Yesterday was Thanksgiving for my US and Canadian friends and I’m proud to write that a large part of my readership are now actually based in America. I’ve always had an affinity with Americans, my closest friends at Uni were from LA, New York and Chicago and I miss them all madly (thank goodness for FB and the rare London or LA get together).
I always clicked with the American ethos, that ‘dream big, be nice, American way’ so prevalent in NY and LA. I spent some time in LA as a filmmaker too and it’s such a productive, exciting city, definitely somewhere I could us all settling perhaps some day…
Anyway, Thanksgiving really got me thinking about everything I’m grateful for, I never stop feeling thankful to be honest, always trying to remember to appreciate the important things in life-good health and happiness for my family and I, and the things that truly matter.
It’s so important to stop even for a minute in the busy lives we lead and take stock of how lucky so many of us really are.
So here’s the TOP 5 things I’m thankful for-would love to read yours too:
1. Good Health
Losing two friends this year was an utter and complete shock and made me fully appreciate that without health, we have nothing.
I’ve radically changed my own diet and my family’s too (aiding allergies), bidding goodbye to wheat, cow’s dairy and filling our diet with even more fish, pulses, oats, seasonal fruit, vegetables and lots of dark chocolate of course with the odd treat too for good measure.
We all feel better than ever and I’ve never slept so well (despite the interruptions from a teething toddler)!
My beautiful boys, Oliver and Alexander and my husband Peter, are the centre of my life.
I’m so thankful too, to my folks and caring brother, ‘Uncle Solos’ whom I’m so close with and glad we all live close to one another at just 15 minutes away in the car!
I had Oliver in London and moved back to Leeds when he was 12 months old and there’s nothing like the emotional and physical support my family provide.
I appreciate my own parents so much more now I’m a mother myself.
…Seeing the boys’ strong bond with their grandparents too is so special and I only wish Peter’s parents weren’t so far away in South Africa.
… I must add that without my parents helping with childcare too, I simply couldn’t have the career or lead lifestyle that we do. Alexander isn’t at nursery yet and my Mum is my Nanny. My Dad runs 4 restaurants yet still found the time yesterday to drive me to Bolton for a Press Day.
I truly realise how lucky I am to have them in my life.
Thanks Mum and Dad (my most loyal readers, well Mum is anyway, Dad likes to pick at typos and seems to divert to the Arsenal website most days-Daaad)!
Huge thank you also to Peter, my husband and best friend for all his love and support and of course for all the stunning photographs he tirelessly takes and never complains about, for my two blogs. What a guy!
3. A Job I Love
It’s always been important to me to do a job I’m truly passionate about. As a busy filmmaker pre-kids, I never thought I’d ever change careers but now can’t imagine not being a blogger. I love directing but it just doesn’t work around my young family and this here does and it stimulates and rewards me as much as directing, did.
I’ve been a full time professional blogger over the last few years and Honest Mum along with my style blog, really is a dream job, I get to write every single day, all day, I’m my own editor so I’m in control of the content and I work with brands and clients I value and respect.
I can work around my children and despite the fact that being my own boss can be stressful (especially when deadlines pile up) I’m still be there for my kids and am not missing out. I really couldn’t ask for more.
4. The Best of Both Worlds
I love the city but live just outside Leeds overlooking the open countryside and find getting out for fresh air, surrounded by tress in pretty Yorkshire, delights and revives us all. I’m in London a fair bit with work too for my Big Smoke fix but I adore how cosmopolitan Leeds is, with Manchester close by too, so really have the best of both worlds here. I’m one lucky lady.
5. Great Friends
Last but not least, I am indebted to my network of amazing friends, some mates I’ve known all my life, other new, great friendships via Twitter and blogging that mean the absolute world to me. Strong women (and men) who rock my online and offline world!
Bit weird but I’m going to be kind to myself, this is a case in point so I thought I’d state I’m pretty proud of who I am and constantly becoming, as life experience and new friendships help me to evolve.
Realising that we are but humans and can mess up, it’s important to say sorry but also to forgive ourselves our imperfections and forgive others. Grudges serve no purpose. Always try and empathise with other and be mindful but if you really don’t get on with someone or like how you’ve been treated, move on, life is short, fill it with people that make it a pleasure!
I always want to be the best version of myself (granted PMT week can be tough-going) but I fully realise I’m not a superwoman and am simply just trying my best in all areas of my life. Failure is A-OK and it matters, it provides an opportunity to learn and keep learning. Always.
I also try and combat guilt, not letting it in, that most pointless of emotions, and accept it’s OK to be who exactly who I am, to not apologise or try to change myself to fit others’ expectations (although I’m always trying to grow and improve) and to accept that as I don’t always ‘get’ others, not everyone will ‘get’ me either and that’s fine.
I’m just me and I’m happy in my own skin.
Wow it’s taken me to age 34 to truly get here and let me tell you, it feels fabulous, it really does!
So tell me, what are you thankful for?!