Gratitude. There are all kinds of quotes all over the internet and social media today about how important it is: how we should all be doing it. And we should. Sure. But sometimes sitting around talking about what we are thankful for seems like force feeding vegetables to my nine year old son, especially if there is something that is dominating our minds that we aren’t thankful for. I’m sure there are lots of us out there, right now, irritated about something. Maybe its the family that’s visiting, taking too long in the bathroom. Maybe it’s the fact that you have to run to the grocery store for that one thing you forgot, and everyone on the planet is there with you, rushing around to grab their last one thing they forgot. And nobody is acting thankful about anything, shoving carts around and butting in line. Maybe its more monumental than that. Maybe your finding utter despair at looking at the world today. Wondering why we all can’t just agree that violence and hate are bad, and peace and kindness are good. Maybe you have lost a loved one, or there is a person that all your happiness is dependent on that is sick, or sad or far away.
I think, maybe, these situations just might be the ones that are begging for that moment of silence. A moment to meditate. Maybe this is where gratitude is needed the most.
I know it can be hard sometimes, while it seems like the world has everything to be grateful for and you feel like things are too much, too heavy and too dark to even begin to see the twinkle of hope. No one wants to admit it. So you don’t have to. I’ll go first:
10. I am so grateful that the Sierras are getting snow. I am so fucking over this drought thing in California.
9. I am thankful for wonderful surgeons that can turn a back breaking size H cup size into what feels like a tiny size D cup so that I can have feeling back in my fingers and hopefully one day lose the huge grooves that exist on my shoulders from holding up the extra weight.
8. Hot baths. I mean, really hot baths. (See again, number 10)
7. Antidepressants. More on this later, but these suckers saved my life 4 years ago and I really don’t think there would be any quality of life for me and my family if they had never been invented. I can wake up smiling, sleep at night, and laugh with my family again. There is nothing more important than health. Even when your “mental.”
6.Girlfriends. Yeah, you. You crazy pack of weirdos that stand by me when I’m at my craziest. You wonderful soft, yummy creatures that laugh and cry with me. You talk me off cliffs when I’m certain our world is doomed. You pour me beautiful glasses of Sauv Blanc when I’m feeling there is no time to relax. And you send me flowers and bring me cakes when I’m stuck in bed recuperating from whatever form of accidental trauma I’ve suffered. Which lately has been more than my share.
5. My home. My beautiful, messy, in need of organization home. You keep me warm at night, you hold my family safe. You provide an awesome place to gather with friends and tequila. And you never complain when my dogs make you start to smell like a sweaty sock.
4. This is going to sound so Marin County - but my community of people that I see everywhere - from the traffic stop to the grocery store. I see you at school pick up, the yoga studio, the doctor’s office and sometimes the wine bar. I share incredibly creative moments with you at The Hivery. You remind me to take care of myself. Eat the best food, show up to the Box and the yoga studio, and you encourage me to be strong, tenacious, committed, focused, truthful, patient and supportive to others.
3. My darling, immediate, extended, crazy, abrasive, introverted, tall, short, loud, quiet, opinionated, odd, neurotic, young, old, middle-aged, blue haired (literally blue hair, not a slang term for gray), straight, gay, transgendered, sexy, funny, brilliant, patient, loving, charming, loyal family. Without you, my life would be boring, ordinary, quiet and literally without meaning.
2. I am thankful for wonderful husbands that bring me coffee in the morning as soon as I wake up. And that isn’t his only trick. He is a wonderful cook, he is handsome as the day is long. He is actually quite strong for this height, endures an immeasurable amount shit from me on a nearly hourly basis. He laughs at all my jokes, tells me I’m pretty (well, when I get dressed up, anyways), and will always eat the meals I (occasionally) make no matter how bad they are. He turns my light off at night before we go to sleep, and no matter what is going on, will always kiss me goodbye before he leaves. I couldn’t have written him better if I had created his character myself in a romance novel.
1. My kids. They are what I am alive for, what I struggle for. You little stinkers are what inspire me to challenge myself every fucking day. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I get stuck on the couch reading romance novels for days at a time. But you are always there, loving me, telling me you need my snuggles at night. You remind me to dance, to laugh, to think about new situations creatively and you make sure I never forgot the day you were born. That day you created a life for me that is finally wrought with meaning. And for that, I will forever be grateful.