: ) I don't know where to begin

It stuck with me for hours, days, weeks. All the things I wanted to say thank you for. And left me with a renewed sense of hope.

I started hearing it being said more; in shops, in the street and in our own home. “Thank you for…” goes a long way and its positivity is contagious.

It’s easy to avoid with strangers and easy to forget with friends. In the everyday mundane, it’s easy to assume kindness doesn’t need recognition. But it does. And once it’s said it builds bonds, makes you feel alive, a sense of belonging, appreciated, lucky.

Instead of walking around in autopilot I started noticing more things to be thankful for and made a conscious effort to respond with “Thank you for…”. The first morning cuppa, a phone call from mum, the cat purring and criss-crossing around my feet, rain on the roof, eye contact, humour, patience, a smile.

And then there were more obvious moments of thoughtfulness and support like when friends called or text to check in, to ask “How are you?” or “Fancy a coffee?” When hubby makes a special effort to cook a new recipe, when my daughter volunteers to iron her own school shirts and when a colleague goes that extra mile.

It made me send postcards to my two BFF’s who I’ve known since being at high school aged 11. Illustrations of boobs, different sizes and shapes. Something in common to laugh at, girl to girl. All I put was “Thank you for being a friend”. A reminder that they mean a lot to me.

And I recognised that instead of giving drivers the bird if they annoyed me, or did something stupid, I simply sit calmly and waited for them to pass.

Thank you for became an itch I had to scratch. A mindset I wanted to continue. An outlet for my creativity. Not sure entirely where it may go, or what it should be. The opposite of my work life. An escape. Curiosity. My acceptance of the new norm - opportunity.

I didn’t really know where to begin. I’ve done it for employers and customers time over, but it feels different when you become your own customer. It felt good to not have high expectations, not to plan too far ahead, not to put up too many challenges and decide, day by day, how to progress it. Sure enough it started to take shape, bit by bit and spark more ideas and conversations.

I wanted to promote the work of my crafting friends and those like them, and to also dabble with my own creative ideas. I’ve always been jealous of natural talent, of makers and menders. What a great excuse to become part of their world.

So, Thank You For… combines mindset, mindfulness and making.

If you want to recognise something, anything that makes a difference, no matter how simple or small, then say, “Thank you for…” and say it out loud and/or with a gift.

 

:) “I don’t know where to begin…” are lyrics taken from “Get the message” by Electronic. Written by Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr. Seems I decided to climb my own 6ft wall.