Glad (84 days)

Two years ago this month, possessed by Stan and full of semi-fictions, I watched Pollyanna for the first time since I was a kid. And do you know what? It changed me. Maybe just for a bit. Or maybe forever. Or maybe not at all. Maybe it was just something convenient on which to hang a timely spurt of positive thinking. Well, I’m having another spurt, and this time I’m hanging it on January 31st.

So. My sister has a friend who is blind in one eye as the result of a stroke. The same lady also has fibromyalgia, an irregular heartbeat and to cap it all, a couple of weeks ago, she died. Thankfully, she was brought back to life, but still. The same lady’s husband, incidentally, who has also had a stroke, and is also blind in one eye, is also diabetic. As my sister was telling me about all of this yesterday afternoon, I experienced a palpable wave of gratitude. At first I feared that I too was having a stroke. But it was gratitude. And it got me thinking, and it got me counting my blessings. So I thought I might count them in public.

  • I’m glad I have my health. Well, relatively. I do have chronic back problems, receding gums, athlete’s foot, haemorrhoids, ear wax and acute hypochondria. But nothing debilitating. And I’m hopefully borrowing a bicycle while I’m up here, so, if I put my mind to it, I can be Zeus by Christmas.
  • I’m glad I never have to go back to Sunderland ever again. This is my first extended visit to see my mum since she moved to Mansfield from Sunderland in July, and I have to say, I like it here. The people here seem far less embittered, aggressive, miserable and hopeless. But maybe that’s just me. No, I don’t think it is. Not entirely. Sunderland is short-tempered, and the young people in the street are invariably mean. I don’t think that’s true down here. And the accents are much sweeter. Also – and this definitely helps – old ladies keep calling me ‘duck’.
  • Speaking of Mansfield, I’m glad yesterday was a beautiful day and I went with my mum and sister to a place called Vicar Water.



  • And I’m glad that someone chose build a sculpture of a giant golden hand coming out of the earth. Look at it!


  • I’m glad I was able to get closer too…


You know, I reckon this is one of the most wonderful sculptures I’ve ever seen…


Moving on…

  • I’m glad I’m getting closer to my family.
  • I’m glad that my incontinence remains for now an amusing exaggeration.
  • (I’m glad that it amuses me at least.)
  • I’m glad I booked a place on a Buddhist retreat at the end of the month.
  • Now – there’s no way of saying this without teasing a smirk and eye-roll from the more cynical amongst you, so I’ll just come out and say it: I’m glad I’ve found God.

That’s right.


OK, I haven’t really found God. I’m sorry. I misled you. But the truth is that lots of things in my life are pointing me inside at the moment. So I intend to put some work in on my inner life. Man. And it’s not just because I’m reading Eat Pray Love, I promise.

  • I’m glad I have a plan B and know that whatever happens, I’m leaving the country on January 31st, 2011. (Unless death or impending death steps up to prove me wrong.)
  • I’m glad I have a plan A that I’m going to tell you about tomorrow.
  • Also, I’m really glad I don’t have to leave the house today. It’s miserable out there.


What about you? What are you glad about?

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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