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Updated: Sep 28, 2023

At the airport last week, I did the thing that I only ever do at airports.

I bought a magazine.

Admittedly, it got shoved into my hand luggage bag, and swiftly forgotten about for at least two days…but in a way, this oversight only added to the satisfaction of when I finally sat down to devour this annual glossy treat!

Several pages in, and the current edition of Red certainly wasn’t disappointing.

Between the ‘what’s hot’ fashion edit, the beach-beauty-must-haves, and an article on why 40 is so down-right fabulous (and not just from the cliché life-begins-at stance)…there was a nugget of pure editorial gold!

A piece - written by a psychologist- on why we all need to write an ‘ingratitude list’, just as often as we write a gratitude list.

In other words, a bullet pointed one-to-ten of things that irritate, annoy and down-right grate to the very core of our being.

According to the Psychologist who penned this piece, documenting such feelings is just as important as committing to catch every hot coffee and sunrise in the journaling net, so that they’re ready to re-savour at every. Life-questioning. Moment.

Reading this advice, I couldn’t help but think about the mosquito that had ruthlessly bitten my leg while I slept the night before.

In this emotionally-charged moment of insect-negativism, I grabbed the nearest writing instrument… and began scribbling ‘Mozzies’ on a fresh sheet of paper - something which ironically, I was extremely grateful for at that moment of time.

From there, the words just kept flowing in grumbling trail of bellyaching blue ink across the now sun-cream-splodged paper. Again. The irony.

1. Having to wear contact lenses in the hot, dry sea air

2. That sun cream and white swimming costumes never the twain should meet.

3. The empty sun bed by the pool, where my Dad should have been.

4. The too-hot sand!

The bottom line, I discovered, is that moaning is therapeutic.

In a culture where toxic positivity has attached a certain guilt to any thoughts that don’t arrive on a raft of sunbeams and unicorns… this is rebellion at its finest, and it feels good!

Not just for the catharsis of ‘getting it all out,’ or even for the autonomy of committing to paper, all that makes us human.

More so, the secret sauce of ingratitude, seems to hinge on its uncanny ability to bring out the flavours in some of life‘s sweetest ingredients. Gratitude itself included!

For the avoidance of doubt, think only of how having to run on the scalding hot sand, ultimately makes the sea water lapping between your toes feel so much sweeter.

Equally, how the melted annoyance of a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick left in the sun, can only ever add to the gratitude of discovering the ‘make up in the mini-bar‘ hack…or the then satisfaction of sporting a bit of good-as-new Matt Revolution to dinner! Let me tell you, it’s Revolutionary, and the lip stick’s not bad either!

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