I have a gratitude book – leather bound with metal clasp, produced by the people from the book The Secret, to help practice the law of attraction. It was something I needed as the stress of raising teenagers was making me depressive. It helped and I gradually stopped as the boys grew. The book still lies by my bedside, collecting dust. I read it sometimes, just for amusement. On one page, you list something you are grateful for today, and on the facing page, something you are grateful for in the future, as if it had already happened. So in one future list, I had written that I am grateful for Ivan getting all A’s for A’levels, which was fanciful since he had been struggling merely to pass his promo. He didn’t get the A’s but at least he is pursuing a degree in SMU now.
While on the bus this morning writing this blog, I thought about my gratitude list again and wondered why I stopped, for I am indeed blessed. While I used to search for just three things to fill (grateful to breathe!) I am now aware whenever I feel gratitude.
Bee is stationed in Bangkok and during her recent trip back home last week, she made sure I experienced all the stuff I had missed, mentioned in a poetry a few weeks ago ( https://vickychong.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/oh-how-i-miss/), just so I can have a good birthday before she left today. So in the ten days she spent here, we watched a movie, went facial and had spinning salads and Yorkshire pudding at Lawrey’s. I asked if she had read my blog and she replied, yeah, where my name is mentioned. So if you are reading this, Bee, thank you for the great early birthday treat.
Last Saturday I had a book launch, where a short story I wrote was selected for an anthology called Feast! I invited friends to come just so they can collect the free books and I am told I had the most supporters. Thanks to my family including my young cousin whom I hardly get to see, colleagues (including those who had to work and were disappointed they couldn’t come), writing pals, and PSG. Most were attending a book launch for the first time so I felt I needed to do a reading just so as to reward their presence. My sons gamely listened to my rehersal and tried to give helpful suggestions. I tried but public speaking is really not for me
It was heartwarming getting positive feedback. I busked in happiness when my mentor texted me that she liked the story. Grandma and colleague Tjin said my story is the best of the six. I know they are biased but still the warm glow stayed for a few hours. I must thank my writing facilitator Verena for pushing me during the six week we spent under her guidance trying to vomit out the words linking food and relationship. I am so grateful for NLB and Pearly for giving me this opportunity to see my words in print, an opportunity I thought I no longer have since returning to work full time.
Working full time is challenging but my colleagues make going to work and facing the challenges easier. We share food, jokes and gripes. How many times have they changed my mind about leaving, without a single spoken word, just by their kind actions and reassuring gestures. That’s why I am still able to hang on.
Lastly, I am grateful to have lost all the weight I have been trying to lose all these decades, despite running less and not dieting. I think I have never been this thin before and it’s weird hearing adjectives like skinny and thin being used on me. Of course I am also told I look haggard and tired and old, and that I looked better last time. My only complaint is it’s no point having this figure when I am dressed in my purple work uniform daily. Still, considering the two occasions that I last lost weight – having dengue and haemorrhage operation, I also hope I am not suffering from some terminal illness. Nah, I jest. I feel fit and healthy. That I think, is what I am most grateful of.