Friday, 31 March 2017

FEBRUARY & MARCH GRATITUDE DIARY


February was tough in many ways. I miss my Dad like crazy since he passed and we had his funeral in the month of feb. The days following the funeral (especially the day after) knocked me for six and I really did just want to stay in bed and do nothing, but I pushed through and here I am, still managing to find things to be grateful for.

March was a little more light hearted as I basically just travelled the whole time. I went on three amazing trips and spent the rest of the time travelling around London with the friends I had made on the trips I had been on, which was amazing. I love travel, and I love the friends you pick up along the way while you're travelling. There are lots more things I feel grateful for too, so I thought I'd write a good old fashioned gratitude diary post about them all...

First off, I am so grateful to have had my Daddy at all. Some people have useless fathers that make no memories at all with them, teach them nothing and don't give them any love at all. My father gave me 25 wonderful years of cherished memories, pure love and valuable lessons. He was my soul mate, my best friend and my loving father. We were exactly the same - one of my cousins said the other day that I am the mini female version of him, and I am proud to be that. Even some of the traits that we share, that may not be seen as good, make me happy. For example, we are both so stubborn and headstrong, but you know what - sometimes those qualities get you to where you want to be and help to protect your heart if you have a soft one like us. I am so grateful and proud to have had Glenn Stuart Martin as my father, friend and teacher in this life.

Riley makes me so happy. I love playing ball with him - even though sometimes he goes a bit overboard and insists I play it for hours, which can be a bit much. I love going for walks with him - seeing him so happy in nature really rubs off on my mood and cheers me up. I love cooking him nice nutritious meals and seeing how full of beans he is every day. I love cuddling him and having him close when I go to sleep at night. Every time I look into his little eyes and stare at his face my heart melts; I don't know what I have done to have such a beautiful, beautiful little dog with so much character and love to give in my life but I am more than just grateful for him.

I am so, so, so grateful for the people I have around me. My friends and family have been amazing recently. It's weird how death makes you realise who your true friends are and aren't. Some people I thought may not be around at such a time have really stepped up to the plate and been way more of a support than what I could have ever expected - and a few people that I thought would be there have more or less evaporated into thin air never to set foot back in my life again (see ya!). My sister makes me laugh every day and shares my hurt when it comes to our lovely papa... My cousin Max has had so many heart to hearts since, made me belly laugh and made sure we have made some funny memories to cherish. My cousin Kealey has done the same - we laughed so much the other day and she has been sending supportive words often. My cousin Jazz has been the sweetest. I love my cousins, they're instant besties. My stepmama is so supportive and always knows the right thing to say. My friends from school have been so wonderful at making plans and making sure I know they are there for me. My besties Alison & Katrina have checked on me every single day to make sure I am okay and ask if there is anything I need, and my girls from my old work have been so supportive and lovely too. On top of that our neighbours are amazing and all of my Dad's friends and family have been so kind and supportive - my Dad only allowed the best people into his life and I now do the same. I am so lucky to have all the people I do in my life and despite the fact, my favourite man has left the party - until we meet again; these people make it worth staying. 

Cooking - I am grateful for cooking. My father also taught me how to cook and how to do it well. He will live through the food I make and enjoy until the day I die. Cooking is so therapeutic, it's vital to our nourishment and it helps bring people close together. I love cooking for and with people. The first month following my Dad's death I didn't set foot in the kitchen. I had takeaways and packaged food because I did not want to do anything, but I then realised that it was making me feel so much worse. When you eat shit, unsurprisingly, you feel like shit. So back in the kitchen I went and I felt so much better.

My kitchen equipment - I am not a materialistic person whatsoever but I do appreciate good health, good feelings and good memories. My cooking and kitchen gizmos and gadgets enable me to have all three of those things. I LOVE my juicer to infinity and beyond - I have a carrot juice every day when I can and it really boosts my energy levels. I ADORE my blender - I make so many things in it - from hummus to smoothies to nice-cream to pasta sauces to homemade seasoning pastes and homemade vegan pesto. I have also been known to make face cream in my blender too. I really couldn't live without a blender now. I don't know if this comes under equipment but I am so appreciative of my herbs and spices collection. I have everything and it means I can always put together a super tasty meal with lots to it. 

Writing a list makes me so happy. I love a good old list. My best friend bought me a listography book for Christmas and I have been filling it out to distract myself. I also wrote a 30 before 30 bucket list and am looking forward to putting that into play. There's something so satisfying about crossing off something you have achieved on your list too. 

Netflix is my babes. I have been especially enjoying watching Orange is the new Black - I have watched it all before but I am watching it through in Spanish to keep my Spanish in check but also because I love watching it through and seeing how they have chosen to translate certain things - I'm a nerd!

I LOVE a pint of beer and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps together. I always ask people when I am getting to know them what meal they would choose if they were on death row, and in all honestly, I think mine would be a packet of McCoys salt and vinegar crisps and a pint of Peroni. It stems from going fishing and camping. There was/is something so refreshing about having a beer outside in nature and the crisps compliment them so beautifully. I'm a cheap date clearly but I really don't care as I'm 100% confident that it's the little things that make life big and I appreciate every one of them. 

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) - It's a Danish word that describes the ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures. It's taking a genuine pleasure in making ordinary, everyday moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. Some refer to hygge as the 'art of creating intimacy' (either with yourself, your friends, or your home). There is no equivalent English word for Hygge but I see it as cosiness, simplicity and as having a complete gratitude for the simple things. I am a total 'hygge head' at the moment what with the weather being so cold. I have recently changed my living room around too so I have lots of candles around the fireplace, a big fluffy rug, lots of throws, a corner lamp, flowers in vases, and I'm constantly having friends over for indoor picnics and cosy nights in together in order to build memories in my home. 

Travel - I have been lucky enough to go on three trips this month. Iceland was the most amazing place I have ever visited in so many ways and Morocco was an old favourite. Completely different extremes but both have an equal portion of my heart. I am so lucky to be in the position I am in now and I don't  ever, ever take that for granted. 

Travelling alone - Travelling alone is the absolute best thing in this entire universe. I enjoyed myself so much in Iceland; made so many friends, did what I wanted, when I wanted and had some of the most amazing experiences of my life. You have to travel alone at least once in your life but now I have had a taste for it - I plan on doing it a lot more! I felt so much closer to my father travelling alone. I saw so many signs that only me and my father would have known about and although it is painful, it's also extremely beautiful. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.

Having the house to myself - I love being alone altogether clearly haha. Of an evening, I will run a bath, turn on the surround system in the living room and play whatever music I want to - as loud as I want to. You can walk around undressed doing all your beauty treatments without a worry and you can be as ugly and sloth-like as you wish. Can we just take a moment here to appreciate the Spanish word for 'Sloth' - it's 'Oso perezoso' which literally translated means lazy bear but it rhymes and I love it (it's the little things). I'm going to add Spanish to this diary too - I love the Spanish language. 

Fruit - Do not fear, I am yet to become a fruitarian, however, I can see why that lifestyle is an attractive one. I have been eating so much fruit lately and craving it every morning which is good because It's packed with vitamins and fills you with energy. I'd much rather buy a pack of berries than a pack of sweets and I'd sooner have dates than chocolate now. I do like a sweet treat from time to time but the everyday ones should always be fruit in my opinion. I read somewhere that fruit helps you to become more conscious and vegetables help you to become more grounded and 'earthed' so to speak. I'm not sure I agree but I love the theory all the same and like the idea that I am getting a bit of both! 

I love the sounds of nature. This month I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of my time by water; I spent it on the canals and the harbour in Copenhagen, by waterfalls and in thermal baths in Iceland and by waterfalls and streams in Morocco. I absolutely adore the sound of water, be it the waves hitting on a boat, the sound of a waterfall or the sound of waves hitting the shore - they all calm me and make me feel so at ease and happy with the world we are in. I also love the sound of birds tweeting and whistling. In Morocco Ben and I kept whistling to all the birds in order to get a response and it was so relaxing to do such a care-free activity for no apparent reason. The birds are out again in England now and that makes me extremely happy, because it means that summer is on its way, which leads me to my next love...

THE SUNSHINE - Oh, Me, Oh, My, I absolutely adore the sun. I love just sitting with the sun on my face. My cousin Richard and I sat in his garden for a few hours the other day just talking about spiritual theories with our eyes shut and the sun beaming on our faces and it was simply magical. Also, in Morocco I ensured I sat in the sun as much as possible - I really do wish we had longer in Morocco now. Although England's weather is improving - it's still not as hot as the Southern countries. 

Miscellaneous things I have been loving are: the smell of flowers that are blossoming right now when you walk down the road, Riley's new bath game he has invented (he jumps over the side of bath and pushes a ball in with his paws), tutoring (as always) makes me super happy, using my Spanish makes me happy, cups of tea, planning future travels, watching YouTube, listening to music, WhatsApp voice clips, my bed, pyjamas, hot baths, clean skin, the feeling after brushing your teeth, cosy socks, picnics, BBQ's, cheap flights, skyscanner, cute texts, making plans, TOWIE, MIC, and so, so, so much more. There are so many things to be grateful about and appreciate on this planet and I find the more I appreciate things, the more things I attract that I appreciate.

Gratitude is the key to happiness, it's that simple.

Peace out Potatoes xo
  
 

  



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