Counting Blessings

Garrarus Beach
Garrarus Beach

The notion of ‘count your blessings’ is one with which I was reared. If we were ever down in the depths, Father used to ask: Would you throw your lot in and take your chances on picking up someone else’s?’  A quick glance into his wise eyes always had me answering (often in a blubbering whisper) ‘NO.’

Well, the other day, I heard a great interview with Brent Pope, who is a former rugby player from New Zealand who now lives in Ireland. He’s a man who is quite open about the fact that anxiety and panic attacks have been part of his life for many years. The part of this recent interview that has stayed with me was his description of how he takes the time every single night, no matter how late he gets in, to write down 5 things that have been good about the day that has just passed. He said that sometimes it can be hard to focus on the good things if the day has been particularly fraught but that he forces himself to find even very mundane things, like hearing a particular song. He emphasised that he makes a conscious effort to find new positive things rather than repeating the same ones ad infinitum.

I love the fact that he does it every night, not just on occasions when he’s feeling either wonderful or terrible. Positive things do have a way of weaving their way through our lives and so often we press on and leave them unacknowledged.

I’m contemplating starting a private journal of my ‘5 Positives a Day.’ Just thinking about today so far ( and it’s 15:28 now), there’s been:

  1. The first bloom of the purple hyacinth on the kitchen window-sill with its magnificent fragrance;
  2. The gorgeous light on Garrarus Beach when I was out there early this morning with Puppy Stan;
  3. The smiling encounter with the man at the supermarket door who stood back to let me through with my trolley and laughed when I said: ‘It’s great to meet a gentleman.’
  4. Remembering the diaries that Santa always brought me and which I still have.
  5. Building new connections with two bloggers, Lennon Carlyle  and Paul J. Grainger whose posts I really admired.

Would you care to share YOUR  5 Positives of today so far? 


Happiness Spills Over

That post I wrote on International Happiness Day has kept my spirits raised  thanks to the great response that it got and the sense that it resonated with people around the globe.

I want to thank writer Frances Macaulay Forde, who lives in Australia and blogs on the lovely site Exploring Possibilities, for following up on her comment and sending me this happy, happy photo of herself and her niece among daffodils which was taken in Ireland in 2003.

Frances Macaulay Forde with her Niece, Ellen.
Frances Macaulay Forde with her Niece, Ellen.

Thanks also to writer Roy McCarthy, who lives in Jersey and blogs at Back on the Rock, for jogging me into ‘count your blessings’ mode through his comments. He succeeded in catapulting me back to absolute basics and, even though I thought I didn’t take much for granted, I’ve realised that I absolutely do and this is something I plan on changing.

Here’s a little example of  how Roy sent me into reflective mode early yesterday morning!

Ballyscanlon Lake, Co, Waterford
Ballyscanlon Lake, Co, Waterford

It is quite astonishing where counting blessings takes one!