My #50HappyThings 2016 for #BloggersUnite

Thanks to Dawn Quyle Landau for inviting me to take part in this much-needed exercise – to take time for gratitude and positivity. It felt at first like I would struggle to reach 50 in the allocated time, but in the end, I probably could have added lots more. It’s a great exercise for taking stock of where you’re at and of what matters in your life right now.

My list of #50HappyThings for #BloggersUnite is:

1.       20 years of motherhood – my eldest daughter turns 20 today

2.       Blog friends – a bonus I never could have imagined when I tentatively started my blog

3.       Blackstar – David Bowie’s perfect parting gift to his fans

4.       Nature on my doorstep – I love where I live

5.       Being a dragon – or at least, a member of the Donegal Dragons dragon boat club and being inspired and supported by the amazing breast cancer survivors and supporters who make up this club dragon-boat

6.       People – those who are there in so many ways, from close friends to the people who serve me my coffee with a smile

7.       Kindness – being on either the giving or receiving end of an act of kindness

8.       Work – sometimes I love it and sometimes it drives me mad but a mid-life career change was the right choice and I wouldn’t change it

9.       Friday Fictioneers – that wonderful weekly flash fiction writing challenge and all the writers who take part, give feedback and are generally a great bunch of people. I’m so glad I stumbled into this group

10.   My garden – it’s been a bit neglected this last year or two but I still ljamove it

11.   Continuing the practical skills I learned from my mother, like how to make jam (from the fruits of my garden!) and how to knit

12.   Memories – and learning to smile through the memories of those no longer with me

13.   My Fitbit – for reminding me that I’m doing OK

14.   My home – secure and warm, even if its constantly in need of a little bit more organisation

15.   Beaches – blessed with choice, whether it’s a long walk to the sound of crashing waves or the peace of a quiet inlet, all within a short drive

16.   Writing supports – the various groups, classes, books and mentors that continue to help me develop as a writer and get my work up to publishable standard

17.   Radio – for always being there


18.   Travel – what a great time to be alive for those with the travel bug. In 2016 we enjoyed a great week in Italy taking in three very different cities and we also spent two days in beautiful Sweden visiting my daughter, not to mention numerous camping trips here in Ireland

19.   Family – my immediate and extended family, those I managed to spend time with in 2016 and those further afield

20.   People who trust me to tell their stories – and who in doing so, remind me why I like being a journalist in a local newspaper

21.   Friendship – especially from unexpected sources in difficult times

22.   Photographs – snapshots of moments in time

23.   My Kayak – my escape, my me-time, my means of switching off from life’s challenges

24.   Magical places – those favourite views or retreats to return to time and time again, or newly discovered places that are destined to become favourites frosty garden.jpg

25.   Music – where do I start ….

26.   Camera – for capturing those special moments and places and for helping me to focus on what matters

27.   Outdoor furniture – because everything tastes better outside

28.   Skilled people – woodturners, stone masons, sculptors, weavers, musicians, storytellers for their commitment to their art

29.   Learning to let go of past hurts

30.   Fridge Magnets for reminding me of all the places we’ve beenWater drops

31.   Water – taken for granted by some of us but an unattainable luxury for far too many people in the world

32.   Fruit trees – even if the raspberries are taking over the garden!

33.   Inhalers – for giving me a quality of life not available to asthmatics in past generations

34.   The internet for all the people with whom I would never otherwise have connected

35.   Wonder –  for the pleasure it adds to travel and to life

36.   Surprise – to keep me on my toes

37.   Conservationists –  for painstakingly keeping so much of our heritage intact

38.   Hospice care – and for learning that it’s not about dying, it’s about living in the moment

39.   Books – too many to mention

40.   Laughter – especially the uncontrollable kind

41.   Photoshop – because sometimes it helps!

42.   Car – because I like to choose my own route and set my own pace

43.   Skechers – the most comfortable walking shoes ever

44.   Imagination – because life would be dull without it

45.   Learning – formal and informal

46.   Creative energy from a writing group

47.   Gratitude itself

48.   Dawn Quyle Landau for giving me a nudge to take part in this exercise – a good call for me right now

49.   Everyone else who shared their gratitude list

50.   You, for taking the time to read this list

51.   Last but by no means list, my children for giving me reason to get up every day and face the world


If you’d like to take part, Dawn’s instructions are as follows:
Set a timer for 15 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that make you happy, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; just write what comes to mind in the time allotted. You may find that if you use numbered mode, and just type what comes to mind, like me you will have enough time for more than 50. When the timer’s done, stop writing. Finish whatever sentence you’re on, but don’t add more. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things great; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! Add the photos, links, instructions, etc after you finish the list––the timer doesn’t matter for getting these details down; it applies to the list only. 

When you’ve finished your list, pop over to Dawn’s blog Tales From The Motherland and follow the instructions to add your link to the Blog Party List.

This entry was posted in Non-fiction, Photography, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My #50HappyThings 2016 for #BloggersUnite

  1. Siobhan, I’m SO happy that you took my challenge and added your list! And as I anticipated, yours is so inspiring and wonderful. I read all of them in the series and each one reminds me of so many other things that I’m grateful for as well. Your photo with #24 is gorgeous! I’m fascinated by “orbs,” and found myself curious about this photo, with three vibrant and distinct orbs in the center… I know, science, but I am a believer in magic, and that photo is wonderful! Happy New Year FF friend, and thanks for taking the time to add your own wonderful list of happy things!


    • Thank you Dawn. The photo was taken behind my house, early in the morning when the sun was still low in the sky and there was freezing fog rising from a river at the bottom of the hill. I’m not sure how much of the colour was down to the camera picking up more light than the naked eye, or whether it was digital error in the camera, but I love the magical feel to it. It never ceases to amaze me how the changing light can paint everyday objects a different colour than usual. BTW, the plants in the foreground of that photo are my unruly raspberry bushes as mentioned in the list.


  2. Pingback: 50 Happy Things 2016: Bloggers Unite to Flood the Internet With Gratitude | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

  3. Dear Siobhán,

    What a lovely list. I hope the new year brings great things your way. I’m grateful that the blogosphere has brought you my way.




  4. Jim Kane says:

    An excellent list! The inhaler I am also grateful for as well!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.