Gratitude: December 2011

As many days as possible, I list six distinct things for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s December 2011 . . .

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Left-over pumpkin experiment. Reconnecting with one of my teachers. The dream of my blog friends, slivers of glass, and my mother helping me wash my wounded palms. A visit from the plumber. Andy’s sweetness in picking up the tipped flower pot. Catching up on household paperwork.

Time alone. Tears. Coming so close to winning that game, right up until the moment I lost. Positive comments here at the blog. Passing by children on the playground on my way to dinner. Entertaining eavesdropping

Another good business meeting. Creative, charitable entrepreneurs to work with. Opportunities to learn. Opportunities to teach. The staff at Lares. Chats w/ Ken.

Looking forward to seeing the girls tonight. The way sunlight fills our apartment. Watching Andy & Ellie chase the fuzzy rainbow ball around. Anticipating a good long walk. TJ’s gingerbread coffee. The way Andy just brought a hot cup of it to me.

A supportive FB comment from an old friend. 3 mile walk in cool sunny weather. Not forgetting to take my Project 365 pic. That being self-employed is still working out. A successful vegan Monday. Rice Dream frozen dessert.

A comforting meeting with my therapist. Getting the grocery shopping out of the way. That Ellie is asleep in her castle instead of trying to sit on the keyboard. That Ellie loves back rubs. Our sun deck. How handsome Andy looked this morning.

Cool new gig starting. Enjoying being competent at one or a dozen things. Ellie’s soft fur. Sunshiny walk. Biceps. People speaking out.

The new menu at the Japanese restaurant down the road. Turning the women at the next table on to the joys of shumai. Finding eco friendly litter boxes for the new kitty. Enjoying some billable hours. The pleasant exchange with the nice man on the escalator. There’s still Gingerbread coffee available at TJs.

Finding the little black kitty who’s exactly the age and gender to complete our family. The nice workers at the Lange Foundation. That we passed the application process. Anticipating bringing new kitty home tomorrow. That our home is big enough for two growing cats. Watching Ellie skid around on the wood floor.

Waking up in time to see the lunar eclipse. Enjoying the “red moon” even though it appeared merely golden orangish from my point of view. A glitch-free contract signing as we adopted our new kitty. A nice note from a friend of a friend. Walking to Bar Food with Andy for chess and pints. Agreeing to call new kitty “Ruby”.

A nice afternoon with Andy. All the available free advice on kitty integration. That Ruby didn’t hiss when Ellie did. Making time to lift weights. Email. Two extra toilets for when one malfunctions.

Being able to stay in on a cold rainy day. Central heat. That neither Ellie nor Ruby have actually attacked each other yet. Ruby’s sweet demeanor. That Ellie’s been able to calm down after each visit with Ruby. Cat treats.

A peaceful kitten show down. Mammogram. That Mom’s still around to ask, “Why the mammogram?” That I’m able to tell her, “It’s just a check up, Mom.” December 13, 2010. All that I don’t have words for.

Waking before dawn. That Andy agreed to let the kitties have more face time. Watching Ellie explore Ruby’s room. Watching Ruby explore the downstairs. The way seeing the cats play together in their new home made me feel a bit like a parent on Christmas morning. Becoming a family of four.

Despite the media black out about it, having access to information about the National Defense Authorization Act. The ability to demonstrate my outrage over such egregious attacks on the rule of law. Andy’s support of my activism. That the Ron Paulians didn’t take over the event again. Meeting some passionate and energized people. Experiencing the value of being present and having that be enough.

Churning out a 900+ word essay on a whim in the afternoon. Having the five hours available to do so. That my headache went away. Writing despite that headache. Andy’s arrival for a nice evening. Pizza delivery.

Date night with Andy. A new drink favorite: the Ginger Pear. Tuna sashimi small plate. Fright Night On Demand. Cuddles from Ruby. Cake!

Finding pretty cool presents for the littlest kids in our family. Feeling no obligation to shop for anyone else. The book Andy found at Urban Outfitters that (shhhh, it’s a surprise) my niece is going to love when I send it to her after Spring semester starts. There’s still enough daylight in which to walk a couple of miles. Egg nog that will be at home waiting for me after my walk. So much to be grateful for.

A four hour conversation with a teacher I hadn’t seen in five years. That teacher. New creative developments. Ellie and Ruby showing new signs of peaceful cohabitation. Being able to work up in my office again. Lots of ideas.

Getting the holiday packages mailed to the young ones in our family. That feeling of confidence I’d forgotten about. Time with new friends. The surprise of realizing it doesn’t hurt when a large bird lands on your head. An unexpected message about something very dear to me. The kindness with which that message came.

The time to walk to & from a coffee date nearly 2 miles from my home. That my friend and I were able to make time for each other before she moves away. Watching Ellie washing Ruby’s face. Working from home. Seeing the purple door. Finding new and positive ways to think and feel about my deepest loss.

Quiet time to start reading a new book. Vegan bread. Getting some work done. The prospect of a walk, even if I didn’t follow through. Losing weight without trying. Losing weight without trying during the holidays.

Getting to walk through the tunnel under the 10 freeway. Tequila gifts from the staff at Lares. The Oaxacan Folk Art store on Pico. The kind proprietor there. The window displays at the thrift shop on my walk home. Christmas lights.

Enjoying Parenthood Season 2 on Netflix. A good weight lifting session. Movie date with Andy. Humboldt Fog. Wine bar at the Landmark. That we waited until 12/24 p.m. to break out the Christmas music.

A wonderful Christmas breakfast with my love. Watching the kitties spaz out over their new toys. Virtual hugs from Mom. A wonderful long chat with my niece. The healthy lives of my niece and nephew. Fun chess games with Dad and Ken.

Phone date with a dear old friend. That friendship. Lunch date with another dear old friend. That friendship. Afternoon date with Andy. That friendship.

Time to write a letter. Cool-warm-clear-dry weather. Cinnamon rolls left over from Christmas. Goofing off with the kitties. Dinner with Andy. My office.

Nicholas Kristof’s latest NYT piece. Compassion. Motivation to seek out ways to take action. Being surrounded by kind, nonviolent people. Ruby’s silky fur. Ellie’s sweetness.

Texts. Victories. Losses. Aches. Smiles. Writing for two hours only to delete.

Having Andy return home. Relief. Ricotta cheese. Moonlight walk home. The time to talk to the guy named Dennis who lives on the corner. His positive determination.

One last lemon drop of the year. My healthy annoyance at having unknowingly spent $19 on a drink when a glass of wine would have been fine. A movie date with Andy, even though his back hurt. Parking garages with the green and red indicator lights over the spaces. Getting Project 365~2011 organized. Cityscapes.

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