I got wet last night. I mean, soaked.
We went to a friend's bonfire night party. There were fireworks, beautiful, whizz-pop fireworks. Trouble is, you have to light fireworks outside, and it was raining. So we just stood there in the garden and got wet. And squealed, and went 'oooo' and 'aaahhhhh' at all the right moments. Like you do. With rain dripping down the backs of our necks. And then we went back inside and steamed while we ate delicious party food. (Many thanks to Dan and Bridget, great party!)
When I got home, I realised I couldn't remember the last time I got wet like that, stood out in the rain like that. I am one of those very English people who is neurotic about the weather forecast and always comes prepared with a plastic mac and an umbrella. I hate getting my hair wet and I hate getting rain on my glasses so I can't see.
But actually, its just a bit of water.
And strangely, it was nice to do something different. It reminded me that I was alive. I was grateful for the rain.
The other day I was listening to a friend complaining. She is a relentlessly negative person. I sat there for about an hour and suddenly looked at her and thought, you haven't said a positive word for at least sixty whole minutes. Not one.
One of the things my ME has taught me is there is always something to be grateful for. No matter how dreadful things have been in my life (and they have been), there is always something to be glad about. It may only be how good toast smells in the morning, or sitting down and putting your feet up with a cup of tea, or the sound of a blackbird singing at twilight, but there is always, ALWAYS something. No matter how small.
My Great Auntie Kitty taught me that too. When I knew her, she was in her eighties, crippled with arthritis, and pretty much blind. She had spent her life looking after others, despite being disabled from childhood. A lifetime of pain and sacrifice. But she was the most positive person I have ever met. She told me that every night, before she switched the light out , she would think of three things to be thankful for. Just three. Some days it was hard to find three, but she always did it, no matter how much she was suffering. I was only about 7 years old, but i have never forgotten this, and always try to do the same. And it works.
It was getting wet last night, and my moaning friend, that made me think how much gratitude has become part of my life. Positive thinking is my life's pattern. That doesn't mean I don't have the usual grumps, moans, dramas, panics. But I have so much to be thankful for, and I am. I really am. Even if it is only the unusual sensation of cold rain running down the back of my neck!