Tales from a boring old man. Chapter 1. A Blank Canvas

As the wind has rattled the windows over the last few days, I’ve had a few moments of strange gratitude. Mainly borne out of seeing some of the winter garden debris get scattered across the local area. However, that is balanced with a resigned feeling of acceptance as the winter carnage from the local area has stepped in to fill the void in the garden. I guess I’d better get the wellies on and get to work. But first, the winter dog poo needs dealing with.

Of course, those who know me will realise I am delighted to have dog excrement to clear. Seriously! Three weeks ago, we feared having to allow our loveable old boy, Ringo, to slide into external sleep following a horrendous seizure and subsequent series of fits. With the magnificent support from his vet and a lot of love from us all, the old boy has shown a fight for life that we can all learn from.

So, here’s to many more months of filling shit bags 😀.

And, the pure emotion of watching my lovely boy over the last 3 weeks leads me to that place of realising and releasing love.

The previous blogs have followed a path through something like 6 or 7 years of my life. Perhaps, at times, a little more open that today’s head would have committed to. But, sometimes, emotion is raw. Emotion is at the rawest when love lets you down. However, today’s head tells me that’s not a reason to deal with your dirty washing in such a public way.

Recent blogs – we’re talking over the last 3 years or so – have sought to be more positive. However, I kept getting caught up in world affairs and frustrations with in inane government we have in the U.K. However, in reality, is a blog which is supposed to be be positive the right forum to take a swipe at such an easy target? Today’s head tells me to back off. For sure, an occasional WTF on social media will still pop up, but a View From The Ground blog needs to frame a more eye catching picture.

So, here we are. Stripped bare. A blank canvas.

Having just reached another milestone age, I experienced two emotions: –

1) Oh hell (or words to that effect) another milestone age. An age when some things are supposed to get cheaper. Obviously, such age related benefits have been eroded over the years as any retirement age has disappeared. But, if I choose to move to Scotland public transport is cheaper / free. At this moment in time, as much as I love Scotland, riding around on public transport all day because it costs nowt doesn’t appeal just yet.

2) Gratitude, as I am lucky to be alive and stumbling.

Gratitude has already been referred to earlier in this piece. Gratitude that my mate Ringo continues to entertain us (as he rolls around the floor with his toy burger being tossed about). Gratitude has also been a key feature in previous View From The Ground words. Why? Because the day I take things for granted, I run the risk of things falling away.

So, with my blank canvas and my brush strokes landing freestyle, the design in mind is one of an expressive nature. One that recognises not all can always be perfect, but it’s one where there is always something to feel good about.

So, let’s see how this moves forward. I always revert to my old mate Google when I’m looking for definitions and quotes as I’m not that well read.

I’ve looked at gratitude several times and this time, it threw up the question ‘what are the two major components of gratitude?’.

It referred to Robert Emmons, a psychology professor and gratitude researcher at the University of California, Davis, explains that there are two key components of practicing gratitude in his Why Gratitude Is Good essay –

1) “it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.”; and

2) “we recognise that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. … We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”

Bear with the spiritual stuff if that’s not your thing. It’s the concept that I’m interested in. The simplicity of gratitude and the things that occur which should result in that good feeling.

It’s funny, as I’ve just been watching Ringo chomping on a treat that he’s just been given. He’s definitely grateful. Although how he feels his gratitude is simple. Quietly lying there, eating and being content. End of.

Watching Ringo reminds me of the gift of being able to watch him. 3 weeks ago, we were lifting him into the car for another visit to the vet. A massive question was hanging as to how many days, or even hours, were left in his precious existence. So, 3 weeks later, the gratitude to the vets, the pharmaceutical geniuses, and so forth, is immense.

In essence, my blank canvas is intended to be used to create something which presents a bright existence. An world where it’s accepted there will be some challenges but, in amongst those challenges, there is always something to be grateful for.

We all have the chance to seize a blank canvas. We can create something good. We just need to be wise and aware of all of that good stuff that is always there. I hope you find yours. When you do, please share it. We all want to share what’s created your gratitude.

For now, take care.

Jon

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