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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Be Thankful


I've had one of those weeks where I've felt put upon, and a little anxious about different things. As the working week closed I felt jaded, a lot of it was beyond my control. It's been hard going, and it made me feel off course and grumpy too. My well laid plans were disrupted. Again.

What I did
  • Almost two hours of editing on the novel (over two VERY early mornings) 
  • Flash Fiction (written on a return train journey when I could of slept instead) 
  • Took part in #writingchat (discussed a subject, I know little about) 
  • Writers Group - Gave feedback to other writers on their manuscripts, and facilitated the Submissions Group
  • Pilates Personal Training session
  • Attended Slimming World session (even though I put weight on! I stayed for the whole session) 
  • Went out for a meal with a friend
  • Had a night out at Leicester Comedy Festival
  • Coffee with a writing buddy
  • Lunch with members of my writing group

For years my way of coping with my crazy mad schedule is to be grateful - grateful for all the good stuff that happens in among the difficult stuff. I simply turn my thinking around, and get rid of the negative stuff.

So when that little voice in my head shouts,  'You're rubbish at novel writing - give it up and admit it would be easier if you went back to short stories.' I take myself to one side and say, 'Okay so you're struggling - get some help. Talk to a writing buddy, enrol on a workshop to learn how to push through, or read one of your writing books and find something you can try.' I re-frame the problem. It's not me, it's the situation and that can be changed.

Tell someone you appreciate them

I've found that if you cultivate an atmosphere of thankfulness it spreads and grows. It really is amazing what a small thank you can do. If someone has given you their time, or helped you in some way when they didn't have to, then why not acknowledge what they've done for you. It'll make you feel good too.

Take it a step further and do something good for someone you don't know. Pay an act of kindness forward. If someone has mentored you with your writing, you probably can't repay them, but you can pay it forward. Help someone else. And when someone does do something nice for you, focus on how they brought goodness into your life.

Don't forget to say thank you

So if you're week goes off course too, start saying thank you. It really helps. Say 'thank you' to the person who served your coffee, the man who delivers your groceries, the person who gave you their parking space. You'll feel so much better for it, and it'll make you smile too.

Things I'm grateful for this week
  • All the people who opened doors for me, or carried my luggage when they saw I was struggling.
  • The baristas who served up the coffee that fuelled my days.
  • My birthday cards, best wishes and the lovely gifts I received on the day.
  • The man I shared a taxi with in London who wouldn't let me pay my half.
  • The lady I sat next to at Slimming World who told me not to give up, and the friend who texted to say she wouldn't let me quit! 
  • The friend who lent me an evening bag so that I didn't have to buy one especially. 
  • Breakfast, and lots of writerly chatter with a buddy I haven't seen in a while.
  • The log burner! 
  • The company of strangers
  • An out of the blue email thanking me for my friendliness. 
By writing this list it's made me realise how kind people have been to me in the last week. Stop and think about your own week, I bet you can find lots of reasons to be grateful too.

My plans for the week ahead

To do the best that I can
To further my writing
Another Leicester Comedy Festival Outing
Lunch with a friend

I hope your week was good, and the week ahead is enjoyable. Remember - Be grateful - Start small and find things to be thankful for in all you do this week.

20 comments:

  1. I hope this week proves to be a better one for you. Well done though for what you have achieved (impressive list there) and well done for being so positive. I'll take away a lot from what you've said here about coping mechanisms and positivity. Thank you.

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  2. What a wonderful way to cheer yourself up, Maria. Reflecting on the kindness that has been given to us is so uplifting. I am grateful to you for sharing your experiences. I had a very similar week and I also reached out to a dear friend who boosted my morale no end. It is so important to be kind to others but also accept the kindness bestowed upon us too. I love the way you write and express yourself. I'm sure you'll get that novel going. Your words and ideas deserve to be heard :) Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thank you Nicola, being kind is good for our souls.

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  3. Sorry you've had a tough week, but it sounds as if you have some excellent coping strategies. I've just had half term, and I've done very little this morning except washing, which has left me feeling a bit hopeless. Need to pull myself together and work out what I should be doing, both on a daily basis and in a more life-direction way as well. I hope you have a better week this week. I'm always very impressed with your early starts, no doubt they are very productive hours. CJ xx

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    1. Hi CJ, Half term can be soooooo tough, but also so rewarding to spend time with your children.

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  4. Sometimes life is grim and we just have to accept it and get through the best we can. I love your 'thank you' theory, and I'm sure there's something in it. This week will be better - and thank you for this post.

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  5. You still got some things done and I know if things aren't going well and you're short of time it's easy to just not bother trying to do anything you don't absolutely have to, so I reckon you've done pretty well.

    Thank you for sharing this and offering a course of action for when we're in a similar situation.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Patsy, I was upbeat about things in the end.

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  6. A very happy birthday for whenever it was and a very good reason for not losing weight this week. Your second list outshines the first and you should feel very pleased with all you have achieved.

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    1. Thank you Maggie, I\'ve been a bit slow getting back on the diet. I'm about to give myself a darn good talking to.... :-)

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  7. Sorry about your tough week so good luck for a much better one this week, Maria. Your post has a really positive message for us all. Thank you. :-)

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    1. Life has it's ups and downs Jan, and we just have to turn things around. :-) Have a good week.

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  8. Love this post, Maria. I was just thinking of similar things - positive thoughts are so powerful! I think the world would be an amazing place if everyone practiced this way of approaching life

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  9. Hi Maria. I'd be delighted to have achieved half of your list in one week. If that is on top of a job then you are amazing. I'm impressed and shamed by your early morning editing and train journey fiction -signs of a true writer. I hope the coming week is a good one for you. Love Ange xx

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    1. Hello you and thank you for those kind words.

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  10. Sorry this week hasn't gone quite as planned, but you've still done a lot of hard work. Hopefully the fun stuff helped.

    And as Scarlet O'Hara said 'tomorrow is another day.':-)

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!