Wow, I can’t believe it’s actually over! Today’s the last day of the Gratitude Challenge and what a crazy 30 days it has been. Below are all my links to the previous posts, just in case anyone wants to read them!
I’d like to thank Aurelie for the opportunity to take part in this challenge, it’s really helped me gain some perspective on days when nothing seems like it’s going to plan. I’m grateful for the challenge as it helped me remember all the positive things that are going on in my life and have happened in the past.
I’m also grateful for the boost in my stats this month as a result of the challenge! Maybe next month I’ll be able to post more frequently.
I know this is a short post, and apologies for that, however I am now getting back into the routine of my usual blog postings and so have to head off to prepare for these!
Thank you for taking the time to read through these posts,
Okay so firstly I’m going to apologise because I wrote this actually on the 24th but for whatever reason it never saved as either scheduled or published so now it’s late and I have to try and remember what I put here. Actually, anyone who has me on snapchat (which of course you all should – lifewktkinnes) will have seen me starting work on this post the other day!
Picking a favourite season is hard! I have different reasons for loving all four seasons and so I’m going to list them all below. Isn’t that what the gratitude challenge was about, taking time out to be grateful for things? So without further delay, may I present ‘The Four Seasons, and Why I Love Them’.
Spring. The birds start arriving home again, there’s a freshness in the air as everything begins to come back to life, trees begin to bud again and the weather, generally, is getting warmer. Days start getting slightly longer, Easter holidays and all the chocolate that comes with that! I say the weather is generally getting warmer as those two pictures are of the same part of Lisburn Train Station, taken just one week apart in March a few years back. Everyone starts to look towards summer and plan holidays, and lectures end to make way for exams then the summer holidays so there’s always plenty of time to sleep! As long as you revise when you aren’t sleeping of course. I’m particularly looking forward to spring 2017 because Rachel and I are flying off to Lanzarote for a few nights away together!
Ah summer… the hottest time of the year! Unless you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. Then summer is essentially just one or two days, and if the temperature goes above 17 degrees for 3 consecutive days we call it a heat wave. But this is the time of the year that we all go crazy for the sun and heat! Girls can walk around in shorts or dresses without worrying about tights, beachwear in your back garden becomes totally acceptable, you can lie around all day and no one will judge you if there’s sun in the sky! Family barbecues and road trips to the coast take up a lot of the holiday, and there’s plenty of time to relax, given that for most university students, summer is 16 weeks long! Unless of course you have resits… but even then it’s a chance to see your university friends any time! The days are long, people generally feel happier anyway, there seems to be a never ending supply of ice cream and ice lollies around, and of course the cocktails come out! Can never say no to a mojito, especially during the summer.
Ah Autumn… What isn’t there to love? I’ve actually seen quite a few posts over the last week on why people love autumn and the trend seems to be the same.
The colours begin to change to that of a warm fire. Trees everywhere become even more majestic in this stage, before shedding their leaves for us to jump in. There’s a slightly colder feel to the air, you know winter’s coming. Out come the comfy jumpers, the boots, and the jeans. Girls everywhere seem to embrace the fact that legs are now to be hidden for the next few months and the razor can have a bit of a break! Starbucks brings in the autumnal drinks – please don’t hate me but I’m not actually a fan of Starbucks – and everyone everywhere starts carrying a thermos of coffee or tea around. Our thick fluffy scarves make an appearance once again and we embrace our darker eye shadow and lipsticks. All this is before you take into account that schools and universities start back and so it’s the return of routine! An excuse to see your friends daily, what more could you ask for? Well I suppose it does help that my birthday is also in autumn! October hits and the shops fill with a mix of halloween and christmas decorations – what more do you need for a shopping spree? Halloween arrives with the excuse to welcome back your inner child and dress up with as much or as little makeup you want – whatever is scarier! Only a few days later and there’s Bonfire Night – a night that I both love and hate. While the loud bangs and whizzes of the fireworks terrifies me, I adore watching their bright lights illuminate the dark sky. The smell of the toffee apples and candyfloss, as well as writing your name in the air with sparklers… There’s nothing I love more than wrapping up in my thermals, hat, scarf and gloves, and going with friends to watch these spectacular lights, surrounded by little children with faces lit up in wonder. And as November draws to an end, we approach the most wonderful time of the year…
Winter kicks off with the best celebration of the year. Yes there are exams to contend with, but they don’t overshadow the excitement of Christmas. December 1st, the tree goes up and all the decorations come out of there boxes. Roads and houses are lit up in technicolor and children everywhere begin writing their letters to Santa. Everywhere is playing Christmas music, the air is cold, and there’s a general sense of excitement in shopping centres – hidden well behind the aggravated faces of parents who just want to get their shopping done and get home. Mulled wine and hot chocolates, Christmas Markets attract people of all ages and nationalities as we all prepare to celebrate together. Fires are lit, and families make an effort to see each other and spend time together, even if just to watch Home Alone for the umpteenth time as it’s shown on TV. Children everywhere begin to listen out for Santa and have their eyes peeled for any sign of snow. Christmas day arrives and families around the world try to put any arguments on hold until we all celebrate this time of year – some for religious reasons, others just because of the symbolism of peace, love and giving. Once Christmas ends, we all welcome in the new year with resolutions and parties! Once these are done, however, there’s the realisation that there’s another 358 days until the celebreations come around again and we have two of the longest, darkest, coldest months in our year. While February is technically the shortest month, it does seem to drag a little.
In conclusion, I would have to say that Autumn is my favourite season! Only because Christmas isn’t a season… Only 87 sleeps!
What are the reasons you want to say thank you to your body and why you accept it as it is.
Hmmm so I suppose I have to think about the things I like about my body for this post, don’t I? This may be slightly hard so please be patient!
I’m beginning to love and accept my hair – the weird colour it is naturally, the way half of it wants to be wavy and the rest sits poker straight. Yes, it’s always frizzy, but when I take time and effort over it, it actually looks okay.
I’ve actually always really liked my eyes, when they aren’t hidden behind my glasses, and when I’m not too tired to wear my contact lenses. They’re so blue and I love them.
….and that’s it…. whoops…. sorry this isn’t a longer post!
Oh dear, this is a tough one. I actually remember so many different things and yet I can never remember which was my favourite or why. I mean, there are so many different reasons for something to be your favourite, so how can you only pick one?
One of my favourite memories is actually from last December. My granny was turning 75 and everyone was going to there to celebrate except me. She was told she would just be going to my house for a dinner, mainly because she didn’t want a fuss. What she didn’t realised was that my aunt was flying over from Dundee to visit, and my granny’s sister and brother-in-law would be there for dinner too. So the day started out with her getting her birthday present from me and Rachel – couldn’t tell you now what it was we bought her. The first surprise came when I had a bunch of flowers delivered to her. She phoned me to tell me off and thank me. Her husband used to always buy her flowers on her birthday, and when he died my mum took over the tradition but I knew she’d forgotten to buy them that year.
I then phoned Mum to let her know that I’d spoken to Granny, and she asked me to phone Rachel and Dad who were at home preparing for dinner to make sure everything was going according to plan. It was then that I heard that my aunt’s flight was delayed and so I was to phone Granny’s sister and ask her to delay going to Granny’s for lunch (that was the cover so that Granny would be in over lunch when my aunt got there) and she had heard of the delay so we chatted a little bit before I went to my lecture.
After the lecture, I went straight to the airport and got on a flight to Belfast. I was there that early, they offered to swap me to an earlier flight but I declined as I knew I had a taxi booked from the airport to the house. Thankfully I didn’t get that flight, as one of the engines had a problem and they ended up having to divert to a different airport! Unfortunately, this resulted in my flight running late. I got to the airport to find my taxi had left without me and I had to wait for another one to show up. When I got in and explained to the driver what was happening, he was great about it. We chatted happily until we got to the nursing home opposite the back of my house – I wanted to be dropped off somewhere they wouldn’t notice me. He only charged me half of what the fair actually was, so I gave him three quarters of the fair and told him to keep the quarter as a Christmas tip.
As I started to creep up the front steps, being careful not to set off the motion detection singing Christmas Tree at the front door, my neighbour walked out of his front door and went to call out to me so I quickly shushed him and waved before sneakily opening the door and set down my bag in the hall.
I could hear everyone talking and laughing. From the sounds of things, Mum and Rachel were in the kitchen fussing over the starters and how they were taking longer than they expected them to. As I started up the hall, Mum came out of the kitchen so I made a quick dive onto the stairs to avoid being seen. She was standing telling everyone that dinner would be another 5 minutes, when I appeared behind her and simply said ‘Have you enough for one more?’
Everyone started shouting and talking at once, and there were hugs all around. I’d been speaking to them all at some stage in the day and they were all astounded that I was actually standing there in front of them! To be honest, I’m smiling just thinking about it. As all the adults calmed down, and started to ask what I was doing there, Rachel came in looking baffled, asking why she could hear my voice, and when she saw me she hit me with a tea towel – apparently I wasn’t allowed to surprise everyone without warning her first!
It was a great night, with plenty of food and drink for everyone. Let’s just say, it’s a 75th birthday Granny won’t forget any time soon!
Why are life lessons necessary and what are the good lessons you’ve learnt?
Life lessons are necessary to help us grow as people. There are so many things that have happened in my 21 years on this planet that have helped me become the person I am today, and it’s my opinion that you never stop learning and changing from the lessons you learn.
I’ve learnt that you don’t need to be good at everything to succeed. I mean, look at my blog. My English teacher liked to tell me he would be surprised if I actually passed either English Language or English Literature at GCSE – look at me now! Yes, okay, I’m studying a science subject at university, but the majority of my good marks come from my essay writing. I got As in my English GCSEs, and here I am writing a blog that over 200 people follow! Maybe 200 isn’t something to be overly proud of but its 199 people more than I ever expected to read it!
That brings me to another lesson I learnt – if someone doesn’t believe in you, work as hard as you possibly can to prove them wrong. If your hardest efforts still result in them being right, have a look at the previous lesson.
One lesson I’m still learning is to accept myself but we’ve heard enough of that recently. You don’t want to hear about that all again!
Be the friend you want someone else to be to you. This is one of the most important lessons to learn. If your friends don’t treat you with the respect you deserve, ask if it’s because of how you treat them, or if it’s time to leave those toxic people behind. It took me a long time but I managed it and now I’ve got some of the best friends I could ever imagine.
What aspects of the past are you now grateful for and why?
I will be honest and say there isn’t a part of my past I’m not grateful for. There are things that, at the time, I wished hadn’t happened, but I now can accept that these things have helped shape me into the person I am today.
I’m grateful for all the times my parents argued – it taught me love is never easy.
I’m grateful for the years of playing outside before I discovered computers and phones.
I’m grateful for all the friendships I’ve lost over the years – while it was hard losing those friends, I learnt who my true friends are.