This month being November, and home to US Thanksgiving, I’ve been trying to put more thought to the things I’m grateful for. There are, of course, more than I can count. How do you encapsulate so many good things, especially the ones you take for granted and rarely remember to truly appreciate? In college I’d fall into bouts of feeling blue, and during those times it was particularly difficult to remember that there was anything good going on at all. A friend of mine who I’ve learned a lot from over the years encouraged me to start making “gratitude lists.”
At first I rolled my eyes – it sounded so cheesy. But one day I sat down and opened my notebook and wrote down everything I could think of that I had to be glad of. It was hard for the first minute or two, but once I got started, it got easier. Many of the things I like and have but constantly take for granted started flooding back to me. For years, writing these lists became one of my most helpful practices. (Later, I bought one of those year long daily planner things, the tiny ones, and each day before I went to bed I’d have to write at least one good thing that happened that day. It was an excellent exercise in gratitude.)
I haven’t written one of these lists in quite some time, so now seems even more appropriate. Here’s some of what I’m glad to have:
home. family nearby. warmth. humor. music. old records. cozy blankets. queen sized beds. a stable job. hot tea. coffee. mint. eggnog. a working car. friends near and far. telephones. netflix. books. paper. health. travel. oceans. trees. parking lots. grocery stores. pillows. ovens. pie. my education. good hair days. roast beef. good recipes. doctors. letters. medicine. text messaging. gatherings. dreams. snapchat. dogs. babies. remote controls. laptop. accents. foreign friends. maps. pizza. beer. gin. bedtime. night. coffee mugs. men with facial hair. (men in general). sarcasm. being young. kitchens. being an aunt. my beautiful nephew. deep voices. alarm clock. the snooze button. trains. hands. windows. secrets. photos. videos. car talk. headphones. sweaters. home videos. emails from friends. anonymity. aspirin. post secret. words. loyalty. volumes. good television. firemen. whiskey. deep fried foods. contact lenses. cranberry sauce. pecan pie. pocket knives. car jacks. spare tires. paychecks. washer and dryer. gyms. muscles. record players. writing. church. beanies. wrist watches. road trips. people who truly love me. a thriving blog one year and counting. two job offers in China. friends with connections. having options. life skills. being smart. Stewart’s vichy water. my faith. self confidence. good influences. beautiful people surrounding me. learning to come out of my shell. old family friends. technology. Spotify. finding new music. wine. sweet smelling candles. living in safety and comfort.
Folks, there’s nothing posh about my life, but there is all of this and so much more to appreciate! I’m going to stop taking it all for granted.