Welcome to a weekly feature on my blog – Ben’s Zone. Written by husband… Ben. A foodie, coffee obsessed, ex-smoking, ex-drinking and Ridgeback loving Dad. Who is also seriously into his fitness. You can find him on the blog (most) Sundays. Enjoy 🙂
Five Things I’m Grateful for this Week
I’ve blogged before about how important I believe gratitude is and this year the overall theme of the blog centres around gratitude with my wife’s gratitude challenge, so this week I’m going to share 5 things for which I feel grateful. All of them are mundane, but that’s the joy of life for me, the mundane, day to day aspects of it are things for which I feel an immense sense of gratitude and peace. In my younger days my life seemed to reel from one drama to the next (some real, some imagined) and it’s not like that any more. Instead I have a relatively peaceful, if busy life and I find a deep sense of contentment in the small things that I experience on a day to day basis.
1. Walking my Children to School
I could focus on the travel I do with my job. Two week stints away from a young family can be tough, if also exciting, but instead I like to think about the times when I am not travelling. On those days (which are the majority) I get to walk to school with the kids and drop them off in their classroom. There are a few kids the same age in our street and so we all walk together. I’m not a hugely sociable person but that walk makes me feel part of a community, much like when I was growing up in Staffordshire, though no-one is driving cattle down the main street these days. It’s funny, I don’t even chat to the kids very much but I do get to experience their excitement about the day ahead and chat to the other parents as we walk. It’s one of my favourite parts of the day and I’m grateful I have a job that allows me to do that.
2. I have a Mentor
I have a friend called Keith who is my mentor. Keith isn’t my dad, he’s a friend though he is older than I am. When I’m not sure how to move forward in a situation in my life I call Keith. If he doesn’t get to the phone he’ll usually call me back. Keith listens to what I have to say, helps me analyse and make sense of situations I don’t understand and gives me good advice. I spent a long time never asking for help and trying to work everything out on my own, which is really stressful. It’s great to have someone I can call and talk to honestly about my thoughts and feelings. Men don’t talk about their emotions enough, I’m grateful I have someone to guide me in that respect.
3. I Know What I Like
For a long time in my life I had no idea what I enjoyed. Most of the time my interests were reflections of the people around me, if you liked something, I did too. I got to a point where I didn’t even know what music I liked to listen to any more. It took a long time but I found out who I am, what I enjoy and what interests me. It’s interesting to me to see what I kept up with (running, never saw that one coming) and what I discarded. Most of all though, I’m grateful for the knowledge that if I choose to do something, it’s because I have a genuine interest in that thing, not because my friends do.
4. I Sleep Well
Not all the time, obviously, everyone has the odd night of insomnia, I do probably every couple of months, but aside from that, for the most part I sleep pretty well. When I was younger being awake for days on end was an adventure, as I got older it went from being a pain in the neck to the single most unpleasant aspect of my life. These days, for the most part, I go to sleep pretty soon after turning my light out and I stay asleep throughout, bathroom breaks and children excepted. There’s no way to adequately explain how grateful I am for that.
5. Things Change, But at the Right Rate
It may or may not be evident, but I get bored quite easily. If I’m stuck in the same spot for too long then I start to get itchy feet. On the other hand too much change too quickly can be overwhelming. Right now I have stuff in my life that I find interesting (my job, right now is super interesting) but things are going at a manageable pace. I feel a sense of progress in my life, but not at an intensity that I need some respite. I might argue that our youngest son seems to be growing up rather too quickly, but that’s driven by nostalgia rather than anything real. Right now life seems to be moving in the right direction and at the right pace and I’m thankful for that.