The Subtle Art of Gratitude

 In Categories, How to Live the Good Life

I was chatting to my cousin the other day over a cup of coffee and we were reminiscing about how quickly life is flashing past.

“It wasn’t so long ago that I remember my mother saying to us cousins: It really doesn’t seem possible that you’re all grown up now and having babies yourselves,” she laughed.

And now, those very babies are getting married and may soon be starting families of their own.

Where did the time go? Was I paying enough attention I wonder?

Good Gawd – have I shown adequate gratitude for my blessings?

You know what though – There’s a whole lot of #grateful #blessed #gratitude stuff on Instagram and social media that gets my goat. Sometimes it comes across as a little insincere. You know. It feels a little like, well, boastful. ‘Look at me, I’m so lucky and one step ahead of you,’ type of thing.

Gratitude is a slippery beast. There’s a subtle art to being grateful I reckon.

I’m probably not going to achieve it today.

I don’t want to come across all #sobloodyblessed in my measure of being thankful but probably that’s how it will seem.

For the Lovin’ Life link up I thought it was high time that I reflected a little on how grateful I am for the good things in my life, particularly the little things, the small everyday things which make up the fabric of a happy and fulfilled life, just so that I remember to stop and smell the roses, and encourage you to as well.

Yes some of these little things are necessarily part of bigger things – like a safe and happy flight from Australia to England. Yesss, I know – don’t go there. That’s a big thing, but it’s essential in my life as an expat if I want to visit my Mum who can’t travel anymore.

Well, here goes. I hope you take me at face value and don’t think I’m being supercilious. These are the things that I’m grateful for this week.

Spending time with loved ones

Happy to be married to the most wonderful man, and about to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.

So fortunate to be on good terms with my two grown-up children, and to be included in the celebrations to wave my daughter and her boyfriend “Bon Voyage” as they set off in their converted coaster to travel around Australia.

art of gratitude

art of gratitude

Revelling in being able to spend precious time with Mum and her partner in England.

art of gratitude

Thankful for good health

Grateful that I’m still active and healthy, and so too Dave (that’s the Diamond fire look out tree he’s climbing near Manjimup below).

The subtle art of gratitude

gratitude

Appreciating Nature

The drive home from Denmark (Australian version) in Springtime was so beautiful last week – enough to make our hearts sing. I’m grateful for all of my senses so that I can fully appreciate this exquisite scenery.

Flower south west australia

Subtle art of gratitude

Grateful that my flight from Perth to Heathrow, although long, was uneventful and I slept most of the way, and when I arrived in England I awoke to jewel like Autumn colours in Hertfordshire.

art of gratitude

I think we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. I’m thankful for the safe, wide open spaces and beaches of Western Australia.

Subtle art of gratitude

Subtle art of gratitude

Thankful to have spent a weekend in this simple little getaway cabin just a stone’s throw from a deserted stretch of beach near Denmark. Mazoletti Beach Retreat if anyone’s interested.subtle art of gratitude

Happy to be able to get up close to some of WA’s most characterful residents and spend time enjoying wildlife in outdoor settings over the last week or so.

the subtle art of gratitude

Subtle art of gratitude

Grateful for birds and bees. Just generally 🙂

art of gratitude

And really really truly grateful for anyone who’s got to the end of this post without gagging 🙂

THANK YOU!

Until next time … What are you grateful for?

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Showing 28 comments
  • Life Images by Jill
    Reply

    This is a lovely post Jo, and a great reminder to us all that we have much to be grateful for, and they don’t have to be big things. Just simple things, like time spent with a loving family, health, a walk in the garden, the sun on your face, freedom to participate in what you enjoy, what you read, what you see or do. That’s a lot of gratefulness. Thanks Jo. Enjoy your time with your Mum in England. Safe travels. xx

  • [email protected]
    Reply

    No gagging from this reader Jo! The SW corner of WA is truly spectacular and all of your photography is wonderful. Yes we all have so much to be grateful for. For me it is a happy marriage and family relationships, work that I love, time to pursue hobbies, and the freedom to safely choose how I live my life. In the words of Joe Walsh ‘I can’t complain but sometimes I still do’!! (From his song ‘Life’s Been Good’)

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Ahhh, thank you Jo. I love your list of gratitude too, so pertinent. That’s a great quote too 🙂

  • Cat
    Reply

    I am grateful for good friends who prompt me to keep going! I love the photo of the pretty blue bird! xo

  • Kooky Chic
    Reply

    Ah that tree! Those photos! Fabulous!

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Hi Kooky, thank you. Yes the Diamond Tree is an amazing tree!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    Reply

    Oh my freaking Lord!! Look at you on the top of that mountainous rock. I’m just grateful you didn’t fall off!
    Gratitude is good. It’s the secret to happiness (at least that’s what I keep reminding myself). Every day may not be great, but there is something great in every day.
    #teamlovinlife

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Hi Leanne, yes so true – there is always something great in every day.

  • Kathy Marris
    Reply

    Yeah right. Being grateful is one of the biggies at present. However I do think it helps to give yourself a positive mindset by learning to awake each day and be grateful for at least one thing. (Even waking up each morning can be a reason for being grateful as we age!) I think I’m extremely blessed (there’s that word!) too. I hope you have a lovely time in England with your mum. #TeamLovinLife

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Hi Kathy, thank you 🙂 Yes, you’re right. I woke up with what we call the ‘un-named’ dread last night and this morning first thing on waking I thought of three things I’m grateful for and the dready feeling went away 🙂

  • Reply

    I agree Jo, time passes so quickly! There is so much to be grateful for and we need to acknowledge that every day. Thanks for the reminder. By the way, Mazoletti Beach retreat looks stunning! #TeamLovinLife

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Thanks Lyndall. Yes Mazoletti was such a cute and away from it all retreat.

  • Vanessa
    Reply

    Haha I like Jo’s comment, didn’t gag once! Now that’s how you know it’s genuine gratitude in the post 🙂
    And lovely photos!

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    Reply

    What a beautiful and heartfelt post! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful things from your life right now.

    SSG xxx

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Thanks SSG 🙂 I’m glad it didn’t come across as supercilious 🙂

  • Reply

    You’ve certainly had (and having) a fabulous time Jo. Looking at your hub climbing that tree in Manjimup made my stomach lurch – it was the one thing I put my foot down over when our kids were younger – watching them plummet to their deaths from a tree was not part of my parenting 101 agenda! Enjoy your time with your mum and I didn’t gag at all 🙂

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Hi Leanne, and thank you 🙂 Yes, those fire lookout trees make my tummy lurch too. I wouldn’t have let my kids climb them if I’d been around WA when they were little. It’s bad enough watching Dave shin up and down them. I’ve climbed one, but I had to chant like a monk all the way up and down 😉

  • Deborah
    Reply

    Stunning photographs Jo and yes, so much to be grateful for.

    Does your daughter have an Instagram account? I’ll have to follow her as I have a ‘thing’ for the #vanlife stuff although I can’t imagine doing it myself! (I can live vicariously through others instead!) #teamlovinlife

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Hi Deb, yes she does. It’s @emmcastro

  • Janet
    Reply

    Gratitude is good for our mental health. Although like you, I do get a bit sick of the #blessed hashtag. I agree – south Western Australia is a beautiful place! I have a very similar pic of my hubster climbing the lookout tree from our trip in 2001. And how lucky is your daughter to be doing the big trip – what a wonderful time she and her partner will have!

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Hi Janet, great that the Manjimup lookout tree brought back memories for you too 🙂 Yes, she is very lucky and they are having the time of their lives at the moment 🙂

  • [email protected]
    Reply

    Loved this post Jo! No gagging at all! So many beautiful things to be grateful for. Gorgeous photographs too! Those beaches over in WA look amazing! It’s the simple things that I’m most grateful for too. Though if we didn’t have those things I doubt we’d say they were simple, probably more likely to say ‘special’. #TeamLovinLife

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Hi Min, and thank you. Yes – I like that – special is a good word 🙂

  • Jo Tracey
    Reply

    I love your gratitude post – & didn’t gag once. I think sometimes we are so busy looking for the tiny things that aren’t quite right in life that we forget to celebrate the things that are absolutely so right for right now.

    • Johanna
      Reply

      Thank you Jo 🙂 Glad you didn’t need a sick bag, LOL 😉 Yes, I believe gratitude takes a bit of focus really.

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