So I started participating in this Grateful Heart Monday link up at EmberGrey a few weeks ago. And it has totally changed the start to my weeks! I love taking the time now to sit and think about what I am genuinely grateful for. To be honest, it shouldn't be something I only do once a week, but - baby steps. ;)
This morning I was SO grateful for my daughter sleeping until 6:30am!!!! It's been between 4 and 5am wake up calls the last couple of weeks so today felt like an absolute miracle. Thank you Bug for throwing me a bone and saving me from another day dead on my feet. I am also grateful for the sunshine and heat that started this weekend - and looks to continue through the week. Finally, summer is here!
On a more serious note, this week I find myself feeling particularly grateful for this amazing group of people that I've been lucky enough to get to know the last few years in London. We all met through the same circumstances - Americans, transplanted to London with work, only here 'for maybe 2 years' (but all ended up stayed much longer) - and if I had never stepped foot on British soil I wouldn't have these friends that I can count as part of my life today.
I like to think that if we had met anywhere else, we would still be friends - and that our relationships are not only a product of the whole 'American expat in a strange country' thing in common binding us together. There is definitely something magnetic about that, initially pulling you into a circle, but a friendship doesn't hold if there's nothing in common, nothing you like about the other person, or you don't want to spend time with them. And I am so glad that I have had the pub crawls, the Chinese New Year dim sums, the birthday parties, the New Year's Eves, the Barcelona & Oktoberfest hen weekends, the 4ths of July, karaoke nights, engagement parties, Passovers, Thanksgivings, BBQs at the Wibbs and at Si's, the girls' nights...almost every special occasion over the last six years has had something to do with this group. And plenty of random 'just because' times as well. I wouldn't have changed it for the world!
Some have moved away already - in the last few years Pat & Fai moved to Bangkok, Si and Brenda moved to Singapore (in case you didn't hear, people - Asia is where it's at these days!!), and Lindsay moved to Chicago. And now we are saying goodbye to Nat and Adam, another awesome couple who have made me laugh my arse off on every occasion that we spend together. I am seriously going to miss their senses of humour and fantastic dinner parties (not to mention Nat's secret-family-recipe brisket sauce and matzoh ball soup!!).
So while I am sad about the farewells, I am incredibly grateful that because I moved over here all those years ago - and because I stayed here when it would have been easier to leave - I can count myself blessed for these wonderful friendships that I will have forever (regardless of where everyone is living)!!