Reverb10 – Dec 14 -Appreciate

What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?
Author: Victoria Klein)

This year I’ve learned to appreciate where I am.

At its most fundamental level, I’m appreciating my self, and my body, and the best way to show gratitude for both is to look after them.

Looking after my mental well-being means getting enough sleep, not over-indulging with alcohol, and – perhaps even more importantly – disengaging from toxic situations and people. When it’s been impossible to do the latter, I’ve faced my anger or my distress head on, and worked through it. Well, most of the time – it’s not always easy and it’s often ongoing, but you do your best, don’t you?

Looking after my body has led me to stop criticising it so much, and being grateful – despite its limitations – for what it can still do. True, my days of dancing until 4am in vertiginous heels are undoubtedly behind me, and it’s unlikely that I’ll ever ice skate again. But you know what? if I’m honest I’d rather wear shoes you can run away fast in, and I haven’t skated since I was about eighteen. I can still do everything I need to do, and I can still do it by myself, even if lighting the oven involves some undignified moves as I haul myself upright again.

I’m appreciating my home – for being home: the place where my girlfriend, my son, and and my cats are. The place I always look forward to getting back to when I go away. The place where being me is easy. This house is tiny, really, and we plan to buy a house of our own in the next year, but it’s ours, and we like it.

This is my study: I always dreamed of having a room of my own just to write in, and feel terribly spoiled – and blessed – to have this space. My girlfriend recycled parts of my son’s old bed to make the desk, which I share with Ming, my amputee Chinese hamster. My shelves and walls are full of treasures and photos of people I love.

Looking outwards even further, appreciating where I am has meant enjoying the town where I live. Moving here was a conscious choice for me, not a stop-gap solution. I like that it’s geographically quite isolated, and can seem a bit bleak and lacking. I like all that; I like that this forces people to make their own entertainment, forge their own identities and develop their own culture: all that seems very, very healthy to me.

And it’s beautiful here. On a clear day the view to the North stretches all the way up to the Lleyn peninsula, as the two ends of the bay curve towards each other, seeming almost to meet. I like the beach in winter, when it’s cold and there are two or maybe three other people – and their dogs!- down there, all of us muffled up against the cold and breathing greedy lungfuls of the icy sea air.

I am grateful for where I am.

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4 Comments

  1. I left my comment on the wrong post- but your tree, it’s lovely too! That’s what I’m doing today- laundry and tree decorating!

    Reply
  2. Hi! You left a comment on my blog on my post about the big green truck and letting go of prejudice, and I really appreciated it. Spent my lunchtime reading down your blog. Thanks for sharing.
    Sarah

    Reply
    • I enjoyed reading your post – prejudice is one of things which seems to sneak into your psyche under the radar – i know sometimes I have a tough job working out how these ideas get into my head when I make out I’m so open-minded. It’s always good to learn about other people’s perspectives.
      Thanks for your comment,
      Emma

      Reply

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