As many days as possible, I list six distinct things for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s December 2012.
Visiting both Mom & Dad’s home towns in the same day. Seeing Aunt Ruth’s friend, Jackie, again. Hearing Aunt Connie and Dad tell about their childhood. That they don’t run a mink ranch any longer. Sitting next to Dad at probably his first favorite restaurant. That there’s a decent hotel in Wauseon — one with a gym.
Seeing cousin Toby and his family. Having the opportunity to speak at Aunt Ruth’s memorial. A beautiful service. Helen’s loving and well-given speech. Aunt Ruth’s dignity. Her wonderful friends and neighbors.
Another walk on the hotel treadmill. Hugs from Mom & Dad. Getting in on two earlier flights. An anniversary dinner at Guido’s. The delightful bartender who brought some newness to the place. Coming home to hugs with Andy.
Kindness from a client yesterday. The morning boost from having been on east coast time. Quiet time with the kitties during their breakfast. Colorful sunrise. Being present. Lungs filling with oxygen.
Keeping my morning appointment to take care of myself despite our client’s wish that I would cancel it. A 20 minute impromptu meeting with a colleague. Claiming 30 minutes of my day for a peaceful meal. My Wednesday night standing date with Andy. Genie’s pleasant surprise of sharing my words at FB. Stephen Colbert.
Working in a relatively small business niche for 20 years where things like this happen: while standing next to Person A (a colleague turned dear friend) her phone rings, she looks down and says the name of the person calling, “[Person B]!” He’s someone I met 15 years before meeting her. I say, “[Person B]!? I love [Person B]!” So, she hands me her phone and lets me answer it, “This is [Person A’s] personal assistant. How may I help you?” Person B goes, “Wait. Wait. I know this voice.” “Shall I tell you?” “No, let me guess. Keep talking” “Here are two clues: we’ve never kissed. You served my brother tequila in 1995,” He gets it, “Ruth LeFaive!” We chat for 10 minutes ending with, “I love you.” “I love you.” / Person A. Person B. Our business community, despite all the flaws. Post Production. Hollywood.
A relaxing day off. Time to go to the bank (finally). Lunch with Andy. Tofu ginger garlic! Fun chess moves (even though I lost the game). Indulging in a nap.
The ability to feel disappointment about having to work on a Sunday. The ability to scale back my hours. The ability to count the days until I can have more time to focus on writing. The ability to make choices. The ability to walk. The ability to express myself.
Finishing the first of four more days. Complimentary notes from a business contact. My decision to do something else with my time in the future despite the fact that I’m appreciated there. Coming home to Andy. Coming home to Ellie. Coming home to Ruby.
A nice exchange with a woman I had just met. Her love for her family. The doctors caring for her relative. Their hope that he will be okay. Being able to express empathy with her. Akbar on Wilshire.
Having a worrisome circumstance turn out okay. Taking lunch so late that I got in on the special half price appetizers. Moving through a period of annoyance. A nice meeting with Andy. Being honest. Hearing the rain.
That final push of energy that allowed me to work until 8:30pm last night. A fun time opening mail with Andy. That my new driver’s license photo isn’t so bad. That my new driver’s license photo is, I’ll say it this time, kind of of pretty. The cavalier and funny woman who took the photo. The Shutterfly coupon I’m about to use to make a Christmas gift — if only I would hurry up and make the expiration deadline.
That I was too busy to digest the news in real time. Lunch with a new friend. Locking up at a job site with my dear “Ione Sky”. The ability to really adore people. Good conversation with my beloved. Remembering 2 years ago, but keeping the sadness at bay.
A lovely holiday brunch with Andy. Peter Jackson. J. R. R. Tolkien. New Zealand. Zealand. Zeal.
Deciding to work at home instead of at a job site. Walking in the rain. Music. Mp3s. A bit of energy to get the shopping done. Cat litter.
Getting over an 11 hour day hurdle. Lunch breaks. Point eight mile walk to lunch. Point eight mile walk from lunch. Coats. Shoes.
Driving along the ocean. The freedom to stop the car, get out and look at the waves. Time at one of my very favorite work sites. Staying in that chair and doing those invoices despite all of my urges to leave. Car heater. Cars.
Those nice waiters at that place where I had lunch. Hot black coffee in the middle of the day. Playing chess on my lunch break. Sending the final reports to the CPA. Appreciative clients. Nearly opening a business email to a stranger with the sincerely felt words, “I feel like dancing.”
Melted gruyère. Friends who offer champagne. Champagne. Business relationships entering a second decade. Crisp air. Bright ideas.
The good sense not to pour egg nog on my cereal when the soy milk ran out. Excel. Ruby & Ellie napping near me wherever I decide to work in the house. That so much of my work can be done from home. Pajamas. Fridays.
A friend in town from Europe. Her depth, intelligence, kindness. Safe driving. Topanga Canyon.
A date with Andy. Movie popcorn. Judd Apatow. This is 40. The feeling of wanting to laugh and cry at the same time. Realizing that there’s no need for an “all is lost montage” when you’ve become used to feeling like everything is lost and bouncing back.
Spending the day with Andy. Holidays. Grocery stores. Funds to buy yummy food. Time with a friend. More safe driving.
A day at home with my little family. Ibuprofen. Texts from Sam and Setche. Sam & Setche. Talking with Mom. Mom.
Finishing an unpleasantly anticipated task. A date with Andy. His recently having learned interesting facts about WWI. Enjoying talking with him about it. Côtes du Rhône. Chocolate covered almonds.
Completing part one of three. Finally registering my much needed software. A wonderful time with colleagues. Stacey’s generosity. Stacey. A ride home from my darling Ione Sky.
A gorgeous beachfront drive. The flexibility of working off site. Therapy. Texts from my father, brother & mother. A celebration lunch at Gulfstream. An evening playing chess.
Working from home just in time for some 12/31 deadlines. The smell of my favorite art supply store. A functioning olfactory system. That we have so many art stores in the neighborhood. Fresh baked calzone. Candles in red glass.
Being a better partner to Andy for a few minutes. Our strong love. Crisp air. Big puffy coat. Walking. A win for the home team.
Andy’s reading to me from Goldfinger. Ian Fleming. Walking in cool air to Kimuya. That I met G. Memories of him.