An attitude of gratitude sometimes goes a long way: 40 things I am grateful for as I turn 40

Marie Abanga
Posted January 21, 2019 from Cameroon

Hi World Pulse family and us all, I turned 40 last Friday 18.01.2019 and I made it a very big deal. Indeed, it is for me a tremendous milestone and second lease on life. An attitude of gratitude can equally go a long way, it has helped me heal and deal with so so much. Here we go then, hope someone is inspired and motivated:

 40 Things I am grateful for each year of my life

1) Grateful to be born the bouncy baby I see in pictures;

2) Grateful I can still remember the day my brother (RIP) was born – as well as my innocent prophecy which came to pass;

3) Grateful to start primary school directly and be spared a dreaded nursery school (I started class one in September 1981 at 3 years 9 months – my elder sister had had such a bad experience with the nursery school teacher my dad had said no more nursery school for any of his children Amen);

4) Grateful for all the fun and friends I have in my Deido neighbourhood;

5) Grateful I am a force to reckon with in primary school, and my brother’s fierce defender whether he was at fault or not (I once fought with 5 girls from class 5 because they threatened my brother whose poop they had been punished to clean up);

6) Grateful to have a best friend and be allowed by dad to go spend weekends with her family – this kept opening me up to a different life than the one I lived at home;

7) Grateful to get along well in school without sitting still in class lol (was actually either 1st or 2nd and alternated with that best friend of mine LNM);

8) Grateful to survive the big move to another city although that had such a price (my resilient spirit was being developed progressively);

9) Grateful to belong to a group of 4 girls who took themselves seriously lol (this was the beginning of magnectic for real because I wasn’t looking out for friends in that new school but I seemed to attract many and could chose my friends);

10) Grateful to be voted assistant senior prefect in class 7 (although I had gone there out of punishment by mum for my scatterbrain, that was the beginning of leadership and responsibility);

11) Grateful to go to boarding school (I loved it so much, took me away from a cold war at home and already tired of all the falling out with mum and co – they eventually split a year later);

12) Grateful to help my siblings and myself take it all in and adapt to our new lives at dad’s without mum;

13) Grateful to be sent abroad for a 1 month excursion (visiting France and going on a mini cruise to England was simply wow – I kissed my first guy and he was from Rouen. Come to think I will date a man from Rouen for two great years several years later);

14) Grateful to be crafty and cunning, and have the survival skills I have which save my brother and I from hunger and abuse countless time (you can tell things had changed drastically, a step mum was now in the picture and two of my siblings had managed to save themselves somehow – my brother and I lived through it all for 2 years);

15) Grateful to start getting it what loving a boy could really be all about – this came with so much self consciousness and awareness as well as appreciation for life and God;

16) Grateful to pass Maths O Levels because I had been threatened a repeat of the entire form 5 if I failed just that one subject (needless to say the rebellious arts student in me had given up maths 2 or so years earlier);

17) Grateful to be that jolly and audacious in high school (just didn’t appreciate the fact it was an all girls’ school especially coming from a mixed school);

18) Grateful to be more conscious of my studies even though it was still hard for me to sit at it for long lol (I did pass the GCE A’ Levels in the 3 papers I wrote with Bs etc, so fine right?);

19) Grateful to try it out on my own in the university (finally in a university called UB the place to B, into the world of boyfriends and discoveries);

20) Grateful I survived that abortion (I was scared to death but even more scared of what mum will do to me if she found out I was pregnant. I knew some had died in the process or risked never getting pregnant and so it was all so traumatizing);

21) Grateful to graduate from the university with a good GPA and well lots of experiences from informal school lol;

22) Grateful to start hustling why waiting for what next – the experience in the off license mum opened which I practically stocked, and sold in, and did the inventory of etc. etc. really taught me a lot;

23) Grateful to settle down in another city with a semblance of a stable life as an intern at a law firm, and sort of responsible for myself;

24) Grateful to be a mother oh my; circumstances aside, nothing beats this for me;

25) Grateful to get into network marketing and all I keep learning;

26) Grateful to get married and learn all the bitter-sweet-bitter lessons I learned from rushing like that into such a very serious thing in life;

27) Grateful for my job with MTN which takes me round the country and gives me the opportunity to do a lot including buy my own first car, meet many people, and sleep in all sorts of places;

28) Grateful for David my shepherd born with such gentleness, one he still has 12 years later Amen;

29) Grateful I survive the loss of my daughter who died a day after she was born. It wasn’t an easy survival for the depression I plunged into led to an attempted suicide a year later;

30) Grateful I don’t succeed to kill myself and terminate my 5 months old pregnancy in the process – Gaby that baby in the womb kicked me hard just in time. He isn’t named after my brother for nothing I now get it;

31) Grateful for all my adulteries for they taught me what a mess I had become and the need to salvage myself;

32) Grateful to leave that marriage one piece, the abuse got worse as time went on both ways and I just had to leave the marriage, my children and my country behind;

33) Grateful for my time in the desert be it in the UAE, in Tanzania or in Belgium etc– I overcame and learned so much;

34) Grateful for the new zest to make my mess my message and my tests my testimony;

35) Grateful I publish my first memoir, the beginning of my big release and journey through forgiveness to all things lovely where I currently live;

36) Grateful for the wonderful Super Super Hero who took me in and loved me so wonderfully for two years;

37) Grateful I survived the death of my brother and was only completely down for a month – writing a book about his life was my life line then;

38) Grateful I can finally finally live with all my sons in our own home – God is Good;

39) Grateful for all I am learning and sharing and doing and the woman, mother, activist and all I am becoming; and for all the angels on my path;

40) Grateful God is still saying something and I am listening with rapt attention now Amen.

I actually went on a 7 days spiritual journey before the d day to prepare myself for this huge crossover. Anyone interested to read the journal of the journey could go to this post on my blog and download the 40 page journal from the link provided therein, thank you.

Comments 10

Log in or register to post comments
Jan 21
Jan 21

Hello Marie,

How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your honest and impressive achievements that you're grateful for. I hope you're proud of who you have become and all that you've achieved... I think you are:-)

Hope you're having a great day!?

Marie Abanga
Jan 22
Jan 22

Dear Jill,

I am doing cool. I love sharing and yes I am proud of the girl, woman and mother I have become and still becoming hahaha.
Today was a day to cultivate patience spending 8 hrs to make a passport, but that too went well and I am grateful hahaha

Jan 22
Jan 22

Great to hear:-) Yay!

Oh, yes, on patience....

Have a good one, dear:-)

Hannah B
Jan 21
Jan 21

Happy Birthday Marie!!!
I am so glad that you celebrated, and shared your accomplishments with us!
Our community is stronger because of you - I look forward to more of your writing and accomplishments of your new decade! :)

Marie Abanga
Jan 22
Jan 22

Dear Hannah,

Yes, as an afterthought I decided to do that. I am grateful for such feedback which helps know am not going out of...
Let's see how the 40+ goes hahaha

Dawn Arteaga
Jan 22
Jan 22

a gratitude is the PERFECT way to celebrate your 40th trip around the sun. Congratulations and well done! Big hugs - Dawn

Marie Abanga
Jan 25
Jan 25

Dear Dawn,

Yes that was a new dawn for me. I am so grateful for everything. Hugs all the way too

Adriana Greenblatt
Feb 10
Feb 10

Marie, thank you for this rocking post! You show the true spirit of resiliency and the beauty of saying I GOT THIS after 40...even more!!

Keep rocking that gratitude and owning your life every day Marie!!


Marie Abanga
Feb 09
Feb 09

Dear Adriana,

Thank you for your comment. Yes, I am so grateful for the spirit I go.

I will dear, thank you once more and all the same to you



Sis. Salifu
Mar 26
Mar 26

Haha :-)
Honestly without gratitude we are nothing. Thanks for sharing.
Warm regards