Happy New Year!

Gratitude is the order of the day here in Cumbria, and why? Because if you can’t let go of the nasties and the irritations of the previous year, how will you have room for the goodies that are due to come in 2015?

2014  has not been the easiest year in either personal or professional terms for me; however, when there were highs, they were Everest-high! (You know who you are!) and I guess the lows serve to remind us of why the highs are so wonderful when they come.

I already keep a ‘gratitude diary’ – a little book that the British Red Cross put through my door serves a worthy purpose – and for me, filling this out at the end of each day ensures that I actively appreciate what I have and what others do for me. At the very least, it means I don’t take the little things for granted, and when it comes to the big things, I can sit and think about them and what it means to be so lucky. Maybe that sounds trite, but I’m no more spiritual enlightened than anyone else; just aware of my inadequacies, and determined to make the most of what I’ve got.

I’ve also realised a few things about myself that I am grateful for (and some that I’m not grateful for, but at least I can work on them):

1. No-body bullies me. I’m easily bullied initially, because I seek to please others, but when it comes to unfairness, I kick out, albeit belatedly. Anyone who traps me in a corner has to duck the flailing arms and the yelling.

2. Unfairness PISSES ME OFF. Injustice and unfairness are the cornerstones of legal systems, political systems, religious systems, and pretty much any other kind of systematic. And deep inside of me, there’s a Higher Self that rails against injustice and wants to set things right.

3. Love runs deep, and there are many different types of love, each one as valid as another. There’s the love of mother and daughter; and this is another year where I am a little sorry that I only get to experience that love in one direction – but grateful that I can. There’s the love felt for past relationships that have run their course, and the new love felt with floods of joy and terror, when you fall in love like a teenager. There’s love for the pets and animals in our lives, and love for the people who are prepared to give a little of themselves to see something bigger than all of us take place. There’s so much love in the world, and it’s so sad when there are people out there who are living without it.

4. And then there’s determination. That stubborn refusal to give in to the hardships, because if you always give in and stop, there might never be another chance. A very good friend of mine says ‘you make your own luck’ and if you work hard, and you produce work from the heart (and not the bank balance), it is true. But you  have to push yourself, not just keep trogging on with the same old, same old.

5. As a copywriter, I get to be there at the beginning of many start-up businesses and websites, and this is an unexpected bonus of the job. Because when there are so many people working hard to produce things of which they are seriously proud, especially in bleak economic times, it’s a real inspiration. And inspiration is where it’s at when it comes to writing.

And finally …

If you always do what’s expected of you, you’ll never overachieve.

Roll on, 2015, and show us what you’ve got!

And just for random, here’s a couple of comparison pictures for the waterfall near where I live. The first is Stenkrith as it is after a serious rainfall. The second is Stenkrith more full than I’ve ever seen it, following about 2-3 days of constant rain. It’s way more impressive when you’re standing on the bridge opposite, but hey, you can surely grab some of its atmosphere from these pictures and shove it in your energy for the new year!stenkrith high

Full up Stenkrith