Thursday, 8 December 2011

Counting My Blessings - Help!

I saw this heading (without the 'Help')  at Freda's of What's the story in Dalamory, who in turn found it on Dianne's of Schmiddleyscribblins;  as my ideas for blogging seem to have dried up completely, I'll make use of it here. If anybody else finds themselves in the same shoes, feel free to do likewise.

Now then,  counting my blessings is anathema to me. I've always railed against it as an occupation I wouldn't even indulge in if I found myself at the bottom of the darkest hole I've ever not looked up out of. It's not that I'm against gratitude, I consider that a definite virtue; but, I ask you, doesn't the mere fact of COUNTING blessings make the counter sound totally pathetic?

Yet here I am, not even in a hole, except blog-idea-wise, counting today's blessings. Seven is the number of blessings I'm meant to come up with.:

1.   I found myself waking up in my own cosy, warm bed this morning, listening to the filthiest,
nastiest morning weather outside;  gusts of rain lashing the windows, gale force winds rattling the gutters, while  climbers, in extremis,  scratched the walls and clung on for dear life.
And why was this a blessing? Because I didn't have to go out in it!

2.   At 9.30, my wonderful cleaning lady, Kelly, arrived. I hadn't seen her since I came out of hospital last week. She is a caring, warm-hearted women, who listened to my tale of woe with lots of "Ah, poor you. Bless. Ah, Bless". She is rather given to lots of Ahs, and 'Bless' is one of her favourite expressions.
It has been known to grate on me in the past, when I've come across people whose empathy finds no other verbal outlet.
Today, it was a blessing to find a simple, kind soul, who sounded as if she meant every Ah and every Bless. 

3.   Kelly cleaned my house, quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of fuss.
If that's not a blessing, I don't know what is.

4.   While Kelly was working, I had a whole morning to clear my desk. It's been weeks since I tidied up paperwork, bills, receipts; at least two months since I last reconciled bank statements and filed other financial letters. That allowed me to rediscover various pieces of information, previously hidden, from societies in which I have an interest. I was beginning to think I'd been taken off their Christmas lists this year.

5.   Lunch was pasta, my favourite. Quick and easy to cook.

6.   Beloved offered to take Benno out for me in the afternoon. It was still tipping it down, with hail blown about by the wind fit to poke holes in the back of your neck. I gratefully took him up on the offer. I was doubly grateful when they came back drenched.

Bless him.

7.   Instead, I managed to write a long letter to a friend in Germany, whom I  have neglected since the summer, when we met by courtesy of Skype. I wrote the last long letter to her at the same time last year; the fact that she hasn't complained  in spite of my cavalier behaviour towards her tells you what a good friend she is. Or is it possible that neither of us is quite as bothered about the other as we were a few years ago? The thing is, I finally wrote, which makes me feel good about myself and gets rid of the niggling guilt feeling I've had for months.

8.   Can TV be a blessing? Maybe not, unless it's your favourite cop show transmitted to your own TV, in your own room, via digital, satellite TV, all the way from Germany to the UK. Sitting with my feet up, watching the box this evening I would even call bliss, rather than a blessing.

It seems that my blessings are all to do with idleness; others might find that quite embarrassing. But you'll never get me to admit guilt for being idle. I like it. Besides, not only did I come up with eight good things happening today, but I wouldn't even call them blessings as such. So, there's even more reason to feel good about myself. Counting blessings? Pah, who needs it!

PS: The picture above is nothing to do with this post. I took it on a foggy day in November in the garden.  What? You didn't really expect me to go out in this weather just to find a suitable picture to head up this post? You did? Dear me.



  1. Not that I don't get the whole thankful thing, since I very much do, but the picture is my favorite part.

    It speaks to me: Darkness enfolds the silence that remains. ~Mary

  2. it is a very cool pic..and i do like your blessings as your own bed feels so good at times...

  3. Given that it's only a short time since you came out of hospital, I reckon that's a pretty good list of blessings, counted or otherwise, Friko. Stay warm and dry out of this dreadful weather until you are fully recovered.

  4. Hello:
    Riches indeed are contained within your list of blessings here, but perhaps the greatest of these is freedom. Freedom to choose, to plan your day, to avoid chores, to make or ignore human contact, to be idle. Bliss, or at least it seems so to us, as the quintessential Lazy Tarts!!

  5. I love your blessing and with your permission, borrow some for myself.
    I hope you fell better now. At least I wish it to you :).

  6. It will be a while before I'm able to count my blessings. I'll be forever jealous of the cleaning lady and not having to brave this hideous weather.
    Blessings are things you've learned to appreciate because you have been either without them, they've been threatened or someone envies you. I'd say your choices are excellent Friko.

  7. I'm generally happy about all kinds of little things in my life...because I have most definitely known much worse. I don't want to forget about being grateful because I don't want to go back to worse. I may not necessarily list them, but I feel them down to my toes. ;)

    I'd say you had a most delightful list for someone who rails against them! LOL! :)

  8. You've described a delightfully cozy day, in high contrast to the wildness without. I'd say you are savouring the ordinary things of life after a time of being without them. It's a great list, Friko. I hope you've enjoyed your evening with your feet up.

  9. Your humor shows through in this post, and I hope you continue to recover until you are fully well. It is always good to say thanks for a blessing or two, and you have many here. Being safe and warm while a storm rages is a big one!

  10. You must be feeling better Friko. Sounds like you are back to your feisty, no-nonsense self! :)

  11. Dear Friko,
    I'm someone who's kept a gratitude journal for twelve years and written in it each night before turning off the light. I write briefly but always of five things/people/events for which I'm grateful that day.

    When I went through the bad health months with Meniere's that journal helped me keep going when I so wanted to throw in the towel. Often I would simply say "Eliza [the cat] who lay on my chest." Or "the slant of sunlight on the carpet today." Those moments kept me going and I was deeply grateful for them.

    But putting all that aside, I so liked Lucewoman's comment: "Blessings are things you've learned to appreciate because you have been either without them, they've been threatened or someone envies you." That's it in a nutshell.

    I hope you continue to feel better, Friko. Spend lots of time simply doing whatever pleases you.

  12. Oh, yes, Friko. I agree with all the others. You must stay out of that weather in order to recover completely. Bless Beloved for walking Benno.
    I think you are amazing to call a morning devoted to paperwork a blessing. I wish I could look on paperwork that way.
    I know what you mean about your own bed. Being in hospital is enough to make a person feel grateful for a nap on one's own hearthrug. I've just returned from a one-woman trip to the west coast of British Columbia and Oregon and am grateful for my own bed. After picking me up from the airport, my husband told me he had washed the bedding but hadn't re-made the bed. I didn't mind. I'm just so thrilled he thought about doing the laundry rather than leaving it for me to do.
    I'm also grateful to be back on my own big computer instead of using my laptop computer on my lap, of all places!
    I just noticed your "become our own caricatures" remark in your sidebar, and it is SO true. I love it.
    Continue to take good care of yourself.
    Luv, K

  13. Glad you are home, safe and sound, counting those whatever you want to call 'ems ;)

  14. Do I detect a sense of glee here?
    Never one for gratitude lists, I did enjoy your blessings list here. Nothing particularly profound, except the idea of being safe and warm and secure while the world outside is cold and dark and rather bleak. You sound good Friko and I hope you are so. Anyway, I found your post comforting but don't plan to count my blessings; at least not this evening. :)

  15. One's own bed is absolute bliss...and knowing you can stay snug inside makes for icing on the cake.

    I do have "Kelly envy" - would love to hear a few Ah and Blesses as she whipped my house into shape!

    Stay warm and be well.

  16. I would say that the ability to savor idleness is one of the highest art forms of all. And there is nothing better than the being under the duvet when the wind and rain are lashing outside. May you continue to delight in the best of simple pleasures, whether you count them up or not!

  17. The photo captured me right at the beginning of this post about all that made you feel that the day was a good one filled with good things.

    It is the simple things that really do bring comfort, isn't it? Thanks for sharing yours with us.

  18. How funny that the photo which you say had nothing to do with your post ended up being a blessing to me! It's so evocative of the trees outside my childhood home - I like remembering them.

    And what a wonderful visual representation of everything "out there" that wouldn't be a blessing to you just now. Cuddle up inside, in the warmth, and just enjoy.

  19. The person you are shines through this entire post. You are someone I'm glad I follow, because otherwise I would miss all THIS! And your commenters are nothing to sneeze at, either. :-)

  20. I count my blessings everyday while being idle, its Bonza :-).

  21. wishing you MUCH more well deserved 'bliss'

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >


    < ° ) } } > <

  22. I finally had to get out of the house but at least it was a slightly warmer evening. We finally made it back to our favorite evening meal, Mexican food mainly, restaurant. They were under the impression that possibly I was angry with them for not cooking my salmon long enough the last time I was there! I had completely forgot about it, we had just too many irons in the fire, about a week away from home, and colds and junk. So my salmon grilled left my taste buds frilled, I had missed that meal. Besides, I was running low on salsa. I prefer to mix the salsa of both local Mexican food places.

    Hope you are feeling much better.

  23. Well, I was going to say you are a blessing to us all. There'd be a great big, black hole if you were no longer here to keep us all thoroughly entertained by your dry witticisms and on our toes with your thought provoking posts. You are like no other, Friko.

  24. The picture reminds me of a poem “November” by Thomas Hood, which you introduced in your past post.

    When I got back to my home after unexpected one week stay at hospital, I counted many blessings. At least being idle was a blessing apart from hustle-bustle of the day or keeping myself busy adding one thing to another.

    Stay warm and take care of yourself, Friko.


  25. Hi Friko .. wonderful to have a Kelly around to dust-bust our non-reflecting sunbeams as they hit our furniture ... and that bliss of being able to sort paperwork and tidy things up.

    Glad you're feeling a little better - the gloom doesn't help and those storm lashing winds - they weren't that bad down here, but certainly whistled around.

    Lots of Bless' .. I think I shall look on them more benignly in future ..

    Have a good weekend .. Christmas can sap creativity at times .. just the lists of to dos .. cheers for now - Hilary

  26. Ah, Friko ... blessings indeed. I wouldn't quibble about any of your choices. I also find that ideas for blogging, poetry, writing leave me when I am not well. Either that or I am too idle to think. No, I believe there is only so much energy available and healing uses lots of creative juice.

    Enjoy your wild weather and the fireside warmth.

  27. Your blessings struck a chord - other than the one about hiding away from lousy weather, of course as I sit in a surfeit of sunshine downunder!

    But what I DIDN'T relate to was the potential problem with including leisure-related blessings! I don't get why blessings can only be 'good' things - if you appreciate it, it's a blessing no matter how non-politically correct it is!!

  28. I enjoyed your blessings post very much! I too have a cleaning lady who is kind and empathetic as well! When I was recovering from my surgery she was so kind! Checked on me daily via phone and when she came to clean..she did my laundry too!! Sigh!! That is a blessing and bliss all wrapped up together!!
    Stay warm and snug

  29. Grateful for idleness...and why not? In this world of puritanical efforts at getting ahead, isn't it nice to be just where you are?

  30. The post is the best: you kicking and screaming into blessing. I'm all the richer for it.

    The photo: ah, bless.

  31. You don't need to wate time counting your blessings, Friko, when you could be counting your talents with words instead!

  32. Friko, as I am just getting to know you through your blog and writing, I'm sure I'm missing parts of your life that make this post more meaningful, but, I did want to stop and say how much I enjoyed it and what I see as a great sense of humor in you. Your "take" on gratitude had me smiling - and grateful for the read.

  33. Oh Friko, what a wonderful post. I hope you won't be annoyed with me, but I finally placed you in my constellation of people I "know."

    I tend to think of friends and acquaintances in terms of "famous" people, and for me you are P.D. James in disquise.

    I love her writer's gift of being able to create the perfect mise-en-scène. That I can read you several times a week is a blessing. You are the perfect metteur en scène,


  34. It's the small, maybe mundane things in life that make the difference between acceptance and contentment. I am always thankful for hot water on tap.

  35. The blessings you have shared are riches indeed. Take care and recover at your own pace.

  36. a cornucopia of blessings and we humans need idle time.

  37. 'Ah bless' sounded bliss. And to have a cleaning fairy? More bliss. I have discovered that it is the small things that make me happy, and I loved your list. Hope your recovery is continuing apace.

  38. No need to count your blessings but I'm pleased you're enjoying them!
    Love the photo - very atmospheric. Hope the trees survived the gales undamaged.

  39. You might rail against the expression and the very idea of it, but it's a hell of a lot better than sitting in a hole wrapped in a big black coat. It seems to have been recently discovered by those in the counselling business that fastening on a little tiny bit of good, and of hope, works tiny wonders. Myself, I can get elated about being in a warm bed when it's miserable outside.
    I rather enjoy seeing you get twitchy about counting your blessings.

  40. Ah, we all need a blessing once in a while. Bless, Friko. Bless.

  41. That weather sounds absolutely shitty. You're not in one of those soggy areas I've been seeing on BBC are you? Poor Benno.

    TV is always a blessing and no matter what anyone thinks of me for saying it, I love Survivor. So there.

  42. You're so much more noble than I could hope to be !
    I'm grateful for a myriad of blessings , large and small , but it doesn't stop me moaning about a thousand and one other things .
    Anne Of Green Gables , I'm not .

  43. I have been too tied up counting my own blessings to get as far as anyone else's blog of late so am sorry to hear you have been unwell... Dr Zuess wrote a book which I used to read to the kids called something like do you realise how lucky you are...I don't thin I could live with ah bless too often but I never get over counting my blessings which come in the form of two boys one girl....mind you if you ever feel the urge to share your cleaning lady or your dog walker with me I would certainly count that as a blessing!!


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