So often we write down our complaints, our bad experiences; we write about the people who made us unhappy today or the comment that you read that you felt was aimed directly at you.
Today, however, I want to write about the things and people I am thankful for. The good people often get taken for granted and their support is expected rather than appreciated. I’m not sure how I can thank some of these people but I can make a start by saying “thanks” here.
So here I go, it’s a long long list and I already know I will possibly miss some off the list.
“It’s not where you are in life, it’s who you have by your side that matters.”
My hubby and kids. Not only do I love these guys dearly, I also like them and spending time with them makes me happier than anything else.
My family and my in laws (well most of them, lol). My family and in laws accept my children with their challenges, they don’t judge them as inferior or lacking. Indeed some of them brag more about my children than I do.
My “real” friends – by real, I mean the friends I see, the friends I ring, the friends I have coffee with and the ones I share the occasional bottle of wine with. These are my physical friends! These are the ladies who I can turn to if I need to complain about the system, complain about my husband, complain about my weight or that I feel old, emotional, tired, angry! These friends are split into “my special friends” and “my mainstream friends” and each of those groups is essential to my sanity. My special friends understand the life I live, the system I have to work with and the hurdles we face. My mainstream friends understand that I need to just be “mum” sometimes and talk about normal parenting issues. They get that I need to just be “Debs” too.
I don’t keep them separate at all times – I do mix them up.
My virtual friends – These are the people I speak to online. I may never have met them or even know what they look like but these people are the ones that I get tips and advice from, the ones who can reassure me in the middle of the night when they too are awake with their child(ren), the ones who make me laugh out loud with their politically incorrect status updates or tweets, the ones who inspire me to carry on with the battle, the ones who let me know that I am not alone in the battle, the ones who share useful links with me so I can fight an informed battle, the ones who share their musical tastes with me (even if sometimes I question their taste in music), the ones who pass on make up and beauty tips, the ones who share fitness stories, the ones who recommend a book and the ones who I’ve known since I was at school who are still there to support me and mine even though some I haven’t seen for years.
In addition to these, I also have the people I have met because of my children – the people I deliver training with, for and to (some of whom I now class as “real friends”). These are the people who make me feel respected and one of those ladies has managed to change my life in so many ways by just giving me a chance. Thank you Julie!
There are also the people who work with my children and make such a difference – my children are blessed with some extraordinary teachers, carers, teaching assistants, escorts, drivers and voluntary staff. My children are all realising their potential now but this is only after fighting the system and the local authority to get my children into the best provision for them and not for the LA’s budget.
So as you can see, I have many reasons to be thankful. Yes, the system is not fit for purpose. Yes, being a mum is hard work. Yes, being a mum to children with additional needs or disabilities is really hard work. Yes, being a wife brings its own challenges. Yes, having to change your life’s goals and aims is often heart breaking but if you look around you, there will always be something or someone to be thankful for. Something or someone who gets you through the day.
So take the time to say “thank you” to those people. Just a quick text, email, status update, tweet, IM or be radical and pick up the phone. You will feel so much better for it and so will they.
Or perhaps, just post a comment here and tell me what or who you’re thankful for. Go on, I’d love to hear.