Thank Goodness For Everything

Though as a bride to be I feel obliged to feel both ethereal and delirious with joy on a twenty four seven basis, the truth is I seem to be having a rather rubbish week. You see I never was good with obligation, because obligation my little chickadee's makes me feel contrary, and contraryness in this girls world is adding up to through the roof stress levels and a whole lot of stroppy tantrums and tears. (I look ugly when I cry).

There are various (hormonal) reasons for this particular strain of hysteria, not least because I'm getting a little finnicky about the the most minute of nuptial detail, but also because I'm worrying about Finn's new school, stressing about money (as always!), living in a house that has quite frankly never looked worse, finding it incredibly difficult to carve out enough time to work and today, waved goodbye to my sobbing little boy as he went of for five days holiday with my Mum and Dad. I miss him already.

So yes, I'm bonkers with it all. More bonkers than I suspect I have ever been because I am trying to juggle ninety three balls when I've never quite mastered juggling more than two. And readers I'm feeling irritated. Not grateful. And I'm hating myself for not counting my lucky stars and resenting every minute I have to spend doing what I don't want  to do, and only just managing to contain my urge to throw myself on the floor and have the screaming ab-dabs.

And I'm worried. And excited. And excited worry can get you into all kinds of stressful muddles. And make your Mum mad with you. And have you losing sleep and dreaming about the art exam you frequently convince yourself you forgot to attend during your sleepy life.

So here I am. Picking at the carcass of a chicken and flicking through the words of a certain Leah Dieterich: a woman who manages to say thanks to the universe for even the most minor, irritating, even occasionally awful moments in her life.  A woman who has got a lot to teach me about embracing the idiosyncratic details of our day and saying thank-you for all that each has to teach us. A woman who would take my hysteria and find within it's warbling walls, hope for tomorrow and lessons to be learned.

For me this is a new perspective on gratitude: that the good, the bad and the ugly are equal in terms of what they have to teach us. On her website and latterly in the cute little book she recently published, Leah writes short little notes to objects, people and moments as diverse as to the women of Paris...

Dear Women of Paris, Thanks for making me more excited about femininity. Your dirty hair, judicious use of make-up (or more often lack of make-up), affinity for baggy tops and high tops (although rarely together) make me realise there are ways to embrace my gender that I don't see in America. And that's exciting. Love, Leah.

A hangover headache...

Dear Headache, thanks for reminding me that it's unwise to drink whiskey in bed while reading right before going to sleep. It's not the best idea, and without your thumping, aching gift, I probably would do it more often. Which isn't good. Thanks again, Leah.

And (my favorite) to vulnerability...

Dear Vulnerability, Thanks for being something I hadn't really tried on before. I think you'll make a fine addition to the emotional closet. Best, Leah.

In turn funny, quirky and raw, each of Leah's gratitude notes remind us that we all have a lot to be grateful for: that each moment, meeting, emotion or feeling is a sign that we are alive and that  the universe has much to teach us if we are only willing to learn...

And so here I am: still pulling the flesh off a poor little chicken and still worrying about the where the next pound note is going to from, but alive, and healthy and blessed. Certain we can CHOOSE joy, unafraid of the temporary blues (seeing them merely as part of the process) and looking forward to walking down the aisle in the wedding dress I bought last week...

But that's tomorrow's story. For now all is well with the world. Go sleep, give thanks and look for the lessons won't you?

Always look for the lessons. I love you. Thank you for loving me back.x