Gratitude: August 2013

As many days as possible, I list six distinct things for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s August 2013. 

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Holding death close.I’m grateful for the ability to run my own agenda. Andy. Our home. Good health. Coffee. Cups.

I’m grateful for the feeling that another story is ready to be sent out. Learning the importance of letting my characters make physical gestures. Making it to my afternoon meeting on time. The joy of giving a small gift. Screen sharing. Lemons.

I’m grateful there are other streets to go north on besides super constricted ones like Normandie. Koreatown. Andy’s grace when I wrote down the wrong address. His companionship at the reading. Dirty Laundry Lit. Hearing several great pieces.

I’m grateful for time with watercolors. Hours of writing without thinking about the clock. Time to proof read in relaxation. Red ink. Cashews. Cashew memories.

I’m grateful for last minute rewrites. Lunch in the sunshine. Writing days. The new amazing copy machines. That dear woman at the post office. Having found a cheap used copy of Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge.

I’m grateful for Andy feeding the cats breakfast on a day when my body needed extra rest. A sense of well being. A parking space on Wilshire. Time to take a walk. Internet access. The energy to work late.

I’m grateful for hours to diagram stories. Great authors. The dictionary. Time to talk with Mom on the phone. My backpack. Making plans with Andy.

I’m grateful for the reminder about the polar bears. Greenpeace. Reflections. Soy milk. Sunny days. Legs.

I’m grateful for companionship & support at a job site. A peaceful agenda. Looking at maps with Andy. A wonderful time to look forward to. Getting a chore out of the way. The way he appreciated it so.

I’m grateful for a walk in the sunshine. A shower. Running water. Arms to carry things. Dinner with friends. The health & time to be helpful.

I’m grateful for a software license. The Bodini font. Andy’s invitation. A long walk. Hills. Finding Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad for $4.50 at the used bookstore down the street.

I’m grateful for the annoying reminder that sometimes all we have left to do is let go. The conviction that in my last sentence, no: I was not talking about my grief. Being able to be stubborn with my memories. A 3.2 mile walk. Raspberry ale. Coming home to Andy.

I’m grateful for dinner at one of my old haunts. That the acquaintances didn’t pause for a stop & chat. Instagram to ease moments of loneliness. Texts from a kind woman. Ink. Moleskine journals.

I’m grateful for reconciliation. Sirenita Lake. Being relatively free. A quick walk. Dr. C. Simple affection.

I’m grateful for a 2.4 mile walk in the sunshine. Our library. Seeing dozens of baby birds flying around the garden. Eyes. Seeing the woman pour water for her little dogs at the park. An afternoon to be productive.

I’m grateful that my highest source of anxiety during the day came from not having my white napkin exchanged for a black one. Black napkins. Restaurants that offer the napkin swap. Lint rollers. Napkins. Being able to afford restaurants I enjoy.

I’m grateful for a day of rest. Internet research (again!). A safe place to relax. Plenty to do. Teeth. Bones.

I’m grateful for my multi-colored gel pens. A second day off. The option to work. Opportunities. Washcloths. Clean water.

I’m grateful for my colleague/client who has returned from vacation. Being able to find excellent new short stories for free on the internet. The time to walk a mile to the pharmacy and mail box and ATM. The excitement of walking into a very dark room. Spicy potato chips.

I’m grateful for September plans with Andy. Texts from my brother. Texts from his daughter. Calls from her mother. Calls with my mom and dad. My family.

I’m grateful for an hour spent on the next story. A walk in the sunshine. Sandra Cisneros. Lines like, “windows so small you’d think they were holding their breath” and “We must be Christmas.” Computer help from Jerry. Bradley Manning.

I’m grateful for morning hours to begin sorting data. Being able to streamline our gadgets. Hard drives. Dropbox. Plenty of gigabytes. Chelsea Manning.

I’m grateful for alarm clocks. Getting the report done on time. Lunch in the sunshine with wonderful ladies. A productive afternoon. Help sorting out a puzzle. Tofu.

I’m grateful for time to sleep in. Sleeping cats. YouTube videos of Douglas Kearney’s poetry (wow!). Our sun deck. Sunscreen. Lots to read.

I’m grateful for a gorgeous day in Westwood. A reason to walk up to campus. Seeing two informative panels at the Writers’ Faire. Meeting that nice woman at the WriteGirl table. Inhabiting the courtyard with the memories without having a panic attack. Not being compelled to enter the Math building.

I’m grateful to Andy for feeling the cats breakfast. For the mp3s of comedians’s pieces we have loaded up on iTunes. Poets & Writers Magazine. Fresh pizza from Artisan. Self doubt. A safe drive.

I’m grateful for the lists on the copyright pages of story collections that show where pieces were originally published. Linked story collections. Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. “A thrill as clean as fresh water.” Time to read. Spending 45 minutes on my next story and being surprised by the protagonist.

I’m grateful for Twitter and Pinterest during insomnia. Teju Cole. Time to read the first 60 pages of Egan’s GOON SQUAD. Access to such amazing writing. Seeing that plane take off over the Pacific. A drive down the beach on a perfectly clear day.

I’m grateful to be able to work from home. Being able to have, own and keep private thoughts. Imagination. Being able to use words to share thoughts. Where Bloggers Blog. Blogs and bloggers.

I’m grateful no one was injured seriously in the car accident. A fine meeting followed by a nice lunch with a kind colleague. Birthdays. Cake. Our business community. The woman who rescued my favorite sunglasses before I knew they’d been lost.

I’m grateful for a day of rest. Hands to press. On Demand. Safety. Plumbing. Clean sheets.

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