On gratitude: The things we often take for granted.4 min read
I spend my life in a state of not-satisfied, not because I’m not content, but because I am afraid of getting comfortable. I’m always working. Nothing is ever good enough. My best work is ahead of me still. There’s still more to be done. But I am very grateful. Always grateful.
This blog post is to remind you, and myself, that there is always work to be done, and there’s always time to stop and appreciate the world we live in.
I spent nearly two years working at a company here in the UK and I noticed a key difference with life in the Caribbean and life here. People here are so fixated on lifestyle, that they forget the life they are living. People here are generally unhappy and ungrateful. Trinis are the first to tell someone they are ungrateful when things aren’t going their way; it’s nearly akin to swearing at them. But in retrospect, Trinis are grateful for life inherently. I’m not talking about the waking up every morning and thanking God for waking up and all that. I’m talking about the culture there, supports actual living. Yes, it’s hard there, but it’s hard everywhere. And I wasn’t as appreciative of the opportunity to go for a bake and shark at Maracas bay on a Thursday afternoon when I was having a creative block. We’re always looking elsewhere, somewhere far off, but never at where we actually are.
I’ve spoken about gratitude a few times on this blog. Gratitude is missing from our lives. Gratitude brings peace, and inner happiness. It brings a calm that’s unique to being grateful. That’s why I focus on it so much. I’m constantly reminding myself of how lucky I am, about the little things that I might have experienced that others may never because of the choices I have made to lead me right here, right now, writing this blog.
Yes, the work is never done. It’s never good enough. But when I stop to look around, I find a simple moment of peace. A peace that’s unique and calming.
I have not had it easy, although many would claim that I have landed on my feet. Health issues, migration issues, business falling apart, sexual abuse, losing everything twice, and more recently a car crash and then moving again, leaving my job and opening another business to support my health. It’s been a long decade. I am not one to hold onto the past, but I do look back to remind myself that I’ve done well, and I’m in a safe place and everything is as good as I can make it in this precise moment. You learn things from your past too, which is why I often write about my experiences, rather than just leave them in a dusty loft, forgotten and lost.
Today when I look around, I have a life that most people aspire to. I work for myself, I live in a house made for a writer surrounded by forest, I always have healthy home cooked food on my table, I am surrounded by love and genuine support, and I have no financial pressures. I can do what I want, when I want. And that’s what all the sacrifice has been for. And I am so very grateful for it all. And I have the most amazing mother in law… which is very rare.
When I’m working, I normally lock myself in a room and just work until I’m ready to sleep. Now, I’m spending a lot more time outdoors, writing in the garden where words seem to flow more naturally. It’s something that many do not have the opportunity to do, and I’m grateful for it.
Given everything in my past, my mental health is surprisingly intact. I’ve learned how to deal with issues and not allow it to affect me or cripple me to the point where I cannot recognise the beauty of the life in front of me. I wish that for everyone: that they can recognise the beauty of life. I believe that’s the greatest gift of all, the gift of being able to see life’s beauty in the middle of a storm.