“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” How many times have we not read this quote attributed to Eckhart von Hochheim, commonly known as Meister Eckhart, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic? As I turned 55 earlier this year, I rephrased that a bit to say, ‘If the only thing I’ve learned in my life is to be grateful that would suffice.’ Today, I’m sharing with you 55 things I’m grateful for!
55 Things I’m Grateful For
Life And Another 9!
Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderfulAnnette Funnicello
- Life – nothing makes you value it more than this pandemic!
- Faith – a deep belief in the goodness of an all-loving God.
- Love – especially the kind where your partner sees you for who you are, understands you and often saves you from yourself.
- A sense of humour – that’s something that can see you through a lot.
- The ability to reflect and introspect – something that has helped me realign myself from time to time.
- Forgiveness – for being forgiven and for being able to forgive – or else I’d be ridden with guilt and anger.
- Trust – that I’ve been trusted and that I have people I can lean on and trust.
- Uniqueness – as I learn to enjoy my own uniqueness, I learn to appreciate the uniqueness of others.
- Eyes – the gift of sight is something I value so much more after my cataract surgeries.
- Laughter – just the other day I was telling a friend how life-saving laughter has been for me.
Pain And The Next 9!
Maybe God created the desert so that man could appreciate the date trees”Paulo Coelho, from The Alchemist
- Pain – Life has not been perfect – but I’m grateful for those times of pain – both emotional and physical that have taught me so much.
- Confusion and doubt – times when I’ve literally been in the desert of life – not knowing what step to take next. These are the times, I’ve had to reflect more and re-align myself.
- Core values – in times of confusion, I’ve had to examine what my core beliefs and values are. Truth is a big one and I’ve had to keep looking within to be more authentic and keep questioning myself.
- Inner strength – we never know how strong we really are, until we’re pushed to the wall – I’m grateful that I’ve discovered through times of difficulty my inner strength.
- Grace – I’m always grateful for grace. As I’ve said before, to live in grace is to be able to look back at all your past mistakes, and while owning your present faults, know that “all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.”
- Understanding – such a gift to know that there are people who ‘get you’, even during those times when even you can’t make sense of yourself!
- Peace – being able to find peace just knowing that I am loved and cared for and that nothing that happens to me is outside of God’s control.
- Support – I’ve always found people and resources to support me through difficult times.
- Wisdom – Don’t get me wrong – I’ve made some terrible choices and there are some life lessons that I never seem to get, so they keep getting repeated – but finally, I see the light and make choices that are wise and good for me and those I love.
- Boredom – Huh? You’re wondering how this is something that needs to figure here. It’s almost a luxury to be bored – imagine so many people who really have no time for it – they’re so busy making ends meet. But I do believe that only boring people get bored. So when boredom starts to strike, I find creative ways to combat it. So boredom equals creativity!
10 Simple Things I’m Grateful For
The things that I’m most grateful for are always the simple things.
A bag of apples, a pot of homemade jam, a scribbled note,Pam Brown
a bunch of golden flowers, a coloured pebble, a box of
seedlings, an empty scent bottle for the children. . . .
Who needs diamonds and van-delivered bouquets?
- Rain – the gentle kind, the kind that cleanses, the kind that drives you to lounge around reading.
- Fruits – I love fruit – almost any kind and there’s nothing to compare with sitting and enjoying a good book with a gauva or a green mango for company (dipping the pieces in chilli powder and salt – making my mouth water even as I write this!)
- Flowers – any kind but also my special love – Frangipani.
- Stones – the rounded river stones and pebbles that I love to collect. They remind me of how our difficulties and trails smoothen the rough edges of our personalities.
- Pickles – most people who know me well, know I’m a pickle addict – the hotter and spicier the better!
- Snacks – what would life be without snacking! Of late, we’ve discovered some healthy snacks that make snacking less of a guilty pleasure!
- Non-alcoholic beer – that’s something new on my list. I do appreciate a glass of beer with a lemony drink – a shandy – but since Jose doesn’t drink at all it makes no sense to open a bottle. Also, I love fizzy drinks but having to cut down on sugar makes them a no-no.
- Cooking and good food – I didn’t realize that I was a foodie until I got married. I love good food – but I’m not too adventurous. How much we take food for granted, don’t we?
- Warm clothes – this season as I pull up a blanket, I’m ever more mindful of people who don’t have warm clothes. I’m grateful for those reaching out to share warm clothes and blankets.
- Scents and sounds – I’m grateful to have a sharp sense of smell and hearing – although they can cause problems at times, who wants to miss out on the scent of rain on the fresh earth or the sounds of the birds as they feed at our bird feeder?
10 Experiences I’m Grateful For
Thanks to my Dad’s military career, my career and interests, I’ve had some great experiences in life. Today I’m listing only ten of them that come to mind.
“I’ve had a remarkable life. I seem to be in such good places at the right time. You know, if you were to ask me to sum my life up in one word, gratitude.”∼ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Meeting dignitaries – As a eleven year old, I was introduced to the Prime Minister of India, who gave me a beautiful bunch of roses and her family. I also got to meet Governors and very highly placed dignitaries by virtue of my Dad’s job and later my own. This did a lot to boost my confidence.
- Experiencing a Maha Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) – watching the Kumbh village come up overnight, seeing a pontoon bridge being laid across the Ganges and of course the sight of millions of faithful making their way for a dip at the confluence of the holy rivers on a cold, cold morning! I can’t tell you how much that influenced eleven year old me.
- Watching the passing out parades of Indian troops up close and personal, having your heart moved as these young men (women didn’t join then) of various religious swore their allegiance to the country and took a grain of salt from the same urn (not sure that it’s the right word for it, but it looked like one) as they did this. Seeing this as a 9 year old instills such patriotism in you.
- Living in a slum for a few days as part of a learning experience, cooking, bathing and soaking in life there (including having my toes nibbled on by rats!) taught me never to take anything for granted.
- Climbing to the top of a dormant volcano in the Philippines and later visiting a village that had been ravaged by another volcano. To think that many years later that dormant volcano erupted – sends shivers down my back still.
- Moving cities and changing schools ever so often – I’ve shared the lessons I’ve learned from moving around.
- Living in palatial houses. Such a crazy thing that was. I wish I had pictures of the house we lived in on my Dad’s last posting. It had acres of land, huge rooms – the hall had three huge sets of furniture and still wasn’t full. Can you imagine how many people it took to maintain this house? At least 15, full time staff! An experience for a young girl for sure. But the most interesting part of this is that my Dad retired soon after – and we quickly moved into sweeping, mopping, washing clothes and all the house hold chores. It helped that my Mom had always reminded us that these perks came with Dad’s job and we were never to take them for granted.
- Being part of a large extended family – My parents came from big families. Dad was one of 15 and Mum one of 11! Christmas midnight feasts and lunches from my childhood (when we were in the city) were experiences that I’m so grateful for. So much music, laughter, craziness and good food.
- Living with a family for two weeks in the Philippines and watching their daily life, so different from my own was another fantastic experience. I had one of my best birthdays celebrated there. So much love and warmth, is hard to forget.
- Living alone in hotels for an extended time in hotels in Chennai, Bangalore, Hong Kong and different parts of UK really taught me, a sheltered woman, a lot. It’s strange that all my foreign travel was paid for by others – lucky me!
10 Things I Never Take For Granted
There are many things that I don’t take for granted and always grateful for.
What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”Brené Brown
- Financial security – that’s something that one can never take for granted. I’ve got lots of stories to tell of times I’ve been skint and I’ve found money and financial resources to survive. I still need to work on my relationship with money, but am always grateful that I’ve never had to go without.
- Having our own home – we’re blessed to have two – one in Mumbai and one in Hyderabad (the city we currently live in) – bequeathed to us by our respective parents.
- Freedom – I’m always grateful to live in a democratic country. While it’s becoming increasingly difficult to speak out against the Government, we still can do that relatively safely.
- Books – so grateful for the love of reading and for books – they’ve saved me so many times!
- Water – Running water is a luxury for many people and it’s something we can often take for granted.
- Clean air – although this too is under threat, we’re blessed to live in an area that has relatively clean air.
- Transportation – My one regret is that I never learnt to ride or drive, but I’ve always been blessed to find transportation.
- Nature in all its beauty and splendour.
- Dogs – I always wonder what I’d be without them.
- Health – yes, I’ve had a few age-related issues, but nothing ever too serious. The only time I’ve spent days and nights in a hospital is as a caregiver.
The Last 5 of the 55
To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe — to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it — is a wonder beyond words.Joanna Macy
The last 5 of my list I want to give thanks for my gifts and skills – which again I never want to take for granted. I’m very grateful to my parents for instilling the values of humility, kindness, self-sufficiency, hard work and generosity in me. I’m a work in progress, but I’m hoping that I keep learning and growing as I advance in years.
- Writing – that I can put pen to paper and actually make sense to others and more importantly to myself.
- Humour – that I can find humour in the worst of situations and make others laugh.
- Attitude of gratitude – Gratitude has kept me going through a lot of tough times and I’m glad that I found and nurtured this attitude.
- Ability to connect with people of various kinds and make them feel comfortable.
- Standing up for what is right and setting boundaries. Some of this has taken work, but I’m grateful I made the effort.
I thought this would be a hard list to write – but actually, once I started, it’s hard to stop.
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