Seven Years of Thankfulness, But Also

Seven years seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.

Admittedly, an eye frequently closed to the blogging world any more, though part of me still nurtures faint hopes of rejoining in a consistent way, at some point. [That said, as I opened WordPress to publish this piece, I realised my last piece was for six years of Thankful so…we shall see, but don’t lets any of us hold our breaths.]

Seven years in which my life has (thankfully) changed beyond recognition, and honestly, if I had told seven-years-ago me how things would be today, I wouldn’t have believed it for a second. Thank goodness for change, our only constant.

Seven years in which the baton has passed from my hands into those of others who know the value of thankfulness, and who have the headspace, energy, and dedication to maintain this hop and its wonderful community.

Seven years since I was using ten things of thankful as a resurrected daily exercise to give me an incentive to stay alive; for that was my personal bargain with life – if I could find ten things each day to be thankful for, I would stay for the next day. That my little ritual gained such interest from those around me in the blogging community was bizarre and delightful. That it became a weekly tradition shown to endure the test of time has been nothing short of astonishing.

Even though I am on the very furthest periphery of the community now, I still feel I belong to it. I am still thankful for it, and get a warm glow when I see it mentioned, participated in, cherished. I am thankful for each and every person whose energy has gone into seeking the silver linings of life, and sharing them across this wonderful World Between the Wires.

Comforting as it would be to sink into a warm bath of thankfulness, *twinklysparklygoodness* and warm fuzzies, this week it feels not only myopic but a little disrespectful. The USA is erupting into violence as the police attack peaceful protesters, and the president is actively encouraging military involvement against his own people. The UK is being gaslighted by a government ignoring the science, and the protections of lockdown are dissolving around us as schools are set to reopen whilst hundreds of people are still dying each day. Palestinians are still losing homes and lives to Israeli soldiers, and in France, it seems everyone is rioting.

Much of the world is struggling, and those of us who have been relatively untouched as a result of our privilege, are gradually having our eyes opened to the hardships of those whose lives are a persistent struggle, sometimes purely for the right to exist. It is a time to be thankful, but it is also a time for action.

It is a time to be thankful for white privilege (for those to whom it applies) and to acknowledge how much easier our lives are made because of the colour of our skin. Whatever our hardships, we can know the colour of our skin will not be making it worse. It is a time to step out from the protection it affords us, and get real about the responsibility we have – to justice, to integrity, to humanity – to do tangible things in support, whether it be sharing information, challenging racism wherever we see it, donating to funds supporting the victims, and above all, examining ourselves and the way we live to see where we are complicit with a system that perpetuates such inequality and violence.

Now is a time when our silence and inaction labels us as part of the problem. Think, for a few moments (if you have white skin) about how people with black skins are treated. Or brown skins. Would you like to be treated like they are? I know I wouldn’t.

Nobody should live in fear because of their black or brown skin. Nobody should have their voice ignored, their feelings trampled, or their body hurt because of their black or brown skin. Nobody should lose their life because of their black or brown skin. And in the hundreds of thousands of incidents of racist aggression and microaggression that occur each day, white people are, if not actively carrying out these actions, at a minimum enmeshed in a system which allows and excuses them. I am part of it. I hate that I’m part of it, and I am learning how to fight it, which starts with acknowledging and understanding it.

Now is a time for action. As Desmond Tutu said – “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

And in the meantime, at a minimum, start learning if you haven’t already. And thank you for being part of a rebellion that hopes to bring in a new age of justice.

For our white friends desiring to be allies

5 Anti-racism responses ‘good’ white women give to viral posts

Grassroots UK

 

And honestly, on a lighter, brighter note (which is what this hop is meant to be, even in the darkest and most desolate of times), I am so glad that there are so many of us still bound together by our determination to find the good in life. Even, and perhaps especially, on days when it feels there isn’t enough good in the world to go round, finding little things we’re thankful for can be a balm.

My heart is full of thankfuls, far too many to list, and I am thankful for that in itself (which almost brings us to ol’ secret rule 1.3) but at the moment, they would be a distraction. My aim for the now is to highlight black voices over on Twitter, share resources for white people to learn from here and on Facebook, and to sign everything I can, and take part in ways that I can. But thank you for being part of this, even by reading. Seven years is no mean feat.

27 thoughts on “Seven Years of Thankfulness, But Also

  1. The TToT will always be you Lizzi. Always, no matter where you go or what you do. Thank you because I am more mindful of the ways gratitude betters my life. And, from the looks of everyone here to celebrate, I’m not the only one that feels that way. Thank you, thank you. So much going on in the world, so much more than I could have predicted back when this wole TToT thing got started, but I am blessed to know all involved here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! The world has turned the dial all the way up at the moment and I don’t think it’s turning back down any time soon! So glad of this hop and (as you say) the constant reminder that gratitude makes a difference. I’m glad to know you through it, and to have such a wonderful community grow up around it. And yes …I think in a way this hop will always be something I feel immensely glad of and proud of. It has become bigger than I ever thought it could, thanks to the Josie and Kristi, and I rather love it 🥰

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    • I’m so glad it has helped you. I don’t think I’ve ever discovered the secret of choosing to be happy but maybe gratitude is a step in the right direction. 😊😊

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  2. It’s so much fun to see you and Kristi and other Kristi again. I love this week of TToT and FTSF – both so needed. I never even take three day breaks. I mean I’m in it for the long haul with blogging, so knowing I have these two spaces week after week – and they’re so nurtured and have solid foundations – is excellent. I named my son Desmond, partly after Desmond Tutu. I love this food for thought.

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  3. What?! No… I just got here… no, I don’t recall interrupting anyone’s comment

    Thanks for the bloghop.

    (Being a clark, I am reconciled to the fact that our being way ahead of the curve on video socializing is lost in the dim corners of time… lol)
    Surely was fun

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL I didn’t see anything!!! We did used to have fun in our comment threads. And yes. We Zoomed before Zoom. We Teamsed it before Teams. We were awesome.

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  4. I started writing mine last night (and great minds, because I have/may have had b/c considering what to include makes me wonder and doubt and well… oh! it’s a list of resources as well) but took a pause knowing it’d be tonight before I got back to it after working today. Yes, I am thankful, and yes, the world is appalling… although I do have hope that so many people are looking at themselves (me too) and actively desperately wanting to help. I’m so glad you joined and started this whole big wonderful thing of thankfulness. ❤

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    • LOL I was remembering how we used to do that too – both somehow write into similar topics without any consultation or peeking. But YAY for yours, and I will read it next. It seems there is a bottomless pit of need, and again the feeling that individually anything we do won’t touch the sides BUT this is the first time I have seen such huge and far-reaching action, and that’s really encouraging.
      I’m glad I joined, and always glad I started it 😊😊

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  5. So glad that you came to the TToT party. What you started helped me get through some difficult times and kept me looking for the rays of sunshine week after week. It has been devastating to see the things that have been happening here and to know that there are other places in the world as well where people are not treated equally just because their skin color is not white. Having lived through other periods of times when there were riots and protests in our country, this is the first time in my life when there have been so many throughout the nation for such an extended period of time at the same time our nation is dealing with COVID-19 and so many people out of work. Then add to all that the political situation. Hopefully we as the people of this world will eventually get it right, that we are all brothers and sisters, one family, one community and need to treat one another with respect and treat them as we would want to be treated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so hope you’re right. I absolutely think the protests are what’s needed, as they are lifting the lid on very uncomfortable truths and making them public knowledge and clarifying the responsibility we have at individual and national levels to fight to rectify them and bring about justice.
      The TToT is wonderful for helping with silver linings but I think in addition to that, the community rallying around when a tough week is being had, is glorious. May it last for many more years.

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  6. OK, I won’t hold my breath, but I will look forward to your return to the blogging world, whenever that may be. 🙂 THANK YOU for joining the TTOT today, and for starting it up in the first place! You have done–and continue to do–so much good in the world!
    Thank you for speaking up on the situations around the globe. I read Just Mercy last year, and it was an eye-opening read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I need to do a lot more reading, I know that. I seem to be dipping in and out of little articles rather than focussing on anything big. My focus isn’t there at the moment.
      So glad for this hop, and thank you for taking it on and looking after it so well. Xxx

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      • Oh, I think you are doing a wonderful job of reading and sharing resources. I mentioned Just Mercy as another resource, not to make you feel guilty. If it hadn’t been for the book club I’m in, I probably wouldn’t have known about it. (There is also a well-done movie by the same name that is free on various streaming services this month–again, I’m mentioning it only as a resource, not to tell you you have to see it.) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • FRIST!!!
      And yeah, I’m really glad I’m taking part even though I’m being very slow to return to blogging. I daren’t look at my last post to see how many of the same things I said about that!!!
      I’m thankful for the people this has brought into my life. I have gained so many friends through it, and I love that about it 😄😄

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