Hi! Grace here…

I hope this finds you all safe, happy & well!

Firstly, I want to announce the competition winner from last Wednesday’s blog! So many of you guessed correctly… ‘Gertrude’s Nose’ is right!

And my lovely winner is… Lynn Moir! Congratulations 🙂
I will arrange for your fab groovi plate quartet to be shipped to you as soon as possible!

So… how is everyone’s week going? No no, I’m actually asking you…






So many of us ask ‘How are you?’ without any actual interest in the response. It’s just a nicety. But HOW ARE YOU, ACTUALLY?

I suppose it depends on the day, the mood and which wolf I’m feeding
But whenever I ask myself this question *how am I feeling* I generally start to come up with reasons why I’m more than just ‘okay’ or ‘fine’. It’s my default, luckily.

I’m GREAT. There are SO many reasons why I’m GREAT. Even if I’m not bouncing off the walls with happiness or excitement about something. I don’t have to be in a great mood to be GREAT.

I have far more to be grateful for than I do to be sad (or mad) about.
And I’m sure I’m not the only one!

It’s all about perspective. The world has gone mad, yes. But have I?
Not yet 😉

Did my family, friends and circle of people get through the worst of the pandemic unscathed and alive? Yes we did. Now THAT is something that hundreds of thousands, nay MILLIONS of people in the world cannot answer yes to. And no, it’s not over. But think of where we all were 3 months ago…

So today I’m going to focus on the positives. Because there are SO many. Please tell me HOW YOU ARE in the comments below. I’ll read every one. Whether you’re having a rough week, or whether you’re feeling grateful for something. Or whether you just don’t really know… it’s good to write it down and get it out. Whether you click ‘post’ or not.

There’s no pressure. It’s just a little mindful exercise to get that part of our mind and soul working! Sometimes we can get so caught up in the day to day of life that THAT part of us takes a backseat. But it’s so important to feed it and exercise that part.
How am I? How do I feel? What do I feel grateful for today? What is making me sad/mad? What would I change if I could? If I can’t change it, can I change how I feel about it? What can I do/say/think/feel right now that will bring me happiness? How can I be kinder to myself and others? Am I giving anything too much or too little energy?

I could list SO many questions. I was scrolling my phone last night when a Facebook memory popped up and it got me thinking all of the above. Please allow me to share it with you…

The reason this struck me is because I vividly remember obsessing about my scar on my throat and crying in the street because “woe is me, I have a huge scar”. And then my issues were rightsized by ACTUAL problems in a hospital waiting room. Not to say that I don’t have a right to be upset about a scar on my throat, sure I do. But do I want to be upset by it?

Do I really think it’s that important? No. I’m grateful to be alive. And this post written by ‘2017-Grace’ gave ‘2020-Grace’ even more perspective after everything we’ve all just endured. And I felt compelled to share that with you.

Just some thoughts on Wellbeing Wednesday!

Here’s a poem that got that part of my mind working too…

If All The Skies

If all the skies were sunshine,
Our faces would be fain
To feel once more upon them
The cooling splash of rain.

If all the world were music,
Our hearts would often long
For one sweet strain of silence,
To break the endless song.

If life were always merry,
Our souls would seek relief,
And rest from weary laughter
In the quiet arms of grief.

Henry Van Dyke

Lotsa love, Grace xoxo

Clarity – The Home of Art, Craft and Well-being.

31 thoughts on “HOW ARE YOU?

  • 15th July 2020 at 11:26 am

    What a thought provoking blog you’ve written today Grace.
    Today, I’m grateful for friends and family, all are healthy, still have jobs and a roof over their heads.
    I’m colouring the owls with your mum and loving the doodles too.
    Stay safe and well, Jackie x

    • 15th July 2020 at 4:19 pm

      What a wonderful piece this is. Thank you Grace😍
      How am I? I would say I’m accepting & grateful. I am in the ‘extremely high risk bracket’, so I have been shielding for 17 weeks, & I have to do this until the government reassesses those of us in this bracket in August. I have accepted that this is the new ‘normal’ for me. The good thing about this is this shielding has got me crafting again after a 3 year gap.
      Grateful, I am grateful that I have pulled through this pandemic & I’m ok. I’m extremely grateful, that my husband & full time carer has also pulled through. I am very grateful our only child & her family in the USA are also healthy.
      So, yes, I am accepting & very, very grateful
      Love to all 😍😍😍

  • 15th July 2020 at 11:33 am

    Thank you, dear Grace, for your (again) lovely blog today. I hope many will be uplifted by it. Myself, I have a deep Christian faith; gratitude for the smallest thing at all times comes naturally to me. You probably know Alice Morse Earle’s saying – “Every day may not be good … but there’s something good in every day.” Well worth remembering, don’t you think.
    Keep up your good work. With love, Jutta xx

  • 15th July 2020 at 11:38 am

    Goodness me Grace; what wise words. Thank you 💖
    How am I? Well you wouldn’t really want to know cos I’d be here all day lol!!!
    But I take the positives; my family are alive and well; my grandchildren are healthy, happy, have loving parents, food on the table, warmth and love – too many children in the world don’t have this.
    I have everything I could possibly want.
    I have Barbara teaching me new things every day; giving me a laugh; sometimes shedding a tear; giving me encouragement that it’s ok not to be perfect.
    Stay safe and well and God bless x

  • 15th July 2020 at 11:49 am

    Every day I remind myself just how freaking lucky I am. I have a wonderful family. We are all healthy. I have a roof over my head, enough to eat and a job I like. I can afford a hobby that gives me great pleasure. I got to hug my mom last week for the first time in months! I haven’t seen my youngest since January, but I’m hoping to get to visit soon. Life is a little scary lately, but I’m learning to take it day by day and to count my blessings.

    One thing that has really made me happy, was the package that I received in the mail yesterday. It was the four stencils I won! I’ve been staring at them trying to decide which one to use first and what technique to use. Can’t wait to start playing!

  • 15th July 2020 at 11:50 am

    Hi Grace
    I have to say that this week is the best week I have had in the last 4 months
    The last 4 months haven’t been the easiest I have to say they have really tested me again and again, the big black depression dog called and I went quite a way down the black tunnel
    I had no enthusiasm or mojo for parching or life in general I just felt empty but then gradually I started to move up the tunnel until this week, when I started to feel more me and my enthusiasm and mojo for both life and parching started to slowly come back parching design ideas started fizzing in my head, it feels great and also strange feeling like this after all this time
    Take care and stay safe Grace

  • 15th July 2020 at 1:21 pm

    My favourite saying is an Arab proverb ‘All sun makes a desert’. Some of our greatest strengths come from hard times. I hope that is true because I have lost five people since lockdown, six more close relatives have survived the virus, there was an eight week gap in food deliveries, the phone still doesn’t work properly, the furniture hasn’t arrived, there’s still the unpacking to do, my helper left me in the lurch, I’m temporarily immobile and I had just moved to a house needing major repairs. Luckily one of the Clarity team has also just moved and I was comforted by his blog posts. The daily routine of the garden has been great within all the sadness and frustration. Thank goodness for family, friends, neighbours, library books, online theatre and all the company of Clarity. We will come back stronger and more skilled.

    • 15th July 2020 at 1:51 pm

      Ali, it sounds like you’ve had a particularly difficult time in lockdown. I am so sorry for your losses. You still have an upbeat-ness about you that is very infectious. Lovely!
      One of my favourite quotes, that you might enjoy is: ‘Of all the joys on earth, few compare to the glory of achieving against the odds, succeeding in the face of peril, or triumphing over adversity. Yet in every such case – without exception – the poor odds, the peril, and the adversity must come first’ (Mike Dooley)
      Take care of yourself! This too shall pass xoxo

      • 16th July 2020 at 1:59 am

        Thank you, Grace. Great quote. In any disaster, we should always look for the people who are helping – and there you are!

      • 16th July 2020 at 10:52 pm

        I never win competitions so seeing my name above has done a lot to lift my mood this week. Thank you Grace and thank you for asking how we are all doing.
        For me the week started badly with a visit to A&E. Temporomandibular disorder. Very, very painful but soon under control with the pain killers prescribed and having a lovely, considerate doctor who listened really helped.
        Talking of lovely and considerate people I really look forward to the morning sessions with your mum and can empathise with the feelings she openly shares with us. For one hour a day I am absorbed in the process of doodling or colouring so not stressing or worrying about what’s going on in the world and outside of my control.
        I am normally a glass half full kind of person and always try to understand the reasons why people do what they do but it is getting harder to stay positive and understanding all the time.
        The saving grace Grace is that I know that things will get better.

    • 15th July 2020 at 2:38 pm

      Great post, Grace – thank you. I am so grateful to have a healthy family, wonderful friends, employment, a lovely home, a tranquil garden, freedom and the opportunity to spend time doing things I enjoy. I’d love a bit more time, but not at the expense of everything else I have 😉.
      Take care xx

  • 15th July 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Grace, I too have a lot to be thankful for. My darling husband was struck down with the terrible big ‘C’ a few years ago and we have had so many peaks and troughs. We have, thanks to strict shielding, got through this unscathed but worry so much about him returning to work in a well known American owned supermarket chain here in the UK where social distancing is non existent when customers want their goods. Thank goodness the government has seen sense and said that wearing facemasks is now compulsory in store. His kidney operation keeps getting put back and back because of this awful virus be we are still here, we are still smiling, we are still going on holiday with our daughter, son in law and two adorable granddaughters to Norfolk in August and even if the sun doesn’t shine we will be together. Lots of love, thank you for the lovely blogs and thank the lord for you and your lovely mum.

  • 15th July 2020 at 2:00 pm

    “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • 15th July 2020 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve not been having a good week, been poorly. I would have stayed in bed feeling sorry for myself but I had to get up to colour owls, one of my favourite birds, with your Mum. What a wonderful time I’m having. I also did yoga online, which has been helping me through this pandemic, my two mini Wirehaired Dachsunds keep me laughing, I walk them in my orchard listening to the wind in the trees and birds singing….so much to be grateful for. Your words today brought tears to my eyes, thank you x

  • 15th July 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Hallo Grace, what a thought provoking blog today. You have touched such a nerve.
    I am truly grateful for my health and that all my immediate family are healthy.
    Wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces makes a lot of sense, shame it had to be made mandatory.
    Keep safe and keep well.

  • 15th July 2020 at 2:07 pm

    22 years ago I was diagnosed with a rare cancer in my sinus which pushed my eye out of line. In the next 3 years there were many associated problems to overcome. Today I am cancer free, my eyesight is fine (with specs !!), I have a wonderfully supportive husband, I have Clarity and I AM ALIVE !!!!!
    I have no family or kids of my own but I have watched 3 now adult godchildren grow and thrive which
    was very satisfying.
    No-one I know has succumbed to this awful pandemic for which I am very grateful.
    We are both retired, own our home, have no debts, have a reasonable income with which we can put food on the table and indulge our hobbies, and consider ourselves to be extremely fortunate that this lockdown has had little effect on our lifestyle.
    Time passes so quickly that we should not dwell too long on the miseries of life but be positive and grateful for all the pleasures we so often overlook.
    Nuff said – stay safe and well. 🍒

  • 15th July 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Wonderful Blog Grace, yes, feeling grateful today.
    Thank you x

  • 15th July 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Grace. Thought provoking blog today. What am I grateful for?
    I’m grateful we still have our children living at home and that we are all healthy and in jobs. I’m grateful
    I was introduced to Clarity and Groovi by my friend Esther Roberts and that your Mum has been keeping us company in the Shac Shac.
    Here in Victoria, Australia we have been put back into stage 3 lockdown, which is fine by me as I’ve been staying at home except for grocery shopping, and something needed to be done to slow this thing down here. The Government is now strongly suggesting we wear masks so my daughter, who had just bought a cricut machine, found a pattern for cloth masks and made herself one for her job in retail. Her work colleagues were waiting for someone to start the ball rolling and asked her to make them all masks, then she made some for her friends and of course her family. I posted a pic on facebook and next thing we know people are asking her if she’s make and sell them and could they have some. She has made several for some of the retirees in one of our local retirement villages as well. So from something so simple she has a little temporary side business that is helping protect our older population and making them feel safer in this new world of ours. She has been so busy I have had to give her a hand. It’s keeping her busy when she’s not working and keeping her mind off the world. Strange how something good can come out of something bad. We are very blessed.
    Stay safe Grace x

  • 15th July 2020 at 3:47 pm

    thanks Grace, so far i’m top of the world even if it is drizzling it’s good for the garden, it’s so nice for you to ask and mean it best regards Yvonne xxxxxxxxxxx

  • 15th July 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Ooohhh my, you are your mother’s daughter all right Grace.
    My lockdown has been ok ish, my husband has been shielding due to kidney transplant so out of my family of 4 there’s only me been out for the first 15 weeks to the supermarket and back. My daughter of 16 has missed the end of her school year, prom, hoodies, yearbooks and saying goodbye to everyone as they all go there different ways which has been sad for her and my son has missed half his first year at uni so it’s my kids I feel sorry for. Me I’ve been working from home, back to the college to run exams next week which is scary but we have to dip out toes in the water while taking care of ourselves. Been keeping up with groovi and the best purchase of lockdown – Polychromos which my husband bought me as a surprise 😍. Stay safe everyone in the Clarity family x

  • 15th July 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Right now, I’m feeling better than I have for a long time after some good news. Thanks so much for being you, Grace! And yep, I say that to your Mom too xoxo

  • 15th July 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you for asking Grace. Today I am happy. The guilty for feeling happy when the worlds going mad. Spent two hour with your mum colouring owls today. (Had to catch up yesterday) She is so calming. Heard about her time as a tawny owl, also about when she slap you for biting Mark. It’s alright I’ve got a baby brother used to entertain myself telling him horror stories. Took my dog out for a nice walk met some friends made some more masks for friends and neighbours. All in all quite a nice day. How are you. Safe and well I hope.

  • 15th July 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Grateful and thankful just about sums up how I am. Yes I have pain issues and we have to stay isolated cos of being in the high risk group but overall I can say we are truly grateful and thankful.
    Thanks for another awesome post Grace. I hope you and yours all stay healthy, grateful and thankful too xx

  • 15th July 2020 at 8:36 pm

    What a delightful and thought-provoking blog. I love the last verse -so true. Like others, I am in constant pain, aggravated just now by a pair of non-functioning hands -and a GP appointment on 24th for just one of them. BUT I can still join in the Shac even if not quite as instructed (no stippling) and I can enjoy all the wonderful nature around me (i live in the middle of woodland), including Owls. So in spite of the negatives, there are far more positives and I’m happy! Yes, happy and peaceful. (Was going to put at peace, but you might think I just died!!!!).

  • 15th July 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you Grace for a though provoking blog, makes one think & ponder over what has happened over the last 16+ weeks. We have all come through it ok as far as we all avoided the virus. My daughter & her eldest daughter were on the vulnerable list so were shielding & my 91 year old mother & step mother were both just being extra careful because of their age so self isolated. My brother & I decided that I would keep an eye on Mom & he would do the same for our step mother. A couple of hiccups but nothing major so all has been good except now they admit to having been lonely although they have lived on their own for many years. So your question is very true – you ask how are you & they reply I am fine thanks – it is not until you actually see them say it you can tell that no they are not 100%
    Thankfully we can now visit & have some interaction with them – nothing beats a hug !! We saw our daughter & granddaughters at the weekend for the first time & my daughter has now said that she hadn’t realised just how much she had missed seeing people even the 10 year old said it was nice talking to & seeing someone from outside of their house.

  • 15th July 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you Grace – what a great blog! I’m in quite a good place at the moment. I went back to work as a senior nurse in March, and am finishing next week, so planning to have another try at retirement (with lots of crafting planned!)

  • 15th July 2020 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you for a lovely post Grace. You are definitely your mother’s daughter! I am very grateful. All my family and friends have so far escaped this horrible virus and my husband has now started to slowly return to work following surgery for a spinal tumour in early February. The surgeon told him he was a matter of weeks away from being permanently paralysed and fast tracked his surgery. That has definitely helped me to see things in a whole new way. I think we sometimes get so caught up in all the perceived negatives in everyday life that we forget to look for the positives. Let’s hope this pandemic has given us all a much needed kick up the backside and made us realise what is really important, our health, our family and our friends. x

  • 16th July 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Excellent blog, Grace. l had an outdoor ‘event’ yesterday at which 27 of us were present. 7 working, others attending. It’s a bit unnerving at the moment especially when two families came from down south! However, it was good for the families to be there so that was a positive. How am I? I am good. I am safe and although there are tourists around now, I rarely go out so that is a great help. We all have so much to be grateful for. Take care. Hx

  • 16th July 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you Grace. Lovely words. Yes we should be grateful for all we have, a rood over our head, food to eat, and our health. One of those that l IU st th ere ir job in May, but soending time in the garden. I have grown lots of vegtables for the first time. Enjoying the Shack Shack and have learned to draw. Very Gratefull.

  • 16th July 2020 at 11:10 pm

    Dear Grace. That was a wonderful blog, you and your Mum have the same way of thinking. Sorry I didn’t back to you last week when you tried to help me signing in, it turned out it was my iPad and cookies. Managed to get through to buy a few things.
    Thankfully all my family are safe and well, but worse luck all so far from me. But we have FaceTime and phone calls so all good.
    I am very grateful for everything like good neighbours, friends, and a garden, although it is getting harder to work in it. I am well except for a disk that is pressing on the sciatic nerve, which makes it hard to walk, so knockdown has been ok. I just keep saying to myself, it could be a lot worse. I have really enjoyed the mornings with your Mum, it is like having a friend visiting. And love the stories. Wishing you well, and stay safe. Xxx

  • 17th July 2020 at 3:58 pm

    WOW Grace
    You sure know how to write a blog. You are definitely your mother’s daughter!!

    It is a beautiful blog full of provoking thoughts. Full of things to prod ones mind , to make you gasp or make you sigh, to make you laugh and make you cry. To make you realise what you actually have and what those around you don’t.

    The questions, although there were so many, only encourage more questions. Deeper ones maybe, ones that make you question more the wider picture.

    But the hardest part of all of this is, even when you have answered all the questions, do you ever really know the answer to the original question?


    Love & Hugs


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