Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I've been meaning to join in this for a few weeks, after Kate asked me to. But I couldn't think of what to write about, so I kept reading others and vowing to join in.

You see, I keep a gratitude journal. And man, some days it's hard to think of things to be grateful for, so I go big. As in, I'm grateful for the roof over my head, my wonderful Mr S, my divine Miss M. And then, the smaller things come.

A few years ago as part of dealing with my own self confidence issues I started listening to some great podcasts and audiobooks. There was one that has always stuck in my mind, and it was part of a four part series by Louise Hay. This part was a speech by Susan Jeffers, who wrote my all time favourite motivational book 'Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway'.

I think what I love about motivational books, podcasts, audiobooks et al, is that there's so much in them that is over the top for me. But at the same time, I love it.

Susan Jeffers talks about feeling grateful from the ground up. She explains how you can find the positive in every situation, beginning with a trip to the supermarket. She talks about picking up a tomato, and feeling grateful that there are tomatoes in your supermarket. That someone picked that tomato. That someone grew that tomato. That someone put that tomato on the shelf. That someone packed it in a box. That someone drove the truck to transport that tomato. That there are roads to drive a truck on to transport a tomato.

It seems simplistic, I know, but this is the kind of grateful that I love to pause and think about.
We are so lucky. Lucky that we live in an organised society where our infrastructure is so organised that we live in relative comfort. Distance is no object for what we eat, although personally... I like to be able to see the orchard where my fruit is from. I'm so grateful that I can.

My uncle-in-law works for his local council road plant, and builds roads. This has really made me think about Susan Jeffers talking about the gratefulness she feels for having roads. We take them for granted, but have you ever thought about it?

There's a lot of roadwork happening in the valley at the moment, and most days I drive past a road plant. And it's amazing. I used to scoff at council workers when I drove past - there always seemed to be a lot of smoking and not much else going on. But since I've had time to really observe, I'm blown away by the meticulous planning involved. Not to mention the amazing skill set required of the workers. One morning I watched a truck idle whilst a giant forklift removed two giant steel pipes at a time, gently setting them down on the ground. And then again. I watched as the truck (a massive truck) manoeuvred on a tiny side street, back and forth, to the side, back again, before parallel parking to let traffic go past.

It was like watching Lego building, but on a very giant scale.

I've since seen the plant team dig trenches along this street, installing pipe and finally building a gutter. Giant concrete trucks, men lifting giant wheelbarrows full of concrete, men shaping curved gutters. Amazing.

We live in a society that doesn't particularly value manual labour. But let's be honest here, someone has to build the roads. Someone has to drive a rubbish truck. Someone needs to transport the tomatoes.
We can espouse our own values upon our children, but the reality of an organised society is that all jobs are important.

This week I'm grateful for the cogs in the wheel that help our days go around and around. Without them, the roads they build, the rubbish they take away, the power that travels through the overhead lines, our lives would be very very different.

What are you grateful for?

Linking up with Kate at Kate Says Stuff for Thankful Thursday.


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