We have so much to be grateful for. It struck me tonight as we were all sitting down to a takeaway meal of our choice that for many people, even those with so-called decent jobs, takeaways really aren’t an option. Then it started me thinking about all the other things I take for granted and just how lucky I am.
Food – by most peoples standards I guess our family has unlimited food. As dd1 has noted since she’s gone to university, “I won’t ever say there’s nothing to eat again. Just because I might not fancy what’s in the cupboards doesn’t mean I should moan about being hungry when there are so many options.” And she’s right. Since following the frankly rather wonderful Jack Monroe, both on Twitter and her blog (A Girl Called Jack) I have forced myself to think more creatively about ingredients and not to waste anything. I can’t slash our budget as much as I’d like due to small boy’s serious food intolerances, but that just leads me onto another point:
Health. Or more specifically the health services we enjoy. There’s always a story of a disaster and a hospital making a mistake, but then again news is push-button instant these days. I’m sure there were just as many errors fifty years ago but we never got to hear of them. Two of my children have been diagnosed with autism, and although there have been some serious hiccups in the process at times, my family do have that assurance of some support with the challenges my kids face. And let’s not forget the routine GP appointments for the everyday ailments like migraines, tonsillitis, excema etc; a few minutes waiting in a heated room to see a professional who then gives you a piece of paper that entitles you to the correct medication to make you well again. That is pretty amazing when you look at it like that. And being a mother of five children there have been weeks when I’ve seen more of our local GP than I have of my husband!
Family – there’s another one. I might moan about them, in fact I’m sure I do, but I treasure my family, they’re what makes me “me”. Being a mum was always the one thing I wanted above all else when I hit my teens so finding the Right Man (and keeping him -so far!) and having his children has been what I felt I was made for. We don’t have a very close extended family outside of grandparents and siblings but you know something? That’s OK. Other people who aren’t related have come into our family and they mean so much to us that I struggle to think of them as “just” friends. Maybe the saying that Friends are the family you would chose for yourself is never truer with us.
Where I live. I reside in what I generally consider to be the most beautiful part of the universe – the Highlands of Scotland. Nuff said!
Twitter. Not exclusively twitter as I have met some lovely people on-line through other sites, but on Twitter I have found so many parents like myself, just getting from A to B on a daily basis and trying not to lose the plot on the way. I’m not going to start naming names as it would take me far too long for one post, but I think you probably know who you are as you’ll either be reading this, or commenting, or maybe even RT’ing it. I can share their joys, and also their sorrows, and they share mine, and each time we connect I feel a wee bit closer to them and a lot less on my own, as sometimes I can be. I can truthfully say I love my tweeps!
Anyway, I could go on all night, I’ve barely started. So I’ll just say I am personally very grateful for Christmas, this year especially, as with one child at boarding school and another now at university, this is a precious family time.
I hope you can all find something to be grateful for too.