I wanted to post this yesterday, but instead sent my friend Sam Beal a voice message saying I didn’t want to come across as being too preachy about ‘practising gratitude’ when I was having one of those days where I was extremely ragey and fucked off with everything in the world.
Today, though, after a really great espresso and a play of Kind of Blue with my breakfast (the rabbit has chewed through my aux cable meaning I can only listen to CDs), I feel marginally better about things.
So, let me tell you about this little picture-project we’ll be sharing on Instagram over the next few weeks.
I had the idea to work on a gratitude-based project a few months ago, as I re-read the list of things I’d noted down in my gratitude journal that got me through a low point of depression last year. Well, not ‘got me through’ exactly, but writing down three things that had made my day that bit brighter at the end of the evening gave me a small boost the following morning. It also left me with a long list of some rather nice things. Things like ‘juicy burgers’ and ‘Dolly Parton singing with Chet Baker’ and ‘leopard print everything’.
So, I asked Sam if he’d be happy to illustrate 26 of these things for a visual project I could write the words for, and, reader, he said yes!
Despite the fact it’s the name of Ed Miliband’s podcast, and Matt Lucas has claimed it even more recently for a saccharine BBC show, we’ve called it Reason to be Cheerful A-Z, because it really is the best thing we could come up with. Also because I would like to get anyone previously not into the Blockheads into the Blockheads. Some reasons Ian Dury found to be cheerful that have inspired my own gratitude lists somewhat:
“The juice of a carrot, the smile of a parrot
A little drop of claret, anything that rocks…
“Something nice to study, phoning up a buddy
Being in my nuddy”
You can even swap the ‘1, 2, 3’ bit for ‘A to Z’, if you say the American version of Z and not the less fun British Zed.
Anyway, click this link which’ll take you to Instagram if you wanna see what’s made the cut!
And follow me on Insta @taraleporewrites