We have reached the flag-bearing point of our journey… looking high into the sky, at the primary goal of our trek, after searching and climbing and often crawling clumsily through the earth, we are now finally at that peak – the zenith of the A-Z challenge.
And I’m grateful for it.
But not for the way you might think. I was already posting once a day for my gratitude blog, so it wasn’t much of an exertion to do it still for this challenge. I’m grateful for reaching the end of it all, sure, but I’m also grateful for what I learnt along the way.
I learnt that sometimes it was interesting to have the direction of a letter to keep you focused on what to be grateful for. Prior to that, I’d be going through my day asking myself ‘should I write about this?’ With the A-Z challenge, knowing I had a certain letter, such as ‘C’ coming up, I’d be running through things in my head as the day approached, to try and prepare myself for something ‘C’ popping up.
That was another thing too. I completely winged it, going day by day and seeing what interesting things would pop up in my life. There were probably only 2 days where I knew more than a day in advance what I’d be grateful for, that being W for Wind and ‘Z for Zenith,’ actually (it makes it easy there not being too many Z words!) Although this can be seen as particularly hard, and even somewhat limiting as I was fearful of, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t too bad overall, and felt promise that even though my goal was to be grateful for something of a certain letter on a particular day, something that may sound forced, all the things I wrote about were genuine and relevant to that day. It made me think that there is so much to be grateful for, only we are generally too oblivious to realise it. Overall, this provided me with hope. There is hope not only for me, but for everyone out there.
Having said that, it forced me to get creative. I went slightly abstract with A for Absence, and Y for Yonder… and also, with Prince’s passing, I was desperate to get my feelings out in a post, and searched for songs of his that I loved beginning with S – there were some I didn’t mind, but in honest gratitude blog fashion (and SmikG fashion) I just couldn’t fake it. So I got crafty with one of my favourite songs of his, and posted “Star, Baby I’m a.” You sure are you Purple genius.
I did get stuck, undeniably, and ran to Google and the good old dictionary for help, churning out my V and X – hey, I didn’t even know what Xylography was until I came across the definition, but I sure as hell am grateful for it! Coffee was mentioned a few times, as was food, and my V showcased my everyday appreciation of baby girl with her Vigour – these posts displayed part of what I generally think about, what I love and what inspires me. It represented a few facets of me, and all I was doing was presenting different aspects of appreciation for them.
I had to question whether I would have normally had Quiet time on my Q day, and whether it was just the letter of the day forcing me to sit down and take a photo with my feet up on my favourite chair. But, I didn’t mind. I mean, I needed it, 1. And 2, I was genuinely grateful for those moments. That was the point, right?
I’m grateful overall that I’ve reached this point. In fact, I think all A-Zers should be grateful and thankful for this process. I did write after midnight on some days, coming in a tad late, and I don’t know if that counts as a fail or not… personally I don’t think it does. Whether it was me doing it, or you doing it and you couldn’t get your post in on time, I think the point here is that you got your post done AT ALL. Life happens, shit. Sometimes we fall behind. Getting up and trying to get the job done is the hard part, so if you did it, but did it late, well good on you. You did awesomely.
And for those of you who stopped the challenge without reaching the end? I respect you. I know how hard it is to admit it’s too hard and stop a project half-way, or to realise it is not for you… but I will tell you something. That takes guts. It’s hard to even start something and give it a shot in the first place, to commit to a new goal or a plan or just something completely left-of-centre for you. That’s credit in itself. I’ve never done something like this before, so I’m pretty pleased with myself I won’t lie, but even having the balls to start it to begin with, is plenty in itself. And to stop something and realise it’s not working, is just as hard. Remember, you tried, which is more than a lot of people can say. That’s brilliant. You should be proud of yourself.
Would I do the challenge again? Life is ever-changing, fluid, in a constant state of shifting, so that answer is… I don’t know. Who knows where my life will lead me by next April. But in the meantime, I’ll keep on with my blogs. I’ll keep doing my writing. And I’ll keep looking for things to be grateful for. That I will try with all my might.
I hope you can stay on for my journey. If not, I wish you well in yours.