Praise be

Even now in the darkened depths of a Glasgow January, when the annual Scottish SAD syndrome is dragging us all down in its icy, gloomy grip, faint glimmers of a feel-good golden glow have suffused the spirit of this wee sole trader.

The annual gloom-fest that is Blue Monday was brightened this week by a stunning blood moon, inspiring awe and sheer wonderment of things which we paltry humans simply cannot control. Perhaps that sounds a wee bit woo-woo, or tinged with New Age, but for me there’s nothing hippyish about offering up thanks for good fortune. Whether that’s the sight of a glorious crimson globe hanging in the night sky, spotting little green shoots sticking their tentative necks up through the frost, or just a cuddle under the covers on a pitch-black, sub-zero Scottish morning. Dammit, sometimes it’s good to be alive.

Photo by Hanzlers Warped Visions from Flickr

I won’t say I’m blessed (simply because that expression gives me the pseudo-religioso creeps), but this week I’ve thanked my lucky stars several times and sent them skyward to join the lunar loveliness. My personal gratitude for good stuff is rooted in the mundane rather than the stellar, but hey! It’s the little things, right?

First up was the chance reading of an article by my new superhero sole trader Paul Jarvis which offered a robust challenge to the persistent and pervasive growth agenda so beloved of business mandarins and enterprise agencies. Stay small says Paul, and keep some kind of control of your entrepreneurial (and personal) ambitions. Amen, mister. Amen.

I came across Paul’s manifesto in a magazine on a flight to London. No biggie, huh? Well, no, except trips on a plane to dazzling metropolises in the name of business remain a thing of rarity for this one woman band. So hell yes, I still get a buzz from hauling my ass and my carefully packed overnight bag off to the big, bad city. Gratitude for the opportunity to spread my small business wings is also offered up to those lovely people who rate small fry like me highly enough to transport our skills all the way down from the frozen north.

The return leg prompted a further reminder of good fortune. As I sat in the departure lounge amongst the grey-suited, grey-faced frequent flyer community at London City Airport, with its distinct sense of dissatisfaction and grind, bloody grind, I once again heaved a huge sigh of relief to have escaped a life of corporate pressure and rarely getting home in time to say goodnight to the weans. That ain’t no way to make a living.

Working life can be rough, and I sure ain’t immune from stress, pressure and weighty workload. But living, and having time and energy to feel grateful for the small stuff is what matters to me. And thus, the final episode of this week’s small stuff thankfulness came from a simple chat over dinner with my very own teenage dirtbag. Our conversation wasn’t profound or earth shattering stuff, just shooting the shit. But boy, it felt great to share a few special moments with the light of my life. For that, and for him, I offer up my deepest and most heartfelt thanks.


PS Not quite sure how I managed to miss posting a Last Word blog in December, but miss it I did. No biggie, huh?