Last Thankful post for this year, before I get into the individual days, I want to talk about living an authentic life, what that means to me and how it makes me happy.
It started a couple of weeks ago with Krissie’s tweet
and my reply
My capacity for anything remotely approaching fuckwittage, has diminished to almost nothing over the last couple of years but the choice of words were unusual, I’m not someone who uses the word authentic in relation to my life….well ever…I’m English and generally emotions are best kept private or you know for the blog!
I’ve had a couple of unexpectedly deep conversations about life, work and friendship this month. Helene kicked it off through a conversation about her family and her place in it, about what she wants to tell people about her parents and how she wants to tell it. We talked about our family dynamics and culture. About what constitutes a tragedy and attitudes to setbacks as well as good things in our lives. About need to know and the need to tell. About the power of privacy as well as the power of not caring what others think. It’s hard to know as an adult what a teenager might find useful, but if I could instil one thing into H (and the others) as she grows, I’d wish I could teach her how to work out what is nonsense and to distinguish what is hers and what belongs to other people.
Because for a long time. I internalised other people’s nonsense and I let their insecurities and fears colour my opinion of who I was. I really would have been so much happier and nicer if I’d understood what was mine and what was theirs and acted accordingly.
Once I took responsibility for my nonsense and started to distance myself from other people’s, life became easier. I’m a better friend for it too, I can call friends out when it’s needed and be called out in turn but without drama because I recognise the limits of my ability to change people and situations to the way I’d wish them to be. That also means that I can support people better because I realise what I can do to help and what just isn’t within my power to change.
As a result my circle of friends is a bit smaller and but my life feels much bigger and more authentic. It took a good long while to get here but I’m really thankful (see what I did there?) about it.
On to individual days of thankfulness in November
Tuesday 25 November
This is a repeat photo, because I didn’t take a photo on Tuesday but I did go to the doctors to get a repeat prescription and talk about sprained ankles and rehab. Everytime, I go to the doctors or dentist or hospital, I’m just so thankful for the NHS and vision of the people who founded it.
Wednesday 26 November
I wanted to read something different. I have a house and a Kindle full of books. I’m so thankful for being able to read, for a society were it’s expected that women and the working classes should. For the ability to walk into a shop, buy a book and lose myself in another world.
Thursday 27 November
I’m going to join the gym around the corner from the office, because work subsidise it and it’s right there. Even if I go and walk on the treadmill for a bit, it’ll be good for me! I am thankful for the benefits that come with my job!
Friday 28 November
Dinner at Jo’s and time with interesting people and Ms T!
Saturday 29 November
Another evening with friends and their children for a late Thanksgiving. It was Stef’s anniversary today and I opted to spend the day with people, not alone. Getting to know these two tiny humans and watch their ‘dancing’ was a good thing.
Sunday 30 November
Busy morning cooking and time with my family. Watching Oli work out that his Grandma and Aunty Nic are also on ‘team Dempsey’ was fun. As well as the exploding sprinkles! It was a really good day and lovely to spend time with Ben and Laura too!