In Gratitude: July Catch Up

We catch up with our nine volunteers two months into their year long photo challenge of capturing a photo of something they are grateful for each week.

We also welcome one more volunteer to the team who joins us on Sundays from the ‘Northern Hemisphere’. His photo is featured above and we will catch up with his progress in August.

A YEAR LONG CHALLENGE: I originally asked seven people who struggle with a common mental health issue such as depression or anxiety, or a sense of ‘lack’ to be in gratitude for the year ahead. Each of them represented a day of the week and began to post me a photo of something they are grateful for this day for a whole year. We started last month. Since my first request for volunteers three more people joined up and we doubled up on Fridays, Saturdays and more recently Sundays. Read original blog

We asked how life has been treating them since their introductions, if thinking about taking a photo once a week is a hassle or something they look forward to and if there is anything about themselves they have become aware of by looking around at things ‘In Gratitude’…

Can’t think of a question for next month.

I am suffering with aura migraines at the moment so can’t stare at mobile screens for long. When I’m feeling well I enjoy the challenge of looking at things that I am grateful for, even when I’ve not had a great week. I’m reminded that I have a lot to be grateful for, helps focusing on that rather than the negative things.

My question to the group for next month: Is it ok to be grateful you are not in someone else’s shoes?

Life has been pretty up and down, emergency surgery, not so good. But the sun is shining and I am still here!

Can’t say I look forward to taking the photo, but equally it is not a chore.

I have noticed that I now try to appreciate what is around me, the smaller things that often go unnoticed.

My question for the group next month:
When you get to weekends, time off of work, holidays etc, do you have a plan of what you are going to do see etc or do you just wing it and wait to see what happens, what invites, offers you get etc? In a nutshell do you have a plan in place for your spare time or not?

Life is still pretty much the same as when I started. I’ve had to bite the bullet and seek professional help from my Dr and am now taking a low dose of anti depressants. These have helped, I feel calmer and am sleeping better but my brain is still doing overtime. I’m still over thinking things that I shouldn’t really be worrying about!

I still feel I’m missing in the ‘lack’ department, I’m struggling to find things to keep me occupied in the evenings and at the weekends (there’s only so many times you can go to the cinema!), getting bored easy, lack of friends etc, this in turn makes me feel worse! On the brighter side (maybe) I’m booked in for my operation on the 19th of September. So it’s a positive move forward but again at the same time a worry. I have now rejoined my local gym so I’m now spending time there, each visit will last up to 2 hours and it does make me feel better, but it’s not really a place I could go every single day. 

I take a lot of pictures each week, we live in a very beautiful area, we are lucky! But I’m trying to find different things to be grateful for each week other than the nature I see everyday. So sometimes it’s easy to find a picture, other times it’s not!

My question to the group for next month: Has this process developed more self awareness in yourself and recognition of the positive and negative predispositions in others around you?

Ok so life was peachy when I began this and a short while into it I suffered a number of academic blows which really knocked me off my perch for a while.

My head was so buried in the problems I faced, remembering to do the images was hard.

I struggled to see positives and I noticed I photographed the more mundane every day things I found gratitude for rather than any grand ventures so to speak.

My question for next month: Did this challenge help you to live in the moment and appreciate the little things more?

Life has gotten a lot easier and far more simple due to the fact that I cut a lot of toxic sh** out of it. Taking it a day at a time has really helped me.

Taking a photo once a week for something I am grateful for is a pretty easy task for me, I find there is always something to be grateful for!

I have a lot of things to be grateful for – almost too much to count!

My question for the group for next month: I can’t think of one yet

I think life for me has largely been more positive since starting the challenge.

Good things seem to be coming my way at the moment, and I’m aware of being a bit more spiritually at peace.

I sometimes forget about taking a photo if I’ve had a busy week, but then I also have been planning some ahead. So a mixture. Its not a hassle, but forces you to think of something you’re grateful for, even if you don’t feel it.

My question for next month: Why did you want to take part in the grateful challenge? 

Life is good, very busy as I am about to move away from Somerset. I have found it emotionally challenging at times, as saying goodbyes is emotionally draining. 

I enjoy picking a moment from my week and having time to reflect on what had been going on for me- I do it on a set time each Sunday -I set a reminder on my phone! 

Since beginning the challenge I have an awareness of how much of the ‘day to day’ I take for granted and it passes me by without a second thought! I need to be more mindful and live in the moment for some part of my day.

My question for next month: Do you see a reoccurring theme in your photos?

Life is very interesting and can be a challenge: but there is no surrender.

I don’t look forward to taking a photo and often need reminding – which is good because then I have a target to work towards. 

I have noticed since the start of the challenge there is a softer nurturing side to me that I seldom give space to. Thank you.

My question for next month: I will have to have a think.

It is a joy to report on things I am thankful for. There is too much to choose from most weeks. I am also grateful for the community of those who are doing this and seeing what they are grateful for too.

AN EXTRA QUESTION FROM NORTHERN HEMISPHERE PHOTOGRAPHER who has recently just joined the gang. My question to the group is: Are any of you scared of “getting better” and by that I mean, do you fear changing lifetime behaviours because you worry about how others might perceive the new you.

What are you grateful for right now?

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