I make lists, plenty of lists. They include bills, to do lists, people to call, follow ups, meal lists, don’t forget lists. Sometimes one list leads to another list. I feel as if I have so much stuff in my brain that if I don’t write it all down, something will fall out and get missed. This might be true: lists can be a productive way of emptying your mind to let you focus on the bigger picture, but all too often we write a list and simply start stressing about the next item on the agenda to think about: appointments, work interest rates, whatever.

But something is getting missed. Looking back at my list of lists, they all seem to focus on tomorrow, stuff that needs to get done. They all look outwards and onwards, what about the internal and the here and now? It’s as the famous quote says: ‘life is what happens when you are busy making other plans’. What is happening right now that we missing while we are preparing for tomorrow?

I think today we should be writing a different kind of list: a list of the things we are thankful for. And, more importantly the people we are thankful for. As Mark Twain wrote, ‘to get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with’. Money only has value to society because those little discs of money and scraps of paper have an agreed worth. Acknowledging the people that we are thankful to have encountered has a worth all of its own.

Imagine you have won a big award, a once in a lifetime, who would you thank up on that stage? Because you have won something special: you have met and continue to share your life with priceless people. My speech is below, maybe you could try and write your own.

“I would like to thank my Mum, for teaching me so much and setting the best, most inspirational example I could ever hope for. My boyfriend for putting up with me, and proofreading my words and my internal monologue and editing it for the better. My various bosses, for shaping my confidence, my experience and my knowledge, even when the job hasn’t been a perfect fit. The poets, writer and buskers who make me envious of their abilities, but inspire me with their creativity and skill. Thank you.”

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