1000 gifts, numbers 110-119

It has been a while since I posted any items for my list of '1000 gifts' - 1000 things that I am thankful for. Doing this has begun to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness in my every day.

Last week, my often grumpy son was saying how terrible it was that he had to go with us to watch his sister play netball. I had been listening to him for over an hour and a half and I was a little bit tired of it.

Instead of yelling at him (which really doesn't work anyway) I said, "You know, you have a choice every day. You can whinge and complain about the things you don't have or you can say thank you for the things that you do have." I began to say out loud all the things that were good about the day, including the green grass and the blue sky and the car that drove fast, and amazingly, his whingeing calmed down. It actually became a good day.

So here are my nine gifts for this week.

110. Chocolate cake and a legitimate reason to eat it – my birthday.

111. Chocolate cupcakes, cooked by a wonderful friend and eaten with that wonderful friend in a park on a sunny day. She drove one and a half hours to come and have lunch with me.

112. Baby cupcakes and sprinkles, eaten with warm friendship on a cold day at playgroup, to celebrate the second birthday of my youngest. Yes, she is two!

113. Three child free hours. Three child free hours. Three child free hours. I have to say it again and again because it really feels wonderful to have some breathing space and an opportunity to do some writing. And it happened because the baby has gone to preschool!

114. The smell of curry and a really good basmati rice. This smells even better because it is not cooked by me. It was birthday dinner, cooked from scratch by my mum and brought down by mum and dad to be eaten at home. Even better, they left the leftovers here and I'm going to have them for lunch today!

115. My husband, who never balks when I suggest that I might purchase another version of my dictation software, or buy flight of the Conchords tickets or go to a writers workshop or do whatever it is that I want to do.

116. I always write this one. Green grass, blue sky and sunshine. I love the view out my kitchen window so much.

117. Medicine. It's such a blessing to get a child's cough cleared up.

118. This community. I love living here so much.

119. And, randomly, my Dyson vacuum cleaner which makes me happy whenever I vacuum.