Today, I want to write about gratitude as this weekend has been tough. It’s now 1 week until we embark on the adventure of a lifetime and, my god, I can’t wait! However, with the pressure cooker that is work, house, responsibilities and planning, I ended up have a small, yet pretty messy breakdown on Sunday morning involving a whole load of tears, sniffles and generally feeling sorry for myself.
I’m fine now, in fact better than fine as I dusted myself off and after a few deep breaths and many cuddles from Leo, I was able to sit and think about why this happened. From deep thought and removing myself emotionally from the situation, I was able to realize the source was a cocktail of different elements.
I think sometimes in life we overwhelm ourselves with taking on too many tasks. I know I do, and I feel we are all guilty of this at some point. I have completely taken the lead of planning everything as I work from home, for no other reason than I have the ability to not only work but also plan, search and book elements of our trip. Over the weekend one of the Airlines that we booked (and spent quite a considerable amount of money with), went bust. Yup, BUST!! Financial 'goddamn' crisis, bust! So, long story short we have lost all the money spent these flights. JUST.LIKE.THAT…GONE. This was breaking point number 1.
Number 2 came shortly after when Student loans UK decided to really mess me around by informing me the evidence that I sent them to prove I will be traveling for the next year wasn’t good enough for their records - (I literally sent my itinerary, all flight confirmation, bank statements of my savings and my letter of resignation from my job full time) – C’mon!! Super frustrating! It's difficult as it living on the other side of the world with a massive time difference, but my god, they don't make things easy. These 2 elements along with the stress of generally packing up our entire lives, deciding what we keep, what we let go and quite honestly the fact I am scared shitless of what’s to come, resulted in a burn out and a mini break down - YAAAAY!
So, what did I do? GOT OVER IT! And that is exactly what I did. Do I have a roof over my head? YES. Do I have clean water and food in the cupboard? YES. Am I planning a 12 month round the trip because I have the funds to do so? YES. YES. YES. After compartmentalizing all the amazing aspects of my life, I knew I needed to pull it together and start being grateful for everything I have.
“a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power”
Gratitude is described in many ways, but to put it very simply, it’s an appreciating of what you have in your life. Once I could acknowledge all the goodness in my life, it made me say YES to life and no to all the negative’s that my mindset was stuck on. I was able to affirm that all in all, life is good, and it has elements that make it not just worth living, but rich in texture and detail. I have been in tricky situations before, and did I survive and thrive through them? YES.I.DID - so there is no reason that I can't do it again based on minor set backs.
I then was able to embrace this overwhelming feeling of gratitude not just for myself but for those around me. Leo – for supporting me always and being there when I need a cuddle / realistic bring me back to down earth chat and my parents who I called when I panicked, and they calmed me down. This allowed me to channel all the other sources of goodness that lie outside of myself. At this stage, I could recognize not only the greatness in our lives, but who is to thank for it, and who has made sacrifices so that we can be happy.
I instantly felt better, less stressed and had clarity for the first time in weeks!! So, overall practicing gratitude daily is worth it, it has to be...there are literally no negatives from this practice, so I urge you when you are feeling down, sad and a bit low to sit back and be grateful for all you have.
“…adults who feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics.” – Melinda Beck
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!