• Lara Flanagan

The simple things

This year, or the last 18 months has been filled with lessons for us all. However, I truly believe that there are only lessons for people who want to listen. The year of the pandemic, is like any great trauma, or confronting event. Ultimately it could lead to change, to a greater appreciation of what is important and to many being even more grateful for all the blessings that we have. Alternatively many of us will continue on as per normal. We are all different, it is partly what makes the world such an interesting place.

I read recently that gratitude is the key to some of the most resilient people in the world. Those who best emerge from trauma are those we are the most grateful for the most simple of things. The more grateful we are, the more we have. That is despite loss, trauma, illness and everything else that breaks our hearts. They key to everything is gratitude.

It is a little like the pandemic. You know the ones who will emerge from this unscathed are those who are thankful for being Australian, for being in a country that is doing ok. Those who are thankful for a life that has slowed down and made them appreciate the simple things in life. Those who say they are lucky for a roof over their heads, food in their belly and time with those whom they love. Those who like their own company and are grateful for time to read, to write, to garden, to dream, to pat animals and to simply be alive.

Compare those with gratitude to those who are perpetually pissed off. Who have chips on their shoulders about what the world owes them. It is always someone else’s fault- whether it be politicians, policemen, their neighbours, the person at the check out, the local council or the ice-cream man. There is an absence of gratitude that leads to anger, bitterness and a feeling that someone else is responsible for their own happiness. But no one is responsible for your happiness except yourself.

Has this year been hard? Of course it has, for some more than others. I know I have dealt with the ebb and flow of income and the anxiety that comes with that, but ultimately I have been doing ok. I have had more time to focus on my photography and my food. I have dreamt big dreams and continued pursuing them. Ultimately, I have a simple life which is easier to manage, even in a year of a pandemic.

I am forever grateful. I will always be grateful. It seems that the simpler my life becomes, the more grateful I am and the more I have.

I love the simple things.

I love my little cottage, my backyard and my menagerie.

I love my adventurous twins with hearts the size of oceans.

I love Kevin and Rosie who are more intuitive than most people I know.

I love the flowers in my garden and the fact that I have built two new garden beds.

I love to feed people.

I love when Archie and Rissie devour my food and ask me what I am making next.

I love starting the day with something beautiful.

I love chasing the light and taking photos.

I love this beautiful country and the little part of it Tenterfield, which is my home.

It is the simple things and with gratitude, your cup truly do runneth over.

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