November is the month of Thanksgiving. I’ve decided to participate in the Gratitude Project and to write each day about something for which (or someone for whom) I am grateful. I once heard an interview on NPR many, many, many years ago about giving thanks. I have searched through the NPR archives trying to find the interview because the person being interviewed talked about how verbally expressing thanks for the simple things in his day-to-day helped him learn gratitude. In the Power Hour of prayer chaplet, there is a similar exercise. And so, I once did this. I gave thanks for the simplest and often silliest of things. Cling wrap. Ice cubes. Paper clips. Under eye concealer. Sneezing. My pillow. Mustard. Stop signs. Everything. I named it and I gave thanks. Gratitude doesn’t need to be profound and yet giving thanks makes it profound. So here is my start up list:
- After watching the Dartmouth CHAD video called Roar and stared into the eyes of those ailing children I give thanks for two truly healthy sons. Sans an acute appendicitis and a brief hospitalization for Rotavirus…..they are rugged and hearty. I am blessed.
- Vodka. Or that new Richland rum I bought and the fact that one cocktail blunts my edges and rounds my corners. Just one. No tolerance. No need for more. I am thankful one works it’s magic.
- Driving for 4 hours to and from Tallahassee for a college tour and having my son read through the Cantos of Dante’s Inferno and describe the various circles and bolgias and malebolgias and then discuss who we know and where they might reside if they went to hell. I volunteered for to be placed with the Sullen. Cameron was impossible to place. I decided this meant Dante had no place for him in Hell. Dante really despised falsifiers, of this we agreed.
- Having 200 feet of industrial garden hoses so I can water the new Picual olive trees.
- Receiving an unexpected and truly uplifting Facebook message from a sorority sister. It was lovely and positive. For how I have felt lately, it was a wonderful gift and made me think I needed to send random, sweet unplanned missives to friends, even those I have not seen in many decades.
- David Bowie, Space Oddity and NPR Science Friday and the chance to discuss all three with my oldest.
- Daft Punk and a convoluted discussion with my youngest about funk and ‘that’ particular guitar chord combination. And then to listen as that same child went off on a tangent about why something must be a certain way because it is what makes it beautiful. To have two sons with an eye (and the ears) for aesthetics.
I am grateful. I am grateful. I promise. I will try to whine less. When I find myself whining or burying myself under the covers, I will give thanks……for the little things, like socks and eyeglasses and nail polish remover and mail delivery. I am blessed.