As many days as possible, I list six distinct things for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly.
Here’s September 2011 . . .
Five intermittent segments totaling 4.4 hours of single-tasked writing today. An hour to exercise. Seeing more feathers on my walk. Tofurky “sausage”. The last bit of chocolate bar (savored since May). The email from a woman who saw the Doors perform live sometime around the year I was born.
The Santa Monica Public Library. Bay Cities’ freshly baked bread. That the parking ticket was only $65. The Agent 18 iPhone case that kept my gadget safe as it bounced its way down a flight of concrete steps. Day dreams during insomnia. Sleep dreams of people unreachable and a baby never born.
The sight of that happy little toddler — smaller than the doll she pushed in her stroller down Santa Monica Blvd. RedBubble. The neighborhood Peruvian restaurant. Dinner with Andy. Clean sheets. Lots of books to read.
Photographs. Flickr. Facebook. Friends. Friends of friends. Falling asleep.
Mornings. New days. Holidays. Fun projects. Calculators. Animal Acres.
The huge selection of dining room tables at the antique store down the road. That I’m in the middle of a productive work day and savoring it. The luxury of being my own boss. The chair I’m sitting on. Noah Lukeman’s books. Sparkling water.
Junot Díaz’s sentence, read this morning before 8am, that made me sob. The rest of Junot’s body of work. Sobbing. Reading on the deck before the sun rises over our eastern wall. The way the crimson mandevilla branch is holding one of its own fallen blossoms, a little arm tending to the detached parts of herself. Strawberries for my cereal.
Waking up at 4:30am excited to start a new work day. Coming to a milestone on my latest project. That I have three + other projects in development. Finding myself smiling throughout the day because I love what I’m doing. That I still suddenly cry often. Fleece.
When actor-dogs are cast as sick-dogs and they do a great job at the role, but can’t control their wagging tails, “I’m a good dog.” Learning that my brother is coaching my nephew’s football team. An hour long walk yesterday. My virtual walking partner who inspired me to double my work out. Looking forward to my parents’ visit. The anticipation of having a grown-up sized dining room table for the first time in my adult life.
Andy’s generous carpet cleaning skills each time I drop a full cup of coffee on the carpet. That the hint of a stain is on my side of the bed where 99.86% of visitors wlll never see it. That I could unplug & avoid the media’s 9/11 pity party. Others: people different from me; countries unlike my own; unfamiliar religions. GPS. Phone calls with Mom.
Having my IKEA building chores near completion. The ability to forgive myself for buying IKEA instead of a pre-owned dining set. Szechuan shrimp. The ability to forgive myself for eating animals. Clos du Bois. Repeated reconciliation.
Andy’s physical strength — the new table is upright! Ctrl-F. The way the art supply store down the street smells of paints and papers. And that it’s so close. My therapist (aka Shrink). Gratitude itself (Shrink pointed that out today).
The Santa Monica Recycling Center. My black solidarity ring. A few extra minutes before I have to run out the door. Felt. Water Filter. Q-Tips.
My feet. My shoes. Butternut squash soup. Ink. Aunt Ruth. Letters to mail.
Dad. Talking to Dad on the phone today. The chutzpah to tell the truth most of the time. My red shawl. That there’s some soup left from yesterday. Nail trimmers.
New friends who visited last night. More time to rest. Encouraging blog friends. Making Two Buck Chuck last a week. Cheeseburger Day! Pinterest.com fun.
The Kronos Quartet track I had on repeat while I walked to Trader Joe’s tonight. Half-baked bread. Olive oil. Salt. That Andy does all the laundry. Two four minute voice mails from a woman I love.
The nesting bowls from dear E; I use them almost every day. E, herself. Brooms. Dust pans. Clouds. Oxygen.
Money to pay this little stack of bills. The fig-cambozola-pecan treats I’m going to make this week. The anticipation of Mom & Dad’s arrival. Gerber daisies. A few ladies named Lisa. Our clean bath rug which is still my favorite shade of blue.
That my parents didn’t disown me for being 43 minutes late picking them up at the airport (bad daughter!). Mom’s gracious attitude over waiting for me, “The time passed quickly.” Fresh episodes of Modern Family (what’s up with Lily’s rapid aging?). A wonderfully supportive surprise note from an old friend. A butterylicious lunch. House guests.
A visit to Serra Retreat’s labyrinth w/ Mom & Dad. The bereft angel statue. Our walk to the upper garden. That Dad accidentally video taped us comically getting ready to pose for a photo. That I gave Dad a decent fight during our chess games (except for that one hideous blunder). Pumpkin bread.
Wonderful trip to the Sepulveda Getty w/ M&D. Andy’s thoughtful gifts. The beautiful scarf from Mom. So many fun birthday wishes via FB & text. One chess win vs. Dad. My new tagua nut ring.
Days when so many needs are taken care of that it feels like there’s nothing to be grateful for. Someone to miss. Someone to long for. “Never Lonely Alone” by Space Needle. Absence of physical pain. Ability to walk.
My family around the breakfast table. Dad liked the tofu “sausage” enough to have a second helping! My plethora of pretty cloth napkins. Gulf Stream biscuits. Safe driving during our afternoon excursion. Time to walk a couple miles in the afternoon.
All the happy memories from this week’s visit w/ M&D. Bear hugs from the people who raised me. The hilarious way Dad headed to curbside check-in at LAX without saying a last goodbye. Andy’s thoughtful attention to detail doing chores during my sunrise drive to the airport. Knowing that M&D are safe with my brother tonight. The gift of being able to dwell in paradox.
Fallen mandevilla blossoms. Specificity. Vagueness. Amiga Linda. NYCGA’s Principles of Solidarity. That we’re not the only dreamers.
The good friends I dined with for lunch & dinner. Holding six-month-old Chloe. Chloe. Her sister Lola. Twins in tutus made of tulle. Striped tights.
Loving voice mails and e-mails that come exactly when you need them them most. The nearly free on-line classes providing some structure to my education. Hearing the mandevilla blossom land after its fall from the branch today. Friends who also care about the well being of cows and chickens. Amiga bonita se llama Panchita. Encountering that amazing mural behind the car wash during my walk today.
Reading in the sun next to Andy. Walking in the rain. Notes from a former writing teacher. The pink gerbera is still alive. United States of Tara. Eddie Izzard.