Contemplating this season and all its feel-good celebrations, I've kicked my gratitude up a notch. I've begun challenging myself to recognize, internally (sometimes, if nobody's around, aloud) one thing I'm grateful for at each hour of the day. Or, when I find myself annoyed by something or someone, I'll think to myself, "What am I grateful for right now?" to get control of my emotions and realize that petty irritants are bound to happen, and its no reason to fall into a funk, or worse, a Mood. When gratitude is difficult, I like to pronounce this litany to myself: I have two legs, two arms, working toes and fingers; I'm healthy, I'm well-fed, and I'm well-loved. Not everyone on this planet can say the same.
Over breakfast just the other day, Wolfman and I were talking about his melancholy, which he's been carrying around with him for much of his life. Pop has even told me a number of times what a sad little twerp Wolfman was as a boy (my words, never his), and though I say nothing, I think that sadness is an inheritance, but I appreciate a little commiseration now and then. I told my husband, "Grateful people are happy people," which is such a cliche, but he forgave me (and so must you) because it's true. Happiness doesn't make people grateful; gratitude makes people happy. I want to be a happy person. It's my only real, solid goal in life: to be happy. And so, I practice gratitude in a sometimes meticulous and painstaking way.
Which is why I've interrupted my radio silence and NaNoWriMo-ing immediately upon discovering Me, My Dogs, My Life's 30 Days of Thanks Challenge, for which, as always to these things, I am late (but worth the wait!).
- Day 1 - Beards! Glorious beards! Every man looking like a lumberjack/fisherman/wizard! I swoon! Thanks be to No Shave November!
- Day 2 - I am grateful for whoever was the first person to declare, "live life like a prayer." How fucking inspirational is that shit?
- Day 3 - I am grateful for the dinner crowd at Sweet Tomatoes and the feeling of sharing a communal meal.
- Day 4 - I am grateful for cabbage and baked beans for breakfast.
- Day 5 - I am grateful for the idea of home which sustains us these months.
- Day 6 - I am grateful for leaves falling from trees and getting caught in my scarf.
- Day 7 - I am grateful for the cheery bus driver who greets me with, "There's my girl!," when I step onto the 311.
- Day 8 - I am grateful for the rogue pistachio I find in my purse.
- Day 9 - I am grateful for Wolfman unexpectedly bringing pre-packaged snack cakes home.
- Day 10 - I am grateful for indoor plumbing.
- Day 11 - I am grateful that I still fit into my corset.
- Day 12 - I am grateful for dreams which speak clearly to specific actions I need to take and avoid in my waking life.
- Day 13 - I am grateful for Wolfman worrying about me--bringing me a sweater at the shop when he notices the temperature has dropped and asking Gia around lunch time if I've eaten. Gia responded to that, "In my next life I want someone to worry whether or not I eat," driving my gratitude home.
- Day 14 - I am grateful for blog challenges which distract me from novel-writing. Lets be real.