It’s time once again for my monthly gratitude post, one of my favourite times in the month. It’s been an interesting month. My health is not in the best condition at the moment, I’m often exhausted and I’ve been feeling low constantly. Still, I am grateful and I’d like to share some of the things I’m appreciating this month with you.
I’m grateful for salaah, first and foremost. I’ve found it difficult to find peace and comfort in salaah – I would pray and I would feel good about the accomplishment in it in those first difficult days but it was a struggle. It’s often still a struggle but this month, I’ve been feeling that beautiful peace. It doesn’t last and it can be quite easily destroyed but it’s there. I can’t accurately describe how comforting it is to have an escape like salaah. Everything else begins to go away in those moments, especially when my forehead is touching the ground. Alhamdulilah for salaah.
I’m grateful for challenging new ways to stretch my creative muscles. I’ve been scripting and performing a radio show once a week for the past month and it’s difficult in an entirely different way to anything I’ve done before. Writing sketches and analyzing them is not entirely new to me but performing sure is. The nerves haven’t yet gone away and I don’t know if they will any time soon but I’m having an incredible amount of fun no matter that this is new and I’ve been messing up as I try to experiment and grow.
I’m also grateful for patience. I’ve been complaining for the past few weeks that my cell phone’s screen is in several pretty pieces. The phone screen is now a pretty mosaic of little sharp shards of glass that would love to get stuck all over the place, fall, and be found by my feet. Oh, the joys. And yet, as I resist the urge to take out a phone contract that would make my life easier and yet be a poor financial decision, I find myself being forced to be patient. Yes, it would be a heck of a lot easier to get a new phone and move on with life. Yes, it would be less embarrassing to not be working with a screen that’s in places actually just internal circuitry which has been exposed. Yes, I need a phone to do a ton of things, including actual work. But, I’m going to wait and in the meantime, I’m going to look on the bright side.
I’m grateful for my health even though it’s not in the best condition. I feel sick almost every day and it seems I’m just getting used to this new normal. And yet, as scary as it is not to be able to breathe properly, as difficult as it is to feel pain in my throat so often – I am still a lot healthier than I could be. I can do everything I need to. Alhamdulilah for that, for not having to consider surgery so that I could cope with the demands placed upon me.
I’m grateful for independence, even though I don’t have it fully. All that that means is that what I do have is even more precious to me. I cook, clean, and take care of myself for the most part but there are things that I cannot do alone yet. I can’t drive for example (which is on its own a long story that we won’t get into) and so I take a lift club to work, friends often pick me up when we go out somewhere, and I ask my mother for lifts a lot as well. And then there’s Uber. Uber is the reason that I get to around 60% of the things that I want to attend and whenever I don’t have the convenience of booking myself a ride with a few clicks, I sorely miss it.
I like silver linings – I always have. My mind tends toward pessimism and so searching out the point of view opposite to the one I automatically think of is challenging yet surprisingly rewarding and even fun at times. The reason I look for things to be grateful for is because it does help. Looking on the bright side, counting blessings, searching for gratitude… Whatever you call it, it helps my mental state and eases the stress and tension from me for a little while. Doing this can’t fix everything, but it takes the edge off of despair and suddenly things seem a lot less bleak.
And the final thing for this month – I’m grateful for dreams. I’m not shy about the fact that I live a life that I love. I have problems but I live a beautiful, full life and that’s because I tried – and keep trying – to do the things that I’ve dreamt of. I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to be an editor. I want to do several other things still. I’m not going to pretend that the road was linear or that there haven’t been thousands of bad days and setbacks along the way, but I’m getting to do what I love. I get to go to work every day and read (it’s not always interesting and sometimes I want to tear my hair out, but that’s why it’s a job that I get paid for – because there are down sides and drawbacks to it). I get to sit down at a desk (or more usually on the floor) and tap into my imagination or share my opinions without feeling guilty that I’m being pulled away from doing something constructive (not that writing ever is anything but valuable, but when you’re not being paid for it, it can feel like indulgence – at least, it does to me). To not be surrounded by words the way I am… it would be very painful for me to bear. Alhamdulilah for dreams and for being able to achieve those dreams.
What are you grateful for? You needn’t tell me, but think about it and thank Allah.