A little bit of gratitude goes a long way…

One day out of a whole year to say you’re thankful is not enough.  Granted, it gives us a chance to look back and take stock of what life has given us over the course of the past twelve months, but -in the face of such pressure to remember while making sure the oven is set to the right temperature, things don’t boil over, the phone ringing with greetings from friends and family- it’s easy to let small bits of gratitude slip your mind…

I am grateful for the day that $25 check arrived when we needed an extra $10 in our bank account.  I am grateful that our bank does online deposits.  I am grateful that, in the middle of all the other things that have seeped into my mind over the course of fifty years, some of the stuff that I didn’t seem to be paying attention to actually took root and I know how to lower a fever with more than just acetaminophen.  I am grateful that, when we’ve needed to, we’ve been able to put Dada on a plane to see his dad when he was very ill, and when he had to attend the funeral.  I’m grateful that, when one least expects it, the way we’ve brought our kids up has shone through, and they’ve learned from stuff that wasn’t exactly positive.

I am thankful for tiny things that probably shouldn’t be included when we say grace before a meal, but that matter in the greater scheme of things.  I am grateful for things that seems absurd and petty to others.  I can’t help it…I am a grateful sort of person, even if my sense of gratitude can be rather skewed from time to time.  I complain about many things, but I am capable of perspective, and for that I am immensely grateful.

The older I get, the more grateful I am that I was born and raised in a simpler world.  That is: we didn’t have cell phones, computers, instant messaging, digital photography.  I think that’s why I learned -eventually- how to be patient.  I am grateful that it is only now that I am willing to spring for a stand-up mixer…it would have saved me time and effort when I was younger, but I also wouldn’t have learned a lot of things I know about making cakes, cookies, bread…  I am thankful that, even with arthritis taking a hold of my hands, I can still crochet and TGG can take chemo caps to work on a weekly basis.  I am thankful that we’ve had the same car for the past eleven years, and it’s only now that we’re thinking of downsizing.  I’m grateful that, over those eleven years, the car has spent little to no time needing repair.  I’m grateful that when we’ve needed something, we’ve found a way to get what we need.  I’m grateful that we’ve learned that less is more, and that teaching your kids the difference between “need” and “want” is crucial when they’re young.

I’m just grateful.  I really am.  Even when we find ourselves in the middle of absurd situations, I’m grateful.  Even when things are going poorly, I’m grateful.  I don’t know how not to be grateful even when I’m on the brink of being bitter and resentful about some things.  Yes, I have moments when I get fed up with certain aspects of our life, but then I see all that I do have, and my mind and my heart are as clear as the song of the trains on the tracks near the river…rising up in the dark of night…their horns announcing that they are making their way through and forward.

So…take today out of all the other days this year to say thank you to every little thing you’ve encountered, good or bad, and every little thing that you’ve not remembered to whisper to yourself “oh, so timely!!!”  I try every day to not forget how lucky, blessed, fortunate, happy, crazy we are; I try to spread it on the toast in the morning, and stir it into the coffee, and sip it in the water.  I try to breathe it because living is magnificent even at its worst…

J seems to think so, and I take a lot of my cues from him because he can probably see life more clearly, less filtered, less biased than I can.

Have a happy day…and try to stretch it into tomorrow and the day after and so on and so forth…

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