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November: a month in which to give thanks

November: a month in which to give thanks

I find myself sitting on my sofa wondering where on earth the past ten months have gone. This year seems to have flown by and, before we know it, the festivities will be upon us.

So, November is seen by many as a month in which to reflect upon life and to give thanks for everything we have. Today’s blog post sees me evaluating my life and giving thanks for everything I am lucky to have… from the very minute to the enormous things.

My family

My life revolves around my beautiful girls. For someone who thought they would never have kids, having two wonderful girls (who can also be incredibly challenging at times too!) is such a joy. Even when Little gets so frustrated and tired that she lashes out, I know that to have these experiences, however difficult they may be in the moment, is something that others would kill for. In addition to my daughters, I am also lucky enough to have my partner’s three wonderful children as part of my life. 

My parents moved from their lifelong home of North Yorkshire to be nearer to me and my girls a couple of years ago. They adore their granddaughters and are a real help. Imagine sacrificing the only life you’ve ever known to start again in your 70s. That’s real dedication and love right there. 

My partner

Yes… the man I am always gushing about on social media because I am so proud of him and his amazing achievements. I am incredibly lucky to have Colin in my life. Fate intervened in our lives and pushed us together (this is a huge story in itself, but not one I am ready to tell yet… maybe in ten years!). From our blossoming friendship at the start to now, settled and living together, facing the world together. You know the ‘90s Space song ‘You and Me Vs the World’? That’s sort of us… except he didn’t meet me hanging knickers on the line and we certainly won’t be doing an armed robbery anytime soon. However, our relationship certainly is strong and we continue to battle on a daily basis, fighting for us.

My home

Paying the mortgage can be a challenge from time to time, but I know many people who aren’t in the position of having a stable roof over their heads. I have a home. Yes, people might think it’s small (I heard a trick or treater refer to it as ‘that small house’), but it meets our needs. It allows us to live in comfort – warm, dry, fed. It is also the place in which we laugh, smile, cry and think. 

My career

I have a permanent job. How many people can’t say that right now? I work two days a week as a teacher. In addition to that, I am a private tutor and writer. I absolutely adore all aspects of my working life and am thankful that I can make ends meet with my various roles. Job satisfaction and a great bunch of colleagues are certainly things for which I am grateful. 

Friends

I’m not surrounded by an enormous number of friends. Quite the opposite, in fact, but I know exactly who is there for me and who is still on my Facebook friends list because they want to be nosey! I have been very lucky in life and my best friend from childhood and back home in North Yorkshire is still very much there for me and vice versa. Shared experiences can also create strong, unbreakable bonds and in my Norfolk bestie, that’s what we have. A chance message to a molar pregnancy Facebook page I was admin for from my now Norfolk bestie led us to realise I was supposed to be her eldest’s teacher and that we both attended the same Zumba class. We have been pretty much inseparable ever since. As well as my besties, I know I have others who will always have my back and who make my life better from having them in it. 

Music

I can’t imagine a life without music. Can you? Manic Street Preachers are my all-time favourite band with Shed Seven coming in a very close second. Music can change the path my day takes. If I wake up feeling crappy, sometimes a well-chosen album on the way to work can edit my outlook. Live music is my all-time favourite. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Manics and Shed Seven at gigs. I’d like whatever the number is to increase though as it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Food

Ok, so this is a challenging one. Following my discovery that I am intolerant to so many foods, my choices have been limited. However, with more and more allergies being discovered, food labels and restaurants are so much better at giving the right information and ensuring that the dialogue about precise ingredients is an honest one. While I may not be able to consume Dairy Milk anymore, the fact I can still have many different types of sweets is fantastic. Gluten-free Vegan desserts are a positive too. 

My education

Without my education at university, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I finally got my master’s degree in education back in 2018. Whoop whoop! The University of Hull moulded me somewhat into who I am today, so I must be thankful for my Hull days and the support I received. 

WiFi

Sometimes, I feel like I would love to return to simpler times. Others, I am grateful for technological advances. Today must be a good day as I am adding WiFi to my list of things for which I am thankful! The ability to switch it off at home is a bonus though as part of behaviour management… 

Common People

This really links back to music, but is more than that. Common People is a ‘90s club night that usually features a Britpop legend on the decks; the perfect opportunity to grab some much-needed me-time. I reviewed the night for their Facebook page and explained that it allows me to get in a time machine and blast myself back to the era I loved most in my life. The ‘90s were incredible for music, but independent films and an indie fashion sense were amazing too. I am still an enormous fan of Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and Small Faces (yes, there is a theme there!). 

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