Give Thanks

We are often blinded to what is of real value in our lives. We are often blind-sided by material wealth and economic worth and seek to measure our worth according to our apparent successes and failures at acquiring wealth and establishing some form of economic status based on it. These high expectations can indeed plummet us into great chasms of despair when our net worth based on these rigid criteria is seemingly low or even non-existent.

At 50 I find that I appear to be worth less in wages and respect than I was when I was 25. This has been a hard lesson to learn. However I can live off less, and I realise that so much of how I have measured myself is based on unrealistic monetised criteria.

I hope we somehow teach our children to recognise and measure their value and worth in other ways.

I hope they learn to measure their wealth in the size of their hearts and the depth of their compassion.

I hope they learn to measure their worth in their ability to give thanks, in their tolerance and their preparedness to give support and guidance to others in need.

I hope that they learn that time is of value and is often underestimated.

When you put aside the desire to be the most successful, or to have the most money it gives you the opportunity to look more closely at what you achieved in life and what is of value in and around you.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be a mum, and for me this was not a done deal.

I am thankful that I have been able to work most of my life in a job that has been profoundly interesting, engaging and in a field that I have been extremely passionate about.

I have been fortunate and am thankful that my work has been fulfilling and challenging and that I have often felt that I am making a worthwhile and valid contribution to society.

I am thankful for my family, all of them, warts and all, a husband who has at times driven me to distraction but always been there to hold my hand and walk beside me when the road has been tough. I am thankful for my children who have made me what I am, everything I have done has been to be able to give them something of value and worth. I am thankful for my sister and my parents for all that they gave to me and all that I learned from them.

I am thankful that when I have made mistakes I have had opportunities to recover and learn and try again.

I am thankful for the friendship and love I have received over the years from people whom I have loved and cherished and also sometimes from complete strangers.

I am thankful for the world around me, the beautiful buildings with their amazing stories, the sea and the landscape, the weather and all that is nature, from the humble daisy to a seascape at sunset.

When we take time to think about what makes us glad, we are able to remember that value and worth are not necessarily linked to money.

Namaste.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Awe and wonder. Heysham nights.

In a moment of awe and wonder

All fears and worries are cast asunder

Bountiful life affirmed in Summer sunset

Magical moment in mindful mindset.

 

Clarity, depth colour hue

And in return gratitude.

 

In a moment of awe and wonder

We see the world in all its splendour

All our sorrows and anxiety we forget

Beauty in life affirmed by summer sunset.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

 

This is my first contribution to Toads....hope it is okay.

 

 

 

 

Fake it ’til you make it.

Affirmations

 

  1. They help us to remind ourselves of the positives. After all that is what they are all about, they are intended to help us affirm our strengths.
  2. They help to restore the balance within our brains that can occur when our self-esteem has taken a bit of a battering. (self–esteem can be very fluid.)
  3. They feed and nourish our long-term self-efficacy.
  4. Fake it until we make it, a lot of research out there suggests that we can shape what we will become by the thoughts we perceive as important, and therefore having good thoughts about ourselves should ultimately lead us to have better outcomes in life.
  5. It can give us a better sense of gratitude and self-worth.

My acrostic was my attempt at writing myself an affirming acrostic, it isn’t about its depth and breadth as a piece of poetry but about the mental processes and the affirmations that occurred whilst penning it.

Amazing

Fun loving

Friendly

Industrious

Resilient

Maternal

Accepting

Tenacious

Intelligent

Open to new ideas

Nurturing.

 

 

Alison Jean Hankinson.

Being able to give… the greatest blessing.

I can smile and skip and scurry in hurry along the winding road

I can speak, chide and compliment and listen to lighten your load

I have food work and sustenance and a humble comfortable abode.

 

I am blessed with unfaltering hope and love and wings to fly

And distant dreams to share and amazing opportunities to try

And firm friendships love and family that death will always defy.

 

My family are a blessing and they give me hope each and every day

When I am lost they give me sense of purpose and help me find my way

They are my anchor in stormy weather when I would rather run away.

 

May you find your inner strength in the gifts of love you receive

May you give back compassionately to those who are in need

And remember that the most bountiful blessing is in the deed.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

This was created in response to Paul Scribbles poetics challenge for d’Verse on the theme of blessings.

 

Tears of summer

It should have been a whimsical day. Instead, I have existed somewhere between morose and forlorn. The summer seems to have vanished and with it all sense of joy and certainty only to be replaced by some strange uneasy restlessness, not quite admitting defeat but eager to have some steerage and surety about where my next steps will lead me.

It has been a weekend of waves and high tides, unsettling and I have been unable to make the most of getting down to the sea. Today it became a necessity, to track the well-worn paths through the grass, camera in hand with the hope of catching a gull in flight or a breath-taking landscape to restore some semblance of order into my world.

Tide high Seagulls fly
Raindrops splatter Terns shelter
Summer deserts us

 

This is for Haibun Monday at d’Verse, where were asked to think about summer.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

 

Familial traits, the signs we try to hide.

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God rest your soul

The sins of the father shall be forever imprinted on your weary brow

He filchered and fettled and frolicked in the sun

Leaving behind a string of homeless wives and penniless sons

These faults are incumbent on you and you will falter and fail

Unless you take heed of the signs and learn the lessons.

Give constancy care and compassion

Avoid adultery and count your blessings.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

For d’verse poetics, the challenge was sign.

 

 

In this life…

 

 

In this life of complex order and sequence

Is a simplicity and fragility that is there to guide us.

We must value the moment we hold in our hands

Take it and treasure it and place it in our conscious mind.

 

In this life of uncertainty and fragmented disenchantment

we must honour the souls of the ones that came before us

So that that our own endeavours however meagre and small

Will have dignity and connection in their labour and toil.

 

We must appreciate the moments of beauty and bounty

And be humble and honest and have integrity.

Lest all that we know should be gone tomorrow

In this life of tragedy and human sorrow.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

Whilst I wrote this on Saturday it was entirely with the sentiments of d’Verse poetics challenge that was looking for poems to save the soul….and I think we have suffered greatly in the last few weeks with the attacks on London and Manchester and I wanted to peel back the layers to what is still important and will always be important.

Today was a very blustery day….a pooh bear kind of day, and so long as we remember to feel the wind on our face and acknowledge it for what it is we are still clearly alive and functioning.

 

 

Brunton Park boogie-woogie

Grey-haired renegades

Body-popping bimble-bugs

Summer spirits soar.

We were highly entertained on a beautiful summer evening at Brunton Park, Carlisle watching the UB40 Grandslam tour. It was a relaxed affair, every bit old school reggae with some Level 42 for good measures. I suspect the average age of the audience was pushing 50. The beer flowed, everything was mellow and there were smiling happy people enjoying sunshine, good music and a little bit of bimbling bopping…I get auto-corrected every time I try to use bimbling, but it is a word…although I took the liberty of adding to it in my short senryu

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It was a long walk home and I suspect there will be many had tired and aching feet and a few with added hangover this morning, but it was a welcome reminder of the good natured side of eighties life…there was nothing to prove…no hidden dystopian novellas wrapped in shady riffs, just sunshine and the occasional syncopated rhythm from a trill trumpet or a laid back sax. Reggae on renegades.

Alison Jean Hankinson

 

Let’s be clear on why we’re here.

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To love unconditionally

To pass the tests

Of time

To be humble

To walk in awe

Of nature

 

To be kind to others

To share our wealth

Whatever that may be-

Humour, love, strength, patience

Words of wisdom

To listen carefully.

 

To be brave

To walk forward into battle

With a steadfast heart

And rising mettle

Knowing that win or lose

We wagered.

 

 

To be wise

Keep calm and peaceful

In the storms that rage inside

And know that tomorrow the skies will clear

And beyond the misty gloom

The rainbows will reappear.

 

Kia Kaha- to be strong

To guard our children fiercely

And cry real tears of sorrow

For all the mothers who have lost their children

And know that every day is long

For someone.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

For d’Verse poetics, again written this weekend- I was clearly in need of some chicken soup for the soul. I would hope that this is an optimistic poem and a reminder that we are humble and to be cognisant of the battles we are all fighting underneath the surface.

With love.