The Stuff of Life: Balancing the Good With the Bad

Hell yeah

I’ve written before about how I write Morning Pages and how the act of writing out what I am thankful for has made a huge difference to my wellbeing. You know, sometimes you just wake up in a funk. My husband calls it waking up ‘with a bag on’ – meaning you feel like you’ve got a bag over your head. A little cryptic, but I think it describes how I sometimes feel.

On those days, this is when I benefit most from writing out my Morning Pages, but in particular, writing down the three things that I am thankful for. I’m not going down that path of banging on about practicing gratitude. It’s a bit over-talked I think, but I guess it’s because it works. It really can improve your outlook on life. 

I want to share some of the random things that I’ve written down in the last six months, when I’m reflecting on what I am thankful for. I actually think that being thankful for the small things are what improve outlook most significantly. There is nothing particularly exciting happening in my life, from one week to the next, but  the celebration lies within the non-events.


My local beach: the Summer Hangout


So here goes, in no particular order:

  • I am thankful that we’re having such a lovely holiday. That the kids are happy that the weather is good, and that we still have three weeks of holidays left.
  • I am thankful right now, that my children are still asleep and I have the chance to write for a few minutes.
  • That the kids start back to school today and we can start getting some routine happening.
  • green & yello featherI am thankful for the freedom that I have to pursue my interests.
  • That my three year old slept all night, that my nine year old’s sore ear hasn’t turned into anything and that she is well.
  • That we live where we live, and we are able to head down to the beach after dinner for a bit of down time.
  • I am thankful for the cooler weather.
  • That my three year old slept all night.
  • That I have such a supportive husband who lets me navigate my career and do what I need to do.
  • That my husband has been getting up to our three year old – especially last night, when I was feeling crappy.
  • I am thankful for my family, my brothers and sisters, who all remembered my birthday.
  • That there is no swimming today. Tomorrow I will be thankful that it is the last of the swimming.
  • I’m thankful that it’s Friday.
  • That yesterday my three year old was a delight, so nice, sweet funny and lovely.
  • That today is the fist day of autumn.
  • For the lovely sunny weather, and for yoga.
  • For an evening out with the Mums from school.
  • For having some meals in the freezer, so tonight I can pull one out and it wont be complete mayhem at dinner time.
  • I am thankful that the autumn weather is showing itself. I love the crisp mornings and sunny days.
  • I am thankful that tomorrow is break up day.
  • For our family time away, it’s so lovely to spend time with the kids without trying to herd them off to school or anywhere else.
  • I’m thankful for our home – it often drives me mad, the clutter, lack of room, but I love it, and feel lucky that we have it.
  • That we have beautiful food – scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and avocado for breakfast. So damned lucky! We are so fortunate and I am so thankful for that.

    Yummy mushroom salad

    I am thankful for my husband’s presence in my life – he’s such a calm soul, I need to follow his lead a bit more.


  • The long weekend this weekend and no sport.
  • For my warm home when the weather is so cold.
  • The fact that it is Thursday and the weekend is only a day away.
  • I’m thankful for my kids, they keep me firmly on the ground when life starts to float away from me.
  • My cup of tea, in my china cup.


  • My life really, that I am here, that I have freedom, that I have choice.

There are a few other things, that don’t get a mention in my Morning Pages, but I still think need to be on the list: dancing, wine, cheese, cuddles from small all children, books, bear hugs from friends/husbands/partners, open fires, fresh air. I could go on, but it might get a bit boring. (Sigh)

I’m not changing the world here; there’s nothing particularly ground-breaking in that random list, but acknowledging these wonderful and mundane things actually improves on a life that is already pretty great.

Let me be clear  though, that in between these things that I am thankful for, there is negative self-talk, things that are dragging me down, things that I’m worried about, that are annoying me, changes that I want to make.

It’s the stuff of life. But without these little check-ins, life would be glum indeed.

There is always something that’s bound to annoy, worry or anger us. So I think it’s nice to focus on the stuff that balance these other things out. 

What do you think? Do you acknowledge those kind-of-boring but important things that make you feel like life is pretty good?

I’d love to know what you are thankful for. 



  1. says

    Oh what a lovely reminder of all the things to be grateful for and to be mindful all the time of ‘the little things’ that we often take for granted that could easily become huge things if we didn’t have them (I was listening to a podcast about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the other day). I stopped writing my list because my special gratitude notebook was full up, but I need to sort out another one because it’s too important not to do. Happy day! xx

    • collette says

      How lovely! What a great achievement to have your gratitude notebook full up. Sign of a good life and one that is celebrated! ❤️

  2. says

    Love this. Life is great isn’t it? It really is all the small things. Hot baths, cups of tea, clean sheets and crumpets. Loved this post xx❤️

    • collette says

      Dang! I forgot hot baths, clean sheets and crumpets (with honey). I risk becoming a proper Nana because my appreciation for Nana things, like a hot cuppa in a china cup, is growing every day!

    • collette says

      I love that cup. My Mum bought it when we were in Prague together. She joked at the time that I could have it after she died. It brings back happy memories.

  3. says

    Thanks for the peek into your Morning Pages and gratitude lists. It sounds like it makes a big impact on your day to begin in that way. I often do my writing at night as I seem to be slower and slower dragging myself out of bed these days.

    • collette says

      I started to write at night, but I got so tired that I started skipping. So I know the morning is best for me. I wish I had a choice over the early mornings – the kids wake up so early!

  4. says

    So interesting and such a great reminder when people list the things they are grateful for. It’s a important reminder that how we spend our days – and how we think – is how we spend and appreciate our lives, isn’t it?

    • collette says

      I’m so glad Jenny. It’s easy to get caught up in the things that don’t matter (I am the master of this!). So I’m glad you had a chance to check in with what’s great in your life. xx

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