Grateful

 I want to talk about gratefulness for my last #myfamilylens post

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(To start with: I’m grateful it’s finally spring!)

I had a very difficult year last year, and if I’m being entirely honest this year has had its challenges too. Over the last few months I’ve been trying to be consciously aware of the good things in my life, and be actively grateful for them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s a lot in my life to be grateful for. I’m blessed with having the most loving and supportive network of people around me. They send me letters and gifts in the mail, invite me out to dinner, call me and text me for no reason other than to let me know they’re there: a safety net to catch me if I ever feel like falling. I’m grateful for my family, my in-laws, and my amazing friends for making sure I never felt abandoned or alone.

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I’m grateful for my home. I love my apartment more than anywhere else I’ve lived in my adult life. It’s an old art-deco building with only a handful of tenants, and I’m sandwiched between two big parks. There’s beautiful buildings all around me, and interesting backstreets to explore.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sun-soaked rooms have tall ceilings and picture rails, and there’s a sunroom off the bedroom that’s my favourite place in the world. My parents and my in-laws helped me furnish it, but it’s all mine. Home and stability are incredibly important tenets of my existence, so after moving house four times in twelve months and all the uncertainty that went around that I’ve put down roots deep in my little apartment.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Every picture on the wall, the cutlery in the drawers, the little details in the decoration all speak of me. It’s a pleasure to come home to every night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m grateful for my little cat. Her lovely little face, and beautiful temperament, her quirks and distinctive personality traits. I joke that she’s my fur-baby, but she really is. She’s part of my family.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe snuggles up to me in bed and charms the pants off all my visitors. She’s my little shadow when I’m at home, and helps stave off the loneliness when I start getting too introspective.

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I’m grateful for my job. I love the people that I work with, and the books that we produce. My mind is expanded every day, and it’s challenging, enlightening, and for the most part: fun! There aren’t many industries where you can overhear a co-worker having a Very Serious Business Conversation that includes the phrase “Penis Pokey” and “Farts in a Can”. Mine does.

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I’m incredibly grateful for the city that I live in. Melbourne isn’t named “the world’s most liveable city” (fourth time in a row!) for nothing. The Economist gave Melbourne a perfect score for healthcare, education and infrastructure. It’s not perfect (nowhere is) but I can’t think of many places I’d rather be.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor one thing, it’s beautiful. Australia’s a very new country so it might not have the ancient history of cities like London and Rome, but there’s gorgeous buildings and parks everywhere. There’s good museums and galleries, world-class music venues, and an amazing food scene.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe city is designed for exploring, with hidden gems to be discovered down cobbled laneways. Indie designers, tiny little bars, unpretentious restaurants, all hidden away waiting to be stumbled across.

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We’ve got access to some great produce in Australia, and the farmer’s markets are always great to visit. I often go on the weekends to pick up fresh native flowers for the house, and some fruit and veggies for the week.

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Also: Good coffee. Pretty much anywhere you go you’re guaranteed a decent coffee in Melbourne. Other cities in the world have to import their baristas from Melbourne to get anywhere close to the quality of caffeinated gold that we take for granted here.

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I’m grateful for the blog. The opportunities it’s given me, the friends that I’ve made through it.

I’m grateful for each and every one of you, dear readers.

The fact that you’ve chosen to join me on this journey, you take the time to read and to share your own lives with me through your comments and emails. I’m incredibly thankful and humbled by the fact that I have such a loyal and loving readership – it’s why I always love meeting you guys in person. I just want to hug you all!

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Finally, I’m grateful for myself.

This one’s a hard one, because I’m not (are any of us?) good at singing my own praises. But I’m thankful for me. I’m strong, both mentally and physically. I’m constant – I know who I am, and I’m proud of that. I’m loyal, and trusting, and I’m a good person. I don’t lie, cheat, or steal. I’m resilient. I cook really well, I know how to sew, I make my own jam. I’m a good friend. I’m smart. I write well, and I play music. I have excellent gut instincts. I’m capable and organised. I’m good at my job. I love and am loved.

And I’m grateful for that.

So tell me, what are you grateful for?

All the photos in this post (and all the OOTD shots from the last two months) have been taken on the Olympus OM-D E-10, and it’s been a pleasure using this little camera, so I’m also grateful to Olympus and the team at Kidspot for giving me the opportunity to play with it for a while. I’ve tried to give you guys a bit of an overview of the features of the camera in my past two posts. I’d like to pretend that I’m an excellent photographer, but the truth is that the OM-D E-10 makes it pretty easy. Almost all of the shots above were taken on the automatic setting using a variety of the camera’s inbuilt filters. The result’s are pretty good. I’m going to miss the zoom lens too, it enabled me to get up close and personal with my subjects without being intrusive, and the results look amazing. To give you a quick idea of the lens’ capacity check out the detail of one of the photos I took earlier today:

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I’m wildly phobic about bees, as I’ve never been stung (another grateful) so you’d better believe I was keeping my distance from this little guy. The fact that you can make out his fuzzy little bum with such detail on the point and shoot setting of a pretty compact DSLR is impressive, no?

24 thoughts on “Grateful

  1. What a lovely post! It’s always so nice to hear someone remark on all the good in their lives; it’s especially good to hear you do so! I have often wished I could find a way to help you in this past year, and it’s been so nice to see that you have settled back into the joy of life. I know every day isn’t sunshine & roses, but I’m so happy to know that a rain cloud of awfulness isn’t sitting on top of you anymore!

    And I am thankful beyond belief for: my husband & children, my cooking & baking skills becoming better each day, for my health & stability, & for my son’s health crisis being almost totally over. Brain surgery at 2.5 was not in my list of to do’s, but I am forever thankful for all the care he has received & how well he has recovered. I reminded myself often that each day, no matter how hard, was a step through & then away from such a difficult situation, and that helped frame everything in a much more positive light. Onward & upward is my new favorite motto!

    Much love to you, sweet lady. Enjoy spring in all it’s glory! And thank you for being such a strong & amazing woman. <3

  2. I am thankful for your blog! It is my favourite. I have been checking every day for about four years now. And it has cheered me in many tough times in those years (completing my phd; career anxieties; illness) because of your own beautiful personality that comes through in everything you post here and the beauty you create. I look forward to every new post. Thank you!

    • How lovely! I feel the same Anna. I often click on Lily’s blog during a moment of difficulty….today it has been my PhD and career issues too!

  3. What a wonderful post! I’m doing a lot of thankful thinking currently. I’m in the middle of a health issue (been sick, had tests, tests inconclusive, need more tests, waiting for appointments) and I’m concentrating on what’s great even if the worst happens. Positive thinking is a brilliant cure!

  4. What a lovely post! I really believe that it’s important to recognize and be grateful for the small things that surround us. I lived in Melbourne for 8 months a few years ago and I would move back in an instant. I loved that city. Easy to walk around and explore and it did, indeed, turn me into a coffee snob.
    I hope that in the coming weeks and months there are many more things for you to be grateful for. You get what you focus on!

  5. Such a lovely post. Thank you for letting us into your life so honestly and lovingly (as you always do). You are a wonder and an inspiration on how to pick yourself up…on how to seek out comfort and joy even when clouds hover above.

    I am grateful for all that I know and all that I have yet to learn. I am grateful for my little dog, who wakes me up each morning by sitting on my head. I am grateful for the tiniest green buds that are beginning to burst through all around me.

    Thank you for your beautiful blog and for the message you send out with every post.

  6. Where do I start, I am thankful that I survived the horror of my partner’s suicide, thanks greatly to my amazing support network of family and friends who did all that they could, even when nobody knew what to do! I am especially grateful for my parents, who looked after me like a child when I could barely get out of bed and dress myself. They fed me and looked after me and helped me so much…. I am also grateful for my best friend for too many reasons to mention. Actually, having gone through that, I am much more thankful for the little things – exactly like you mentioned – the warmth of Spring sunshine on my face, furry snuggles with my cat in the mornings when we hit the snooze button, laughter, music and food!! Life is so precious and can be gone in an instant – sometimes you need to remind yourself of that and find the positives rather than the negatives.
    Most of all, I am eternally grateful for a second chance at love and I am grabbing it with both hands and not letting go.
    Thank you for being so honest and sharing so much with us, be proud of yourself. I know I am proud of myself for rebuilding my life, but still honouring the love I have lost.

  7. I am grateful for every time I click on your name in my bookmarks and there’s a new post to read. You are all of the things you listed, and I’m thankful for you. I’m grateful that I had the nerve to put myself out there to be your friend at a time when I was wondering if I’d ever make any new ones.

    I’m grateful for ducted heating and nearby parks and my neighbours. I’m grateful for my job, too, and the people I get to meet there, and my rapturously lovely colleagues. I’m grateful for today, because I think I have all of my work done and I can do anything I want. (I’m on the internet. I should be doing something else though.) 😛

    I’m grateful for my lovely little Rocket, whose current favourite thing is to smoosh her cheek into mine and shriek directly into my ear. I’m grateful for Teach who doesn’t mind that I have bookclub tonight. 🙂

  8. Wow… What great way to finish the day reading – such a life affirming list . I am so pleased to be still here and on the mend after an awful year last year. I am thankful for sleeping children and a big bed and sunshine … And our little rescue puppy who wags her whole body when she sees us.
    I love your apartment too … ????

  9. I am grateful for my friends, my family and my fur babies! I am grateful for you, your strength and resilience inspire me. Thank you so much for sharing your life and beautiful smile with us!

  10. I am grateful to see you smile again!! Half way around the world I follow your ups and downs, I admire your courage and certainty of your inner beauty and worthiness. Even if you aren’t feeling it, you shine. Keep going, Beautiful Girl. You, by shining your own light, remind the rest of us to let ours shine too. Thank you. (I am, of course also grateful for all the things that make my life my own–friends, family, rewarding work)

  11. Couldn’t agree more with your post! Yes, we can wallow in our miseries, and who hasn’t done that. But when I find myself doing that, I try to do what you do and take account of all the good, wonderful and happy things I do have. Life – a job to go to, a husband who loves me always, 2 beautiful children who are so wonderful that I cannot even express it. I have a home that keeps me warm and dry and that I also love. I live in a safe community, in a country that is known worldwide for its beauty and its polite people.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I too, love checking my favourites and seeing a new post from you 🙂

  12. Like so many other readers, I too am grateful for your beautiful blog, Lilli! Thank you for your gentleness & honesty. I know the many MANY blessings in my wonderful life are gifts from God – His grace blows me away on a daily basis!!
    P.S. Your apartment looks SO inviting & very “you”! x

  13. I’ve been reading your blog since 2010. I am so happy to see you smiling again. Also glad the fringe is back! You have looked so much happier since its return!

    Living in melbourne, you have been a fashion inspiration and I have often sought out a lot of the places you have recommended on your blog over the years- in melbourne and online!

    I am grateful for living in Melbourne too. I think it is a beautiful, friendly city that embraces all her inhabitants with warmth. I also love the little alleyways in the city with hidden gems of shops and cafes to be found. And like you said the coffee here is the best! Having just returned from the UK where the coffee sucks, I am especially grateful to the brilliant coffee we get here.

    I don’t comment often, but check your blog for a post everyday:)

    All the best!

  14. I’m grateful for many of the same things…just different variations. And after last week, I’m thankful that I survived a brain injury, fought hard to learn my new “normal” and have a wonderful support network that now includes a granddaughter!

  15. lili,
    i have been reading you since 2008 and it’s the first time i write a comment.
    I felt so well reading this post, like water running in a river.
    i’m happy for you…. and i want to thank you also for improving my english! 😀
    a big hug!

  16. I am grateful that wonderful people like you write great blogs like yours which invite us into your lives so that introverts like me, who don’t like small talk and like to spend a lot of time on our own, feel like we’ve made new friends! I’ve followed your blog for years, silently experiencing your ups and downs with you. Thank you for inviting me into your life.

  17. Thanks for this lovely post! Like lots of other people, I’ve been reading your blog for years, and am grateful for that, and for the sense of friendship it creates, and for the confidence reading about your wardrobe has given me with my own clothes. And other random things that occur to me when I think of gratitude are: the Irish weather, which is normally the cause of complaints, but I love because it’s never too hot and it’s always changing; the fact that Sarah Waters and David Mitchell both have new novels out; my best friend and that fact that we text/email/ring a couple of times a day but never run out of conversation; and my new red handbag, which I LOVE!

  18. Awesome post — and you’re an awesome person. I’ve wanted to visit Melbourne for a while now! Love getting your view of it. I have family and an old penpal in the area and really, really want to visit. Thanks for letting us share in your journey. I’m thankful that we all have a chance to connect on the internet — in ways that were unheard of even 40 years ago. Truly amazing. Have a great week!

  19. I’m grateful for the internet because it lets me have a little glimps into the life of a beautiful soul who I would not get to meet in real life but who warms my heart none-the-less.

  20. I find myself coming back to reread this post over and over, so I think a comment may be in order. So much of the internet can be negative–overtly so, as in criticisms and harsh posts and trollish behavior, or unsavory content–but I have found your approach to your own posts to be on of gentility and peace. Even when sharing your heartaches and down times you have done so with grace, so that I find myself taking a breath and calming into the moment when I read. For that, I am grateful, and I thank you. I am grateful for this blog and for other places in which the content provider explores what seems to be a genuine interest in sharing beauty found in the world, both aesthetic and emotional. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my life with people and things that bring me joy: my family, friends, nice yarn, good food, interesting conversations that help me perceive the world just a fraction to the side of my own day-to-day perceptions. My cat. Good books. And rain.

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