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Gratitude and growth

I'm sitting up on my bed in a Venetian palazzo, writing this at 05:30am. Waking up early is a habit I can't seem to shake off, not even on my birthday. I have booked myself some room service breakfast and my brain is currently calculating how much time I have to write and upload this and fit in a good workout before I hear the knock on the door signalling the arrival of a carb and sugary feast to start the day with.

Working out first thing in the morning is one of the habits I've grown into and grown to seek over the last year. I actually loathe missing a workout nowadays. I know, who am I?

As I wrote in my last post (here), there are a number of other practices I want to adopt for the coming year. One might say, but do you really need a birthday to start making changes? I guess that's the way my mind operates. I needed time to prepare myself psychologically - one does not become a minimalist overnight - and I needed to set myself a target. I've given myself this coming year and these 40 habits to adopt in that timeframe, as I illustrated in my previous post. The fact my birthday falls on the second day of the month did challenge my OCD a bit as I could not start my 'new' self right at the beginning of the month but I can live with that. The important thing is to make a start.

Until a few years ago, if you asked me how I planned on spending my 40th birthday, I would not be describing where I am and what I'm doing today. The truth of the matter is that, even though life took a number of unexpected turns, which I probably did not want, these plot twists and turns where exactly what I needed.

At this juncture in my life I feel I can be grateful for everything that comes my way, be it a bump in the road or a prop to lift me higher. Every experience, every encounter, be it good or not so good, is something to be grateful for and which can help for personal development. I feel like I'm entering the 40s with a renewed perspective on life, increased physical strength and positive growth of character. I have no delusions that I have suddenly become some perfect wonder woman but I feel that there has been a change in me which I want to nourish; I want to keep this momentum going.

Photography by UTOPIA PHOTO by Mariska Broersma

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