Here and Now. Worked on myself. Challenged myself to do things alone that I’d never before had the courage to do. Moved on from the darkness and through other challenges into the light.

Life now is so different, so far removed from before, I can but thank my lucky stars and all the twists and turns that brought me to it.

My career trajectory has totally changed, and is now firmly rooted in the pursuit of a role in nursing (though between you, me, and the bedpost, I’m still planning on working in a little massage therapy if I can). I am undertaking a four year apprenticeship, which means my job and my finances are secure for that time. And I enjoy it, which is wonderful.

My home life has totally changed, and I now live with my beautiful fiancée in a whirlwind of love and contentment, in a gorgeous flat we both chose, with our dog (Bonnie) and our tortoise (George). We are happy. And I am a million billion forever and ever and ever amen overjoyed and thankful to be able to say it.

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I am happy. I am rooted. I am content. I am acknowledged, affirmed, and appreciated. I have someone very special to share my life with, in all its ups and downs, and we delight in being together, in being so much to each other. We revel in the absurdity and the beauty of it all, and for the first time in my life, I feel like I am the right person in the right place at the right time.

I am lucky/fortunate/blessed beyond all imagining, to be in this position.

Whatever I have gone through, and whatever is to come, I feel is utterly worth it, because of who and how I am at this point.

I am unimaginably thankful.

 

40 thoughts on “Six Years of Thankfulness

  1. I remember those places where you were! “Just what makes that little old ant…” I’m so happy that you’re finally happy and a little jealous that you’re going to be a nurse, because I’ve always wanted to do that! Thank you for starting TToT, thank you for inviting me to be a co-host, and thank you for all the years of friendship!

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    • That little old ant song got me through some tough times, and I am forever thankful for your friendship, your support, your encouragement and all the years we have of history thanks to this hop. I’m so glad you joined us, my Dyannedillion 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is truly amazing at how our lives can travel from the darkness into light in ways and a time we had never imagined! For many of us, the blogging connections, friendships, and endless support has truly meant the difference between life and death, and nowdays as I watch your beaming posts pop in on Facebook and Instagram, I am filled with such gratitude that you found your way and your life has been so blessed with love and family and a new career and all the things that make it good! To see the people we care about truly happy and thriving is one of the biggest thankfuls I know! You deserve all this, and you deserve our gratitude for having started this whole thankfulness connections that has brought each of us further along in our own lives and spiritual growth. Bless you always, continue to shine! XO

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  3. Ahhhhh this!! This made me cry happy weepy nostalgic hopeful exciting heart-swelling tears!! Oh, Lizzi, my beautiful dear Tigger… You have come soooo far and there is SO much I am grateful for in knowing you, in sharing in all those years and all those incredible and hard and amazing experiences that brought you to THIS. Just LOOK AT YOU! There is so much GOODNESS in your life, your career, your love, and my gosh it ALL makes me overflow with joy!
    I am forever grateful that we had time in REAL LIFE together, that you were in MY HOUSE and your love engulfed our family and brought so much JOY to us all! Cade’s window will have your words sealed forever… and every time I look at it (pretty much daily) I smile, sigh, and hold those memories so close to my heart as I will always do with you, our beautiful lifelong friendship and the love that lives on because of it.
    I am so glad you wrote this. ❤

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    • I’m so glad, too, Kitty. And so glad it started and happened at all, even though it had such negative reasons to begin, it has brought such light and happiness and friendship into my life. Thank you so much for yours throughout the years, and HOORAY to remembering the time spent at your house, with your wonderful family and for having such a completely wonderful time with you.
      I am endlessly thankful for all this hop has brought me, and for the ways life has moved on from where I was, and all the support and love that got me to where I am now ❤ xx

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  4. Faantastic, Lizzi. It’s been beautiful to see brief snatches of your growth and increasing contentment and self-acceptance over the years. It’s been a hard and bumpy road, along with all those things of thankful so well done.
    Best wishes and much love,
    Rowena who will always be thankful for our 1000 voice of compassion efforts at making a difference to our troubled world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that stemmed from the TToT too, didn’t it! This little hop started so many big and hope-full things! I’m glad you’ve been part of it. A long and bumpy road it has most definitely been, but worth it in the end. I think everyone has their own bumpy road, really.

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  5. What a trip it’s been! You my friend, will always be so, no matter the passage of time, life events. Fortuitous for me “discovering” you way back when; I’m honored to have been witness to your early journey and thrilled to have met you in person :D.
    Happiness to you Lizzie and huge thanks for giving us all Ten Things of Thankful ❤️️

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    • I loved meeting you too, Denise. We’ve truly been through a lot and life has been dramatic (and not) in between it all, and the TToT was such a wonderful place for so many. I’m glad we met through it and for real.

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  6. So so so good to see you here! I’m never at my place either anymore! But it’s nice to know we can dust off and get here when we need to! I’m so excited for your career choices and your new love, and life! Not to mention the Bonnie boo! How is she doing I still have her early puppy picture! Time for an update! Thank you for your perseverance in this life were half of the people that I consider really dear to my heart wouldn’t even be known to me. The TTOT really provided that for me. Xo, z-

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    • The TToT was amazing for creating a community of just the right people at just the right time, I think. Remember when we used to go live on webcam all together and talk about nothing and everything for hours?! What times we had! I shall certainly send more Bonnie pics and an update! Glad to see you here too and yeah… it’s good to have a corner to come back to even if it gets dusty in between uses xxx

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  7. Lizzi, I am so glad that you are no longer feeling like you are in such a dark place and that you are now happy.
    I wish you well in your studies and as you pursue a career in nursing. Some of the most caring people I know are nurses.
    Thank you again for getting this Ten Things of Thankful blog hop off and rolling. I know that it has meant a lot to me to take time to remember all those things for which I am grateful each week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Pat, and I’m glad you’re still enjoying the TToT. It makes such a difference to mindfully count the blessings and reakisehow very many there are!

      I know some excellent nurses too…I hope I will be able to be as good as them one day.

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  8. Goosebumps!! Wow- such a powerful living testament to the influence of finding those positive bursts of light during dark times! I really enjoyed reading your deeply reflective piece. Bravo to you for recognizing the importance of a difficult journey. I too have been through a very rough patch in my life (more than once) and emerged as a person I would never have envisioned back then.

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    • Thank you. Yes, those tough times (I think) can be the making or undoing of us, and it sounds like you and I were able to come through them to the other side. It’s a good feelkfe, to know you weren’t beat. And I’m glad I’ve changed from who I was back then.

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  9. (interpose passing of time, the tittering of the studio audience at what, through their attendance and enjoyment of the show, is the anticipated punchline. Said anticipation in no way reflects less upon the intended reaction (full laughter), if anything, it is an enhancement. The knowing of a place, people, lives, even if fictional or imaginary or staged, it is still ….participation in a reality. A sharing, if you will.)

    ok… I’m back. (the studio audience applauds the arrival of the character, unnecessarily, but the studio managers all kind of insisted that they do. Seeing no real harm in it, they go along with it.

    The best thing about your posts is the fact that I can identify with them. (For me) that is the magic. (Not comparing, not similar to, identification centers on knowing how another person feels. Which, for our people, really is something).

    Thanks for creating this thing, this TToT thing.

    Good job, yo

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    • How I’ve missed your comments, studio audience, world wide web, and all! I am glad we had this thing and thank you for being part of it.

      Fully the ‘Damn!’, huh? 😊😊

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  10. This is the best thing I’ve read all day. Hell, all week maybe. I, too, am thankful for all the TToT has been, even when it stopped being a regular part of my every day and week. I am so very grateful to have found you and for all the other wonderful people the TToT has brought together.
    There’s a lot I could go on gushing about here, but alas I have my own post to write this weekend, so I have to save it for my own very neglected blog page! LOL But I will say this – I love so very much that you have found a sincere joy and happiness and are crafting a life you love. Thank you, my dear Lizzi, for starting this thing, for carrying the torch so long, for passing it on when it was time, and for sharing the gift of your present joy here with all of us.
    Lots of love to you and Zoe. xo

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    • Thanks so much Lisa. It’s been quite a journey but I can safeks (and thankfully) say I am in a better place than I ever have been before. The TToT has been wonderful and I’ve been so glad it exists even when I haven’t been writing at all 🤩

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  11. I love that you’re in such a wonderful, healthy, lovely place of love and life. I’m beyond thrilled for you! I do remember so much from your darker days… telling you to go look at the stars. The alls of all of it. That you’re contently exactly where you are now gives me huge smiles. I was giddy seeing your post in my email – thank you for taking the time to participate in your creation. I miss the old blogging days but believe that all evolved as it should have for you. Thank you for creating TT0T. For doing FTSF before that, so that we could meet. OMG remember vid chats? 🙂 Thank you for asking me to co-host, and for being so flexible and kind when I wasn’t into it, couldn’t make it, and for being so welcoming when I could.

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    • I’m so glad you did. You’re one of the core people who supported me so so much back in the days when everything was awful. I remember looking at the stars and being so thankful for your friendship and deciding to go on with life a little bit longer. Thank goodness I did.

      I LOVED writing that I’m happy, content, in the right place, and all those amazing good things. I am still blown away I get to write them, and thankful every day for all of it.

      Here’s to more huge smiles in future for us all 😀

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  12. I am so glad that you could link up today; this celebration just wouldn’t be the same without the founder! As always, your poetic way with words resonates. I’m happy that you are no longer in the dark place you were when you started the TToT. I’m not sure that being focused on the now qualifies as laziness; I would think that too much time on the internet (even in doing good things) would more rightfully earn that description. I frequently re-evaluate the balance of online/real life, and erring on the real life side seldom is the wrong call for me. That being said, I am so thankful that you could link up today; the newcomers need a chance to get to know you, and the “old-timers” appreciate the reunion. As you made clear from the beginning, this is a no-guilt blog hop, so while you are always welcome (and we would be delighted to hear from you more often!) there should be no shame involved if you are so busy living a life of thanks that you don’t write about it. THANK YOU for starting this blog hop, and showing that even in difficult times, it is possible to find things of thankful!

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    • Thank you Kristi – this is such a beautiful comment, and THANK YOU, again and always, for carrying it on when Josie TS gave up her baton after me. I am so looking forward to meeting the new people and reconnecting with the old gang. This is very exciting!!

      YES – no shame! I forgot we used to do that. That’s so awesome. Still!!! And thanks for the reassurance about real life. It does matter, doesn’t it. I was spending far too many hours online, back in the day, but it was needed and made such a difference ❤

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  13. And, I know well that I am not alone in being thankful for discovering you. So, in honor of one of my favorite musicians who just passed from what he would call The Meat World to the Spirit World, Mack Rebennack, AKA Dr. John, I’ll say, may Love keep winning and “Laissez les bons temps rouler” (Let The Good Times Roll).

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