Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Gratitude. It's hard to feel grateful for something you've had for years, to appreciate something you see every day and is an integral part of your life.
Do you remember the first time you saw your house? The excitement at the thought of it becoming yours, all its potential, the happy times you would spend there? Thinking about where to put furniture and how it would look?
But we are human, and after we move in and get settled, we forget to look up at our house as we arrive home. We stop seeing the potential and the things we originally loved about it, and start seeing jobs to be done, faults and flaws.
Sometimes we see ways we could improve it: redecorating, adding an extension, converting a loft, and we put the effort in to make it better, more valuable.
But that's the exception. Most days we just see that the flower beds need weeding, the grass needs cutting, the vacuuming needs to be done, the beds need making, the bathroom needs cleaning. The list goes on and on. We get it all done and then it needs doing again.
And it feels like a relentless chore. It IS a chore. But it needs to be done, so we do it.
And in that brief moment, when everything is neat and tidy, we might take a moment to appreciate how it looks, to be grateful for what we have.
Something very similar happens in relationships.
You meet somebody new. You become excited at the thought of this being your partner. You think of the potential you have together, the anticipation of commitment, how your future looks together, the holidays you'll have, the Christmases you'll spend together, maybe the family you'll have, growing old together and still enjoying holding hands.
But after you've been together for a while, you forget to stop and look at them. You no longer see the potential because you're getting on with life. And at some point you will forget the things you originally loved about them and instead see the faults and flaws.
And sometimes you see ways you could improve or add to the relationship: going out to dinner, going on holiday to spend time together, maybe starting a family.
But most of the time you just see they've left their dirty socks on the floor and toothpaste around the sink again, they didn't wipe down the work surface after washing up, and the intimacy - when it does happen - has become a well-rehearsed routine which is predictable and unexciting.
And this is also true of our relationships with ourselves.
When we are children, we see our potential, we imagine the life we will have when we grow up and our future is exciting.
And when the future arrives, we've finished education and started working, we get dressed up to go out with friends or on a date. We look at ourselves in the mirror and, having made the most of what we have, we appreciate what we see.
After a while we do things to "improve" ourselves; exercise, diet, dying our hair.
But most of the time we see our faults and flaws; the wrinkles, the odd grey hair, the cellulite. And we forget to appreciate ourselves.
Women very often take responsibility for maintaining the home. In fact, often the bulk of the responsibility falls to them - even if they don't do all the work, it's often their responsibility to notice the things that need doing.
But do we take responsibility for maintaining our relationships in the same way? Do we sit down and tell our partner when we need attention? Do we give ourselves attention when we need it?
Taking time to notice and appreciate somebody you see every day, whether it's your partner or yourself, is bloody hard work.
So what can you do? Where can you find those moments of "tidy house" appreciation in terms of your relationship? Moments when you stand back and appreciate your partner? Or yourself? Or have your partner stand back and appreciate you?
Well, these women found one answer to this. They chose to indulge themselves in a photo shoot, taking one day out of their busy lives to make the most of what they have and stand back and appreciate it.
Not surprisingly, their partners looked at the photos and also reconnected with that "gratitude" moment.
Some of these photographs went on to open up conversations between partners that might not otherwise have happened. They provided moments of connection as they remembered what it was they originally loved, all the plans and potential they saw together.
And for those women who went on to hang their photos on their walls, they created a daily reminder of one of the many things they have to be grateful for.
So why not grab yourself some of this? Contact us today using the IM widget, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0777 381 7572 to chat about how we can help you get more gratitude.