5 things to be grateful for even if you’ve had a shitty year

grateful for

We’re often encouraged to look back on the past year to find things that we’re grateful for. I don’t know about you but 2019 has been a challenging year for me personally. Certainly not the hardest year I’ve ever had, but it’s definitely up there.

You may have noticed there’s been a lack of personal posts here on the blog this year. In many ways I feel like I’ve just been holding on for the ride and trying to keep my head above water.

The challenges this year have been around Andrew working away, managing my anxiety around having a completely unpredictable schedule and future, looking after 3 small boys on my own, running my business and finding a little time for myself amongst all of that to try and stay sane.

I can confirm that I managed to hold it all together until Andrew completed his course, got the job and came home. Then I promptly fell apart – physically, emotionally and maybe a little bit mentally too. #notsorry though. I felt much better after I let myself fall apart for a few days.

I tell you all this because I don’t look back on 2019 all that fondly. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be – “challenging”.

But even with the challenges I also feel incredibly grateful to 2019. Like other challenging years whilst I was going through it I wished it away, but in hindsight I feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude for everything that has come out of those challenges.

I’m really flipping proud of how we’ve managed to come out the other side of this year. As an individual. As a couple. As a family.

So if you too have had a bit of a shonky year this year, I’d love to encourage you to take some time as the year winds down to find a little gratitude amongst the struggle. Even if you’re not entirely ready to find the lessons just yet, sometimes changing your perspective even just a little bit can help you to find your way out.

What are you most grateful for in 2019?

5 things to be grateful for even if you’ve had a shitty year…

Your health

Cliched, yes.

But still so important.

What has your body done for you today? Walked you around? Hugged your partner? Made love? Let you do the work you enjoy? Laughed until your belly hurt?

Even if you’ve had health challenges this year. Whether that be you’re struggling to conceive, or you’ve lost a baby, or you’ve had a baby and your body isn’t what it used to be. Whether you’ve had illness or injury this year. Or you have a chronic health condition you’re dealing with.

Are you still breathing? Then there is still lots to be grateful for.

Your people

Even if you’ve felt lonely this year I bet there is someone in your life who you feel grateful for.

Someone who was there for you when you didn’t expect it.

Someone who reached out and offered a kind word or smile.

A new friend, or old friends who are always there when you need them.

Even if you’ve lost someone this year and you’re still grieving.

Can you let yourself feel grateful for even the smallest moments that you have with those important people in your life.

The sun, the sky, the dirt, the sea…

Look I’m going to risk sounding like a walking cliche here but hear me out. When you’re caught in your own ‘stuff’. When you’re going through hard times and you’re unsure how your life will ever be happy again, it always helps go outside. Notice the big wild world around you and how nature just keeps rolling, despite whatever personal struggles you’re currently going through.

If you’re struggling to feel grateful for anything that 2019 has given you, take yourself outside. Your backyard. A park. The ocean. A rainforest.

Anywhere that you can disconnect for a little while and just be. Let yourself take a moment to enjoy the warmth of the sun on your face. Let your bare feet walk on the grass. Breathe in the fresh smell of salt and sea.

Put down your personal struggles for a little while and let yourself enjoy being a part of this world and remember how amazing that really is.

All the lessons

When you’re in the thick of hard times trying to find the lessons can be virtually impossible. After we lost our second baby I remember someone said to me how one day I’d be able to look back and be grateful for what that experience taught me.

No prizes for how I felt being told that at the time. And whilse I risk YOU feeling the same expletives towards me as I share this with you… I just want you to know that somewhere, in amongst all the crap there are good bits to be found.

You will learn things about yourself that you needed to learn. You will make changes that you wouldn’t have been able to make without said shitty experience.

And while you don’t need to know what the lessons are yet. It can help to know that eventually when you find yourself on the other side, there are good things coming for you.

Your choices

Because you’re reading this blog post I’m going to assume you have the privilege to make a lot of choices in your life. (Though it sometimes doesn’t feel that way when you’re going through personal challenges).

Here are some choices you have that you may not have even realised were there.

You can choose what you do next.

You can choose to stop.

You can choose a new direction.

You can choose to move.

You can choose to quit.

You can choose to feel differently.

You can choose to talk about it or stay silent.

You can choose to ask for help.

You can choose to find another way.

You have so many choices and that in itself is a privilege a lot of people don’t have (or simply aren’t able to see).

Let yourself be grateful for the choices you have.

And choose a new way for yourself in 2020.

May you have a happier new year. x

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