Saturday, January 1, 2011
Happy New Year!
Hello and happy New Year! I’m hoping that 2011 is a stunning year for all my visitors here and for those in your own worlds. I woke up in the Hunter Valley this morning in the middle of a four-day break, and I sprung out of bed excited about what the next twelve months has in store for me, and indeed the world. I had considered changing the focus of my blog from one of gratefulness to something perhaps a little more ‘exciting’, but I went back and remembered why I began writing here in the first place.
This ‘Gratefulness Blog’ is something that allows, encourages and requires me, to stop and acknowledge every day (or every week if I am really busy) all the wonderful, significant and enriching people, moments and events in my day. Documenting such gratitude gives me something to go return to when I have ‘low moments’.
I’ve also received so many messages from people all around the world who are encouraged to be more ‘grateful’ just by reading my blog, that I am further motivated to keep this growing in 2011.
Thanks for being part of my ‘gratefulness journey’ and here’s cheers to a new year full of promise!
What I'm grateful for today:
1. MANTRAS: Like my character Alice Aigner in Not Meeting Mr Right, I am a fan of mantras and positive affirmations. Rather than setting myself another health related resolution I set myself a mantra for 2011. It is: ‘Be positive! Be passionate! Be at peace!’ And of course, most importantly, be grateful. What’s your mantra / resolution?
2. NATURE: I’m grateful for the beautiful countryside here in the Hunter Valley, no, not just because it’s full of vineyards, or as I like to call them, ‘grape farms’, but because I am such a city slicker it is a good reminder of the beauty of this country’s landscape to wake up amongst the trees. I must admit though, that as I watch the breeze through the branches of the grand gums I also curse the spiders, but mostly the five billion cicadas that never seem to give their voice-boxes (or what cicadas have) a rest. Even my heavy duty earplugs can block them out. All of sudden the sound of traffic is peaceful.
3. BIZARRE BEHAVIOUR: My apartment faces a golf course. Playing golf isn’t bizarre behaviour, unless of course you swing a club like I do. But as I sat on the balcony today I watched a golf cart pull up with a husband/wife team (guessing) in it. Only the wife didn’t get out, she just sat their holding a stuffed toy – a dragon to be exact. Was it the mascot? Was she the mascot? Either way I thought it a colourful, bizarre thing to watch, and momentarily it made me feel slightly normal. What is ‘normal’ anyway?
4. RANDOM CONVERSATIONS: I’m grateful for random chats with other holiday-makers by the pool. It’s not hard to find something in common with most other human beings.
5. AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE: I love Australian fiction, not because I’m not interested in world literature, but because there are just so many wonderful stories set within and about our own country. Many of these are underrated or lost in the bigger picture. And certainly, not enough of them are taught in our schools. I’m a slow reader, very slow; seriously I can almost write a book quicker than I can read one. So I know a good book when I can’t put it down. In my first twenty-four hours here I devoured Peter Goldsworthy’s collection of short stories GRAVEL. I want more!
Today I started reading Jon Doust’s BOY ON A WIRE. I’m already thinking about all the people I know who will love reading it also. Jon is a wise, funny storyteller in real life. He has captured all his talent in this fictionalised memoir of life in a boarding school in Western Australia. It's easy to see why it was longlisted for the 2010 Miles Franklin. I’m grateful I ended 2010 and started 2011 with some of Australia’s finest writers. Thanks fellas! [The pic above is me by the pool with Jon’s book this morning. Life isn’t half bad, eh?]