My Year of Gratitude – Summary/Conclusion

A year ago, I set myself the challenge of saying ‘Thank you’ everyday.

The reason I decided to publish it was merely that if I didn’t make the challenge public, I would never have kept it going for the whole year.  I didn’t really expect people to take an interest, it was more for my own sake.

I am surprised and delighted at the responses I have recieved.  Naturally, I know some people think it’s odd, unnecessary, possibly egotistical, and sometimes just an account of what I did each day.  That’s fine – it was not for them, and more to the point, those things could well be true!  But some people I know have dipped in and out of my ‘thankyous’ each week – enjoying their mentions, thanking me back and even taking inspiration for their own blogs (I’ve been name-checked by the lovely Vicky and Helena on their sites. 🙂 ) and that makes me happy.

So thank you to all of you who have joined me in this journey online, and to those who have been involved in the real world, giving me reasons to be grateful.

As a conclusion to this little project, I want to summarise what I have learned whilst doing it, and comment on my year in general..

This has not been as great a year as the ‘Year of Gratitude’ posts suggest.  Nor am I always quite the optimist I appear to be.  I have had difficulties and struggles like everyone else.  I have said goodbye to people I love, I have lost relationships that mean the world to me, and I have continued to be involved in a long and frustrating battle for money I have been owed for 2 years.  There are individuals referenced in the 52 posts of this project that I am unable to see anymore and who I miss dearly.  But the beauty of saying thank you every day is that these are not the facts I dwell on.

Every day I managed to find one or more things to be grateful for, that reminded me how lucky I am to be where I am, to have known and spent time with those people, to have such wonderful family and friends.

Sometimes, choosing just one or two things to be grateful for on one day was difficult, as I had so many to choose from.  Sometimes, it was a struggle to muster enthusiasm and optimism to find one.  Sometimes, it took all my strength not to fill my thanks with sarcasm.  But I always managed to find something to make me sincerely thankful.

Reading back through my posts is an interesting journey.  It fills me with happiness, nostalgia and even some sadness as I remember the events of my year.  But most of all, it makes me feel incredibly lucky, and (unsurprisingly) extremely grateful for all the experiences I have had: even those now tinged with sadness.

I am so glad that I did this, and I would whole-heartedly recommend others to do it too.  I know that it’s not something I will give up on in a hurry, and even if I don’t make my thank-yous quite so public in 2012, I will definitely be writing them and continuing being grateful for everything and everyone in my life.

Happy New Year everyone – may 2012 bring you all the successes you wish for, and many many reasons to be thankful.

Tessa x

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