I have a funny relationship with the word “gratitude”. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because I don’t tend to use it? I’d more likely say; I’m “thankful” or “appreciative” or “touched” or “thrilled”. Maybe it’s because it feels a bit formal and I’m particularly informal? Maybe it’s just because I’ve been spending too much of my time recently moaning, groaning and grumbling than feeling grateful. My old self would always be looking around for the good stuff but lately I’m having to remind myself to stop, see and appreciate what’s right in front of my nose. I’m afraid I’ve been far more grumbly and grouchy this past year than grateful.

Our move from the UK back to New Zealand has been hard work. Not just physically but emotionally too. I knew it would be hard because we’ve moved countries before, but this time it’s felt so final and I’m not sure I was entirely ready for that. I have been trying hard to look for the positives and get stuck in to my new life but I’ve really missed my friends and my Cambridge life and it’s been a very slow process readjusting and letting go. Unfortunately, over this past year, many days and even weeks have gone by when I’ve not felt anything resembling gratitude, appreciation or thankfulness.

Although I’m improving, every now and then I’ll still look wistfully over my shoulder at my old life and compare it to my new one. I’m trying not to say it aloud because that is super annoying to everyone else but to be honest, it’s getting a little tedious even for me now and I’m ready to shake off the funk. I’ve been trying to cultivate more good feelings and I’ve actually been looking around me and listing things that I’m feeling thankful for because I’m determined to get over this natural grieving as quickly as I can. It definitely helps that there are loads of things to be happy about, and when I stop to notice them I feel good.

  • Living in the countryside is gorgeous. It’s spacious and green and the air is fresh;
  • My family is close by;
  • Chickens are fun;
  • New Zealand Summer’s are amazing;
  • The growing yarn scene here is exciting;
  • There are lots of fantastic people doing interesting, creative and off-beat things in New Zealand. You just have to hunt them out – luckily I’ve already found some of them;
  • Someone breeds alpacas on my street and soon I’m going to pluck up the courage to knock on their door;
  • I can grow veggies all year round;
  • There’s a stand of beautiful autumnal golden and orange trees about to lose their leaves at the end of my street and I love seeing the change of seasons in them;
  • My kids are barefoot and happy.

It’s a good list. I’m sure I’ll find a few more things tomorrow.

I’m also fond of showing that I’m thankful by giving or doing something for someone, especially when they’re not expecting it.

This past few days I’ve been receiving lots of tips and suggestions for washing fibre from Instagram and Facebook. I love that about the internet, there is so much collective experience and it’s available right at your fingertips. I’m really appreciating the advice and so far I’ve tried three different ways to wash various pieces of the suffolk fleece from my friend’s sheep. I’m amazed at how white and fluffy it’s becoming! This same friend gave me an old spinning wheel a while ago too and I’ve been plotting a way to say thank you to her for her lovely gifts.

My plan is to prepare and spin the fibre on her wheel (assuming I can get it working!) and then knit her a hat with the wool. It might be a while before I get everything done (I still need to figure out carding …) but I’m really looking forward to giving it to her and saying thank you.

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This post is the last in the Love Your Blog Challenge launched by Kate from A Playful Day. If you fancy seeing what other people have written for this week’s theme “gratitude” you can see them here. xxx

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