Three good things that happened yesterday:
1. Hattie came round for afternoon film watching- we watched Water for Elephants which was a good Sunday watch.
2. I cleaned the hallway which looks better!
3. I made a really nice omelette.
4. I wanted some extra pillows and found some in a cupboard.
Three good things that happened today:
1.I had a good chat with Charlotte about The Only Way is Essex. I love a bit of nouveau rich drama, I cant be highbrow all the time!
2.I bought fondant fancies.

3. I watched the first of the new series of Misfits, followed by Gossip Girl.

Today I am thankful for my Dad. I made no other plans for today except for hanging out with him, but whilst I had forgotten that I’d said we would go to Sports Direct to sort out Gambia clothing, my Dad had not. And now I have several pairs of what he assures me are ‘nice and cool’ shorts/ ‘quarter pants’; some walking shoes ‘that give you some good grip when you go to Africa’; and some socks. And after we went back to his and had a nice cup of tea and biscuits.

I am aware that I have not blogged for the last few days and need to make up for it now before the weekend zips past.

On Thursday I went to a recording of the Graham Norton Show courtesy of Devina. It was a really nice treat so I am thankful for friends like Devina that hook me up. 🙂

Last night I had a lovely meal with Devina and friends and it was a nice, chilled end to the working week. I was also very thankful last night when I spotted a small shelving unit at the bottom of the stairs to my flats. I have recently changed my room around and needed a bedside table- and voilĂ , now I have one. I think I might make it into a mini project and paint it maybe.

You know those days when you have a good day and then something a bit rubbish happens and your previously okay mood sinks a bit? And then you wake up the next day feeling tired and frustrated. Yesterday was one of those days. So this morning I packed The Power as an antidote and started reading the section on relationships. The book argues that we must give out love to all of those around us, even enemies so that we can receive love back to us. It suggested thinking about things that we love/ loved about those that we are annoyed with/ hateful towards and so generate good feeling towards that person and therefore create love for ourselves and that person. Sorry if this isn’t particularly coherent. 

I struggled with this notion it has to be said. I thought of someone that is annoying me quite a lot (my neighbour that complains about our flat) and I tried to come up with things that I loved/ liked about them but struggled. First I thought ‘Well do I feel safer knowing he is below?’, and no I don’t, then I thought ‘Well if he can hear all he says he can hear then if there was a burglary/ struggle, he definitely would hear’. Not exactly the most positive analysis. Hmmmm.

So anyway I came home and was feeling a bit bleurgh so I decided to have a bit of ‘me’ time, switched on my computer and the LSE blog post on education & social mobility caught my eye; which led me an hour later to the Action for Happiness website.  I found there an action plan that I am going start part of when I feel less frustrated and grumpy; but most importantly one of their suggestions was to find three good things everyday. So for you regular readers, on the days when I feel mean and ungrateful and woefully human, I will instead write three good things that have happened to me.

1. This morning I saw a pair of jays. They were gathering something from the top of the Ivy/ bushes and it was the flash of bright blue that caught my eye. I like seeing new wildlife, it makes me feel like I’m having an Enid Blyton moment. (Aside: When I was in the Chilterns I also saw a pair of these bad boys- yes Green Woodpeckers- it was like seeing some birds of paradise.)

2. I finally decided to book a class at The School of Life- thank you Hattie & Ed!

3. Its Wednesday and therefore a Stylist day.

Argh! I didn’t blog yesterday and I am now quite tired and not entirely sure what I was grateful for… One thing stands out, the power of positive thinking from The Power which led me to setting up all the equipment on time for a workshop- then lots of people turned up for the workshop and I was really pleased.

Today I really enjoyed the journey to a meeting, seeing East London slowly waking up and gearing up for the day; my enjoyment was compounded by not being squashed on the tube! Such luxury. I am also thankful that I get to meet young people that are on the brink of their university futures and can give them advice and just have a laugh with them. I also got a lovely voicemail from my friend about how much she is enjoying the blog and reminding me of what a positive thing it is. I was touched by her message and it is lovely to get feedback from people, especially when all the feedback has been positive.

Oh my, oh my, what an exciting weekend it has been.
On Friday I was thankful for spending time with old friends, being able to do things simply; and recieving a compliment from a stranger in the loos about the dress I was wearing. 🙂 Also I got a lovely text from a friend about this blog which was really nice.
Yesterday I had a great time hosting the Libra birthday bash,  we drank, we danced and made merry until the early hours. I was really grateful to DJ FrenchKiss who saved the day in more ways than one. But I got a really warm feeling when two friends that came last night but didn’t know many of my other friends separately commented on how lovely my friends were and what a great atmosphere they created. I love all my friends and know they are fantastic but it was really nice to hear. Helped me to understand some more that I am surrounded by friends that are good people and therefore I must be nice as well to have all these good people around me. I also thought it was sweet that my younger sister came along with her friends and they had a good time.
Today I was most grateful for Magda bringing me half a Tesco’s finest lasagne for my breakfast, and even better it was brought to me in bed as well; Ed brought his camera along last night and we went through all the photo’s this morning; between us we took some very good, and very funny pictures and lastly I am grateful to it being a Sunday and being able to watch Gossip Girl & TOWIE.

Mostly  though I am grateful for all the fantastic, lovely people I have in my life.

So I am in a much more chirpy mood this evening and I am grateful for BIG Cheetham hugs this morning; and the amazing team work of Charlotte, Hannah & Emily which meant that I met a target in record time. I am grateful for the hard work of our work experience student who helped me to prep materials for 130 students. I am happy that I borrowed from the library The Elfstones of Shannara and that I started to read it on the way home. Despite my tiredness I could feel that 24 year old tug pulling me into the story, I love it when I get that feeling, I hope it lasts. That’s all for this evening folks.

Above is a picture of me in the beautiful Chiltern countryside at the weekend. And because I know Charlotte will love this, I’ll also add the below:

Today I am finding it hard to blog. The point of this blog is to recognise all the good things in my life; actively cultivate the feeling of gratefulness, which will then lead to greater happiness as I acknowledge all the fantastic things in my life. And I have been blogging conscientiously, actively thinking about what has been good about each day and writing it for you good people and myself.
Yesterday I felt satisfied because I stayed behind after work to make a close friend a present. I felt unselfish and full of the satisfaction that comes from altruistically doing something for someone else. I felt grateful for the realisation that I am not wholly selfish; that I was motivated by love for someone else.
And so we come to today. I have not recieved any gifts or massive realisations to  challenge my perception of a ok, bit boring, slightly stressful day so I don’t feel as if I have much to be grateful for. I feel as if I should feel more grateful for the little nice things that have happened today such as a friend texting me to say how much she loves my blog (thanks, C!); that another new friend sent me some pictures of our walk at the weekend; that I got some Year 12 students thinking about how to include their passions in their extra curricular activities; that my friend loves their leaving present; that I have a great friend in Magda my housemate; that I have people that listen and care about my well being at work; that I am going to Gambia in less than a month. Ok so maybe things are not that bad if I think of the bigger picture. One slightly boring day does not mean that tomorrow will be the same. I hope!

Le Weekend and Monday to boot!

I spent a lovely day hanging out with Rachael & Sam: we ate cake; went shopping; Rachael cooked us tea (fajita’s for you food lovers); and we hung out in her front room watching X factor & TOWIE.  What was I grateful for? I was grateful to be able to hang out with friends that I could watch low brow tv and not be judged for it! I’m not sure that being reassured that I am not the only singleton in the world is in the ethos of this blog but seeing as both Rachael and Sam are both lovely, interesting, good looking, intelligent and also single, means that I am not exactly as much as an anomaly as I sometimes feel.

I had a lovely, lovely Sunday. Two things stand out:

Firstly the feeling of being able to do a seat drop on the trampoline- unexpected agility from me and it was nice to have finally mastered it. Not to mention being the only adult present that could!

Secondly swinging on a swing with the sun on my face and a bright blue sky above me. Beautiful.

I could mention the beautiful countryside, eating sweet blackberries from the bush and eating a fantastic meal of cuttlefish with friends but then I would be labouring my point of how lovely a sunday it was.

I am grateful for friends that listen and friends that buy me books. I was at times feeling a little bit sorry for myself / angry today and I am very lucky to have lovely friends like Hannah to talk to. Also I started reading The Power on the way home which cheered me up and got me feeling more optimistic. So thank you Devina. You clearly know me better than I know myself!

So last night I was in the mood to drink more than I should and was determined not to spend an evening at home alone, so I called around my stalwart sociable friends Sam and Livia to see if they fancied a night drinking. Sam was busy but Livia, welcomed me to hers with open arms as always with the promise of food and good company. So I headed off to Kentish Town and I had a really lovely evening, which with hindsight was what I needed more than copious amounts of alcohol.

It is hard to put into words how spending time with certain people is an absolute tonic in itself. We talked about many things including feminist book club for which I have two new members on board. There was no rush, we just took our time, ate, drank, talked lots about different things and we did end up going out in the end for a few drinks and a dance and this morning I felt calm and relaxed. So I am thankful to having wonderful friends like Livia who unconsciously provide succour when I don’t even realise that I need it.