Mantras and Cylinders

Gratitude. It’s a word that encompasses so much. Is it how my heart flutters when I look at my son? Is it how it flutters when B kisses me? The mere thought of either of those two boys, each making my heart soar and making me feel light? The warmth I feel against my feet as I write this, where Hendrix has parked herself, always making sure she’s near me or at the very least has me in her line of sight?

Or is gratitude the exuberant feeling I am now experiencing, that was borne from an initial deep sense of dread at having lost my way with the writing? A long heart to heart with B cleared away those heavy clouds, and just like this beautiful October day outside, my skies are once again a glorious blue, largely thanks to my beautiful B and his amazing ability to prop me back up and get me back on track when I falter.

Not a word written in months until this week, Alice has been all but dead. I’d say she’s still on life support, but I’m finally feeling that determination again, that somehow escaped me there for a while. A long while. What the f*ck? Here I am, arguably the most fortunate woman on the planet, able to pursue this not too unrealistic dream and I f*cking STALL?! Enough of that shit! Firing on all cylinders again and I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t give this one almighty shot, even if it kills me I will see this through. Famous last words, I know, but I will bloody do it and NOW is the time. Not later this afternoon, absof*ckinglutely not tomorrow or next week.

I think I forgot the very mantra I was living by:


No more stalling, no more hesitating, no more doubting my ability – in my finest French: no more f*cking around.

It all comes back to gratitude, really. When I think about it, I can’t find a single aspect of my life or what’s in it that I’m not grateful for. I think I just got overwhelmed by doubt when it came to the writing, and as much as I’ve always woken up each morning feeling joy, I let this one thing slip. But as I said, no more f*cking around. It’s the one missing piece, because aside from that, there is nothing I could possible ask for that I don’t already have. Sure, maybe teeth whitening, but my smile’s still pretty good so it’s no biggie.

We have had the busiest summer and in two weeks’ time it’ll be the first weekend in months when it’s just me and B doing our own thing. Visits from friends and family, a weekend in Italy at a wedding, B away with work and at rugby games – we haven’t stopped and I think we’re both looking forward to some us time. I can’t remember the last time there was a weekend with no plans, just us doing random crazy shit, something we’re so good at. Not complaining though. Being in beautiful Tuscany with my love was incredible, and to be fair we did get a good amount of time just us getting up to whatever we felt like, which involved impulse road trips and also rather a lot of wine. It was glorious. And the wedding was fun too, in that all-about-family, slightly chaotic yet utterly charming Italian way. Sky high heels weren’t ideal for my sprained ankle that’s still a little sore, but hey-ho, I still had a boogie and now back to flats as I think I aggravated it. Oh well.

So here we are, a Friday like so many others, even though it’s been a while – I’m back into the writing, I’m busy counting my blessings, my little Hendrix is freaking adorable and I am so in love with her, the sun is shining and both my beautiful boys are coming home to me. For the first time in what seems like ages, we have nothing much planned beyond watching Monkey play football on Sunday, no have-tos except getting a couple of baskets for Hendrix’s stuff and a batch of school shirts for Monkey. Bliss. To say I’m grateful for what I have is the understatement of the century.

Sometimes gratitude also comes when it’s meant to be. Alice’s mother disappeared without a trace. This week I read an article about a woman who disappeared and was presumed dead. Turns out she was hiding all of that time and is alive and well. I take that as a little nudge from above telling me ‘come on Anna, here’s some reality to bolster your work, USE IT!’. As I said, NOW is the time. Right NOW.

Right. More TLC for Alice and then off out for another walk with the little ‘demon frog’, as B’s oldest son likes to refer to Hendrix.

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2 thoughts on “Mantras and Cylinders

  1. While it might sound a little corny to some people, I think there’s a lot of merit to having an “attitude of gratitude.” On Facebook, some friends and I began posting a picture of something we’re grateful for each day and using the hashtag #100happydays. One of my daughters has been doing it for a week or so and says it’s changed the way she looks at things.


    • Absolutely agree – it can even seem contrived, but I do believe that how we see the world and our ability to be appreciative do shape how we end up feeling. Love the idea of posting pictures like that, I might just do that… Anna x


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