Three years ago today, a good friend passed away. She had been suffering with anorexia, and her beautiful heart, which had been so strong for such a long time, needed to rest.

Today, another good friend is making a brave move to Svalbard where she will need to learn how to use a gun, so when she leaves town she’ll have some protection against the polar bears which outnumber people.

Today, my partner suggested I bury some plum pips so that next year we can return to where I dropped them, and see if a tree has taken root there.

Today I made my partner’s daughter laugh and she voluntarily hugged me. Today she made my soul sing.

Today, I felt grateful for my life. Grateful for the ones closest to me. Grateful for the love and the happiness that I’ve found here in the north. I’m grateful for the energy that I have found to say ‘not today’ to the anxiety and the insecurity that sometimes tries to bully its way into my day, and make me feel small and insignificant. I’m grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.

This week I was welcomed onto the Dirge Magazine writing team and my creativity has a new, dragon-like strength. This week I applied for a job which, if I was awarded, would throw me in at the deep end with the Swedish language, force me to be courageous and actually communicate with a new tongue.

It’s not easy to always be quick to react to things. We forget about birthdays and replying to messages and getting back to those unanswered phone calls. But we’re human and life sometimes gets so busy that these things happen. We need to learn to forgive ourselves and others more often.

Today love. Love with everything you have. Be kind. Smile. Listen. If you need to say sorry, say sorry. Take a moment to think of all the things and people you have been taking for granted, and vow to never take them for granted again.Take a moment to think about what you are grateful for. Take a moment to do something you love. Take a moment to stop, to close your eyes and to breathe. Really, truly breathe. You’ll be surprised at how good it can make you feel. Make the time to be close to those closest to you, be that through a phone call or a Skype session, a letter or an email, a massage, a strong hug or a long kiss. Take a moment to relish the fact that you’re here and remember – we’re all works in progress and to grow into better versions of ourselves we need to be kind to one another.


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