It is the season of gratitude and thanksgiving.
So today I will attempt to list ten things that I am grateful for…but with a twist. Since I am in a creative mood today, I have decided that I will not fill the list with the easy things like family and health and friends.
(Not that there is anything wrong with being thankful for these things and no judgment is intended. These are certainly valid things to be grateful for, but they will not find a place on my list today.)
And by writing this list and joining in on the season of thanksgiving, I am not condoning or validating the original Thanksgiving celebration which may or may not be represented correctly in our traditional telling of the Thanksgiving tale. I wasn’t actually at “the first Thanksgiving” and I do not know anyone who was so I don’t have anything factual to contribute to that debate, nor do we discuss it over dinner on a certain Thursday in November in our home.
Those legalities being out of the way, here goes:
- I am grateful that I may have broken my toe on Sunday when I tripped over the vacuum cleaner cord that I left lying on the hallway floor. I am grateful because I normally only think about my feet when I happen to glance down and observe that they are not particularly attractive. Having a toe that is painful and not functioning optimally reminds me that I am fortunate to have toes and feet that work perfectly well most of the time. There are many who are not so fortunate.
- I am grateful for slightly smelly shelter dogs (including the one who is frequently incontinent and the one that barks randomly at nothing at all hours of the day and night). These dogs of mine of profoundly imperfect and loyal beyond all imaginings. They love without reserve and forgive all. They remind me on a daily basis that I’ve got the imperfect part down pat, but have work to do on the rest.
- I am grateful for being able to write that I am grateful for anything today. In periods of depression – sometimes profoundly dark – I am often unable to think in terms of gratitude or thanksgiving. In those times it is not a choice. Today, it is and I can so I will.
- I am grateful for books and blog posts to read and connections to be made. I am grateful that today I have eyes that work well enough to read. I am also grateful for being hopeful that in the course of my reading and connecting I will find answers to my health issues. (I think I threw in enough gratitude that this does not simply mean that I am thankful for my health.)
- I am grateful for running water and flushing toilets. I think we take this for granted all too often. For years we had an issue with toilets that stopped working often…usually when we had a house full of friends. Many cold and dark evenings were spent trying to clear septic lines. Eventually it turned out to be a toilet paper issue. A simple solution to a really crappy problem. Yes, I went there.
- I am grateful for a regular trash pick-up service. I don’t realistically think that we will ever be a zero-waste home, but you never know. We are recycling regularly and have reduced our trash by about half. We are thinking about packaging and ways to avoid producing garbage much more than we used to. Still, garbage happens. I am thankful that I have a place to put it and for someone to pick it up and take it away.
- I am grateful for my washer and dryer. I have washed clothing on a concrete washboard with carried water. I have helped my mom wash clothes in a wringer washer on the front porch. I have carted laundry to the laundromat. I have hung clothes on the line to dry (and actually enjoy it although not in the rain when clothes have to be draped on every available surface throughout the house and you wear damp jeans – enough said). Washers and dryers are awesome.
- I am grateful for being able to cook. I learned from my mom who learned to cook during the depression. She taught me (not from recipes) but how to make something edible (and sometimes even delicious) from what you had available. There have been many times when that ability has served me well. Empty pantries or lack of transportation to the store doesn’t mean that we won’t have a meal on the table. Thanks Mom.
- I am grateful to live in these United States of America. Don’t ever talk bad about this country around me. It isn’t perfect and how could it be when it provides a home for a diverse group of people who have a multitude of rights and opportunities and choices. The very things that makes this a great country are the ones that can result in less than optimal situations. Given a choice, I would rather live here and have the freedom to solve problems than live with no freedom and choices.
- I am grateful for all the luxuries that I enjoy: a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in and a blanket to cover myself with. I have electricity and running water. I have clothes to wear and a closet to hang them in. I have a car in the driveway and access to gas to fuel it. If I lost my home, I could find a place to go for shelter. There are days when I worry about having enough and days when I compare my life to others and find it lacking in material things. On those days I try to remember that I am comparing my life to a select group and not the whole world.
There you have it. My list.
I thought it might be hard to fill, but in reality, since I started writing this I have continued to think of more and more and more.
Gratitude is good.
An awareness of all my blessings is even better.
I think I’ll start a list and keep on adding to it.
Maybe in the times when I can’t find joy I can refer to it and be thankful.
My life is good and I am grateful.