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Haaaaappy New Year!
Hope you had a super NYE & day (and aren’t feeling too squiffy if it was a biggie… we’ve all been there).
Now, I have a question for you:
Have you made any New Years Resolutions or goals yet?
If not, then please don’t before you’ve read this!
So, I’m the kind of girl who relishes this time of year, purely because it offers the opportunity to try and improve myself & my life that bit more.
And I love me some self-improvement (incase you hadn’t noticed).
However, it struck me a few days ago that, in some respects, making NY resolutions can be a bit selfish, actually.
This is because they tend to be all about us:
How we can get a better body, a better career, a better financial situation etc etc (this is what my resolutions & goals tend to focus on, anyway.)
But, wouldn’t it be great if - instead of making our goals all about how we can improve our life, we made them about how we can support, appreciate & improve the lives of the people we love?
The great thing about directing our goals & loving intentions towards other people is that we wind up feeling great ourselves, anyway.
This year, as well as making the commitment to give more money to charity and help as many women as possible attract & sustain happy, healthy & fulfilling relationships, I want to make 2018 the year that I simply take the time to appreciate the wonderful people I’m already blessed to have in my life.
Two examples are my (hopefully one day) in-laws, Deb & Andy.
When I first started dating their son Joe back in mid-2015, Joe’s parents were away in Italy, and I remember Joe & his brothers telling me what kind, generous & big-hearted people they were.
Their house has always been what I call an ‘open house’.
If anyone even remotely related (biologically or otherwise) to the family was struggling in some way, there was always a bed, hot meal & heap of love waiting for them over at the Gould’s place.
Like my own parents, Deb & Andy both came from relatively humble beginnings.
Having worked in education for a long while, when Joe was three they decided to set up their own nursery for him to go to, as they didn’t particularly like any of the nurseries in their area at the time.
After a couple of decades of consistent determination and hard work (as well as a fair bit of risk-taking), by the time I came in to their life that one nursery had turned in to seven, and had recently been voted the best nursery chain in the UK.
So, as well as being kind & generous, I was also bowled over by their entrepreneurial spirit (because, as anyone who’s ever set up their own business well knows, it ain’t no walk in the park).
As I write this, I’ve now been with Joe over two & a half years and have experienced the fruits of Deb & Andy’s hard work and sense of hospitality countless times.
As well as inviting me on several family holidays to their homes in Italy & Cornwall and helping Joe & I decorate our flat in London last year, they even went to the trouble of dry-walling one of their stables so that we could store all our stuff while we were travelling.
This year, they’ve taken their generosity to a whole new level and welcomed me to spend Christmas and New Year on the trip of a life-time in New Zealand.
Joe & I joined the rest of the family in Auckland a few days ago, and so far the trip’s been everything I could’ve hoped for and more (if you haven’t been, I urge you to put NZ on your bucket list – absolutely breath-taking!)
But, as lovely as it is to be taken away on fabulous trips like this, what I appreciate even more is how supportive and interested Deb & Andy are in my work & life.
If I’m ever struggling with something, I can always rely on them to lend an ear and some words of encouragement.
If I’m ever feeling overwhelmed & exhausted by London (which is often) I know I can always head to their lovely home in Worcestershire and be treated to home-cooked meals and some much needed R & R.
More than anything, I’m just so inspired by the kind of people they are and know I’m unbelievably blessed to have them as such a big part of my life.
If I could manage to be even a fraction as generous and big-hearted as Deb & Andy, I’d consider my life a very successful one.
I really hope that, if nothing else, this piece has brought to mind the people in your life who you really appreciate (but might sometimes take for granted).
Who’s always been there for you through thick & thin?
Who never fails to make you laugh?
Who’s a great nurturer when you’re feeling sick or lonely?
GO & TELL THEM HOW GRATEFUL YOU ARE FOR THEM.
Better still, take some time to think about how you can go about bringing more joy & light to their life as a token of your appreciation for all they’ve done for you.
We all know about the many magical benefits of gratitude, but why not make 2018 the year we focus on expressing that gratitude more often, and doing all we can to make those we’re grateful for feel equally grateful to have us as part of their lives.
NOW, I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Who are you feeling most grateful for right now?
What, specifically, do they bring to your life?
What’s one or two ways you could go about expressing your gratitude for them? (Get creative people!)
Hope this has given you as much food for thought as it has me :)