Starting on 1/1/2020 — I have been filling a vase in my kitchen with a slip of paper each day with something/someone I am grateful for. This is very much in keeping with my vibe of 2020 which is in a nutshell — gratitude.
In no particular order — here we go.
- My Kids/grandkids/sons-in-law— always at the top of my list. There are seven Humans on this planet whom I love with all my being. They know how much they mean to me — I tell them every time I speak to them. They make My Life worth living.
- My IRL friends — a true and loyal tribe like no other. From my very first friend — My Person to my current BFF to Thelma, my partner in too many crimes to list here — I adore them all. They have enriched My Life and held me together. They have told me when things sucked and poured me the good liquor. I could not have survived All. The. Things without them.
- My Best Friend — a someone I walked into love with. A surprise present from The Universe. Fearless in the face of Real Ann — he is More than I ever experienced before or knew could exist.
- My extended family — sisters and cousins who love me even though they don’t actually have to. Still amazes me Every. Single. Time. Some of the kindest and most generous people I know.
- My co-workers — From every single department I’ve ever worked at. I have left friends behind that I loved and I have made new friends I love too. Gold and silver they are to My Life. A league of nurses who continually have my back at work and in Life.
- My next-door neighbor — The best neighbor ever. He checks on me when I’m sick and brings me food. For the last 9 years, I have been blessed to also call him friend. I do my best to repay his kindness with cookies — but I still owe him a huge karmic debt.
- My Far Away Friends — all the people who have stepped in and out of My Life. Some I’m still in touch with — some not so much. But all have left footprints upon my heart. They were always there when I needed them — for All. The. Things. great and small — good and bad. My love and gratitude run deep.
- My virtual friends — here on Medium and those whom I correspond via other social media outlets. We may never meet IRL — but still, we are connected and reach out to each other. I cherish the friendship and trust found in those relationships.
- My home — the security of having a place to land and land safely each day. I am able to afford my place and care for it. Its location and style suit me. It’s the first home that has been All Mine. In the whole of My Life — This is My Place.
- My career — although I write a fair bit about the burnout endemic in nursing — becoming a nurse was one of the best decisions I ever made. My career and specifically my career at the facility I have worked at for nearly 25 years has been an enormous blessing in more ways than I can count.
- Grief — The grief in My Life has been a blessing as well. Mary Oliver wrote, “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” Grief is the cost of Love. It is the last tribute we can give to those we love. The fact I have suffered great grief reminds me that I was also blessed with great Love.
- Age — I have lived over five years longer than my mother did. She did not get to see her granddaughter turn 9 and sell Girl Scout cookies. There was so much my mother missed because she died young. I am grateful for my age — every minute of it. I love being a crone.
- My yoga and meditation practices — I thank The Universe every day She led me to these practices. Yoga changed My Life and let me love my body. Meditation led me back to my soul.
- My health — even in the face of my chronic asthma — I feel blessed as I have excellent insurance and health care providers. I am so very lucky to live where l live in the circumstances I do. I can afford my medication. I am grateful beyond words for literally every. single. breath.
- Water — oddly enough ever since I was a child, every time I turned on the faucet — I have been thankful for the water coming out of it. I assume this is a past life memory or trauma creeping in somehow. But I am very very thankful for clean water and indoor plumbing. Always have been.
- Beaches — where the pollen is blown inland and the surf laps at your toes. Where the sun shines down upon you and the sound of the waves lull you to sleep at night.
- Vacations and road trips — I think enough said about that!
- North Carolina — the fact that my ex-husband moved us all from the frozen north 25 years ago and settled us into this lovely state. It was one of the very best things that happened to me.
- Music — I’m stealing this one from Victoria. I love all kinds of music and I love to dance. My Life is better with music in it.
- Trees — I love trees nearly as much as beaches. If I wasn’t allergic to their pollen it would be a tie. But every spring they try to kill me — so I’m a bit less fond of them than beaches. But I can hear them speak to me and they nearly always apologize for that part.
I didn’t attempt too much humor because I’m dead serious about gratitude. We all need more of it — HEAPS more of it in our lives. In the country. In the whole world.
So go — be grateful. See how much better your day gets. Please feel free to write your own list. If you do, then tag me and Victoria Ponte so we can read and enjoy your musings as well. It’s a wonderful exercise to get your mind focused on gratitude instead of All. The. Things. going to hell in a handbasket around us.