As most of you would already know, I’ve been practicing being grateful for 5 things a day over the last few weeks which has been a really interesting exercise because it makes you realise how much you can so easily take for granted when you are living comfortably in the first world with relatively few problems compared to most. I mean, if the worst thing that happens to you in your day is running a little late, or getting splashed by a passing taxi on your way to work (happens to me ALL the time), or running out of coffee when you really need it – then life must be pretty ok right?
So in terms of putting things into perspective, and opening my mind, my little exercise has been brilliant.
I had reason to be incredibly grateful over the weekend though. I am going to have to admit something I’m not too proud of to tell you my story, but hey, maybe it’s good for me to share my mistake so no one else makes the same one.
Over the weekend, buoyed by the joyous news that C had some extra time off work that we weren’t expecting, I managed to get very drunk two days running. I don’t make a habit of getting plastered anymore, as that was something I practiced in my teens and early 20s and not so much something I do now. Don’t get me wrong, I am still up for a good time, but its when you cross over into the state that equals memory loss and vomiting, that I now draw the line. I have this terrible habit of getting ‘drinking guilt’ and feeling ashamed, embarrassed and worried about what happened in the blanks that I can’t seem to fill in and it’s just not a nice feeling which is why now I prefer classy, responsible drinking to trashy drinking.
However, Saturday night I teetered very close to that line, and potentially crossed it. I was tired and hungover to begin with (after Friday night), didn’t eat and had way too much to drink. I did leave at a reasonable hour (9pm), and got on the bus to go home but when you consider we’d been out since lunchtime it wasn’t so reasonable. C offered to come with me but I was adamant that I’d be OK and that he should stay out and make the most of his time with his friends. Knowing that we both have a habit of falling asleep on the bus, we agreed for me to set myself an alarm and make sure that I had something to wake me around the time my bus would be due home.
Alas, I vaguely remember my alarm going off, but I must have just turned it off and gone back to sleep. I then woke to the sound of my phone ringing, some 2 hours later, and after a bit of a disoriented phone conversation, looked around and saw that I was in Central London (about half way to my home). ‘Oh, that’s strange’, I thought to myself, ‘why am I only here if I’ve been on the bus so long?’ And then, after another second or two I realised I was going in the completely wrong direction. So, I must have slept all the way until the end of the line and then started the journey back. THANK GOD my friend called me!!
I changed buses, called C and asked him to stay on the phone with me or ring me in 10min intervals and eventually got home.
Now, some may say that this was bad luck. And indeed, getting into that situation in the first place was bad luck I suppose. (A bit like falling down the stairs of a classy restaurant.) But, I am also incredibly lucky that I wasn’t robbed, that my friend called to check on me and that in the end, I was eventually safe, even if it did take me 3 hours to do a 40min journey!!
My phone (iphone) was sat on my lap the entire time and could easily have been swiped. I could have ended up in a very dodgy part of London, alone, with no money and no phone. So I am very grateful and next time I will make sure that C does come with me, even though I was sure I’d be OK.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had good phone luck. I don’t know if it’s good karma, the universe watching over me or the fact that it was the eve of St Patty’s Day and I’m married to and Irishman, but I am so so so grateful and I have definitely learned a valuable lesson.
The moral of the story:
– eat food and drink water while drinking all day
– keep your phone somewhere safe and not in plain view of potential thieves
– keep your wits about you in London, especially on transport and take someone with you
(Apologies to friends and relatives, especially my parents, who might be ashamed to hear this story, I promise I will grow up soon).
The last few days I’ve been grateful for:
Thurs: Two wonderful people in my life who celebrated their birthday on this day/the technology to be able to contact them cheaply from overseas/my cancelled plans so I could have a quiet night/a hearty and delicious meal.
Fri: The news of C having the weekend off/ the great time out we had together/ my cute outfit (a present from C)/ the fact I didn’t slip over in the rain (it was a close call)/ to live in such a great area of London
Sat: (see post above) friend/luck/safety/lessons/C
Sun: my bed/ the skype date I had with two lovely friends/ conversations with my sister and brother/ Sunday night soul food / an early night’s sleep