Friday, June 13th, 2008 • No Comments on 13 Things I’m Grateful For
It is the dreaded Friday the 13th and, since I woke up this morning, I have felt as if the day deserves it reputation. Not that anything particularly tragic or sinister has happened today, I’m simply having One of Those Days. You know, when everything you do seems to go wrong and everything you touch crumbles in your hands? Yes, one of those days. So, rather grumbling about it (anymore than I already have) or hiding in bed until tomorrow (not really an option), I thought I’d remind myself of the things I’m grateful for. Thirteen of them, to be exact.
1. I’m grateful for the wildlife that visits my backyard each day. The chickadees, cardinals, blackbirds, mourning doves, bluejays, finches, squirrels, butterflies, turtles, rabbits and raccoons remind me that, although I live in suburb hell, nature is right outside my back door. (The bluejays, in particular, are delighting me lately. They like peanuts, so I line peanuts up on the deck and watch as they swoop down to get them—sometimes being picky about which one they take.)
2. I’m grateful I have a trustworthy mechanic. Having a sixteen year old car requires occasional repairs and I’ve been lucky enough to have the same guys working on my car for the past eight years. They’re quick, reliable and don’t charge me for things I don’t need.
3. I’m grateful they opened a Starbucks 4.4 miles from my house a year ago last month. With gas prices what they are and the fact that I do drive an old car, it’s nice to have my “office” so close. Very nice, indeed.
4. I’m very grateful for kind editors who send me thoughtful notes telling me how much they liked a particular story I’ve submitted. On a tough writing day, a note like that makes all the difference between me writing a couple thousand more words or giving up and taking a 3-day break.
5. I’m grateful for conscientious editors who pay me in a timely fashion. On a tough writing day, getting a check in the mail is a nice reminder that this thing that I spend my days doing not only feeds my soul, but also feathers my nest a little, too.
6. I’m grateful my four year old PowerBook is still humming right along. These babies aren’t cheap and when I bought it, I had hoped to get five years’ use out of it. It’s been dropped once and in for service twice and I’ve gone through three batteries and four power cords, but it’s still working for me.
7. I’m grateful Jay is not deployed to any scary places (this time). I’m also grateful that he’ll be in Florida next month so I can visit him! It smooths the sharp edge of a six-month deployment just a little.
8. I’m grateful I have always been an independent person who does fairly well on my own. This past year has been one of long stretches of solitude. Jay left for Rhode Island last July and was there for nearly eight months, with the exception of holidays and long weekends. He was home for a mere six and a half weeks before deploying and won’t be home for another four months. That is a long time to live alone when one is married, but I think I’m doing okay. I hope he’s doing okay.
9. I’m grateful for the friends who have helped me do okay.
10. I’m grateful for the little luxuries that make taking a long, hot bath an evening ritual: Lush bath bombs, More, Cooking Light, the New York Times Sunday Magazine and paperback novels. (And the occasional cat who wanders in and look at me as if I’m insane to be soaking in water.)
11. I’m very, very grateful I decided to take the summer off from teaching. I’m writing like I haven’t written in a long time and I love it.
12. I’m grateful my air conditioning (car and house) is working. We’ve had a run of upper 95+ days and it’s nice to stay cool.
13. I’m grateful for the choices I’ve made that have given me a pretty terrific lifestyle. Even on days like today when everything is going wrong, I have to remind myself that I didn’t get up to an annoying alarm clock, I don’t have to wear what someone else considers appropriate work attire, I’m not working in a cubicle, I don’t have to answer to anyone else and I am doing what I love most. That is something to be grateful for.
I feel better already.