Apparently, life is all about ‘gratitude’

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight...

Gratitude seems to be the latest Facebook catch cry. I’m seeing it everywhere. How to cultivate it, how to acknowledge it, how to savour it and turn your gratitude into an endless patience and love.

As it turns out, I can’t be cynical about any of this, since I totally agree. I am always SO grateful and SO appreciate of my blessings that I’m always waiting somehow for them to come tumbling down. As I guess they will one day, although I hope I’ll be so busy being grateful for the minutiae that I won’t notice the wider catastrophes befalling me.

A couple of years back, when I was unhappy in my job and trying to find the courage to publish a silly little book about sneaking vegetables into children, I did what many women do and looked everywhere for omens and signs that I was choosing the right path rather than foolishly tossing away a well paid part-time job. I remember doing a psych test online, to determine my suitability to life as an entrepreneur. It told me that I wasn’t suited at all, because my strongest trait was ‘gratitude’, which I guess means I’m good at touchy-feely stuff, but not good at being a self-determined, small-business fascist. And perhaps they were right. I still struggle with being too self-effacing and embarrassed when it comes to pushing my business ‘out there’. But I refuse to submit to the theory that gratitude and success aren’t compatible.

It’s the simplest thing that has had my mind focusing back on gratitude (and joy) – the star stamp from the picture up top. As a girl I would do the whole ‘star light, star bright’ rhyme and WISH for a set of teachers stamps. I wished this wish OFTEN, hoping somehow Santa would hear and sort me out. But he never did. So this year when I was buying the kid’s school supplies I saw this stamp and bought it. And I can’t tell you how ridiculously HAPPY it makes me EVERY time.

With typical adult rationality I had to come up with a purpose for the purchase. Now instead of writing ‘PAID’ on the top of my bills, I stamp them. Oh, the joy of a paid electricity bill! And boy! What a time saver ;).

So what’s your joy? Where’s your gratitude? I’d love to know. It can be amazing how the simple things in life truly are often the best.

vegie smugglers fruit pikelets

There's no simpler joy than a perfect pikelet.

Fruit Pikelets

1 cup self-raising flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
150ml milk (soy drink works well)
1 egg, lightly whisked
¼ cup sultanas
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup dried apple, finely diced
Margarine, butter or canola oil cooking spray, to grease
Icing sugar and jam,
to serve

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar.

Combine the milk and egg and pour into the dry ingredients, whisking to remove any lumps.

You should now have a nice smooth batter. Add more milk if it is too thick. Stir through the sultanas, coconut and apple.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over low heat. Grease with either margarine, butter or canola oil spray. Add tablespoonful dollops to the pan. Cook until bubbles start to appear, ease a spatula under then flip. Cook on the other side for a minute or so until golden brown.

Serve the pikelets with a dusting of icing sugar and jam, on their own, or with butter and jam.


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13 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    ParentsDesk said,

    That’s so true about the stamp. I used to love getting the “job well done” stamps. I think parents need to give themselves stamps more often. Thanks for posting!!

  2. 2

    I brought a smiley face. Hubby thought I was mad, but I have always wanted one too. My daughter thinks I am cool now, I heard her tell her teacher, ‘My Mum has one of them ‘. Amazing the difference a stamp can make. Was not sure what to use if for, so thanks now the smiley face has a purpose. (I am off to tell Hubby!)

  3. 4

    Great post Wendy – I truly believe gratitude is one of the keys to a happy life and I work on it regularly. It is awesome that it was naturally your strength. I think you are incredible for going out there and making your dream come true with your books!

  4. 6

    naturalnewagemum said,

    I love this post ! How amazing stamping your bill with a star. Don’t we always hate bills? But how grateful are we that we have money to pay them !! yeah, that’s great !! Stamp away, be happy that we are paying bills!! And… I don’t think you have to be a particular sort of person to be successful. I think you just be yourself and be authentic – it comes across in your work and your passion for what you do in life reaps rewards.

  5. 7

    LOVE THIS- you just reaffirmed for me my decision to start a 365 gratitude diary on facebook. You remind me that the little think we can find to be grateful for- with 3 young kids under 5 and a business from home sometimes as the days blur into each other i think finding these little things will be key 🙂 love your books too- cook with them generally once a week 🙂

  6. 8

    kate said,

    you are just so beautiful and bring tears to my eyes! i hear you loud and clear. i am grateful for just being born as me….. the way i am. there are just so many things to be grateful for in my life that the list could go forever. good on you for sticking to your guns with doing what you were passionate about!! and piklets are my FAV morning/afternoon tea, cause my mum used to make them all the time, when we’d get home from school!!!!

  7. 9

    […] Bread Zucchini Mini-Muffins (recipe) Vitawheat Crackers Wholewheat Waffles (recipe) Fruit Pikelets (recipe) Cheerios or other wholegrain dry […]

  8. 10

    Kelly Burch said,

    Love this Wendy. I’m you had your stamp wish come true! 🙂

  9. 12

    You write a great little read and open up a can of thoughts!!! If everything does all come falling down around you and life is turned upside down in a heart beat, the main thing is if you have the inner strength to cope with it and move forward. We recently had a life changing upside down moment that changed everything and now find ourselves traveling Australia in a camper trailer with three kids. It’s amazing how sometimes it takes a bad event to spin your head and get you moving forward again. We surly have learnt to appreciate everything big and small, from the taste of fresh fruit and veg after a long trip without shops to watching the sun set eating baked beens on toast lol 😉

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