Gratitude: September 2013

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


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I’m grateful for the antique books Andy gave me last year for my birthday. An afternoon outing with him. Time to take a brisk walk. Smells of cooking garlic, cut grass, eucalyptus, weed and sawdust in my neighborhood. Conveniences of modern life like toilet paper and tampons, eye glasses and running shoes. Air conditioning.

I’m grateful for hours in the sun with Andy on our deck reading good books. The way Ruby was sprawled out on the carpet deep in sleep. A nice chat with Mom. Knowing that Andy was upstairs simultaneously on the phone with his parents. Orange tofu. Shelter.

I’m grateful for the Whole Foods right around the corner from my appointment. Organic fruits and veggies. A walk in sunshine. Shade. The skateboard park. Skateboarders.

I’m grateful for quiet hours to read. The thread from story 1 to story 10 and back again alluding to a possible message from the dead. Google Maps Street View’s date stamp. Imagining perhaps he was inside the house on that day. The comfort that I’m not a bonafide internet stalker, I just act like one sometimes for very poignant reasons. Egan’s perfect story.

I’m grateful for a long walk in the sunshine. My white hat to keep my head from roasting. Sunscreen. Working outside on the patio. ITunes Genius mix that lets me listen to instrumental music while I work. iMessage to speed communication with colleagues.

I’m grateful for a nice lunch with three wonderful women. Not really knowing new acquaintances, but having it on good faith that they are, in fact, wonderful. The grapes that came with my sandwich. Sparkling water. Finishing Goon Squad over dinner. Putting in a day’s work.

I’m grateful for time to work on the star doodle. Andy’s visit to the eye doctor. The new keyboard cover. Happy spontaneous moments. Learning about Aracelis Girmay. Kima Jones. Aracelis Girmay. Poets.

I’m grateful for the cool breeze in sunshine. Ruby. Ellie. Andy. Calming down after
arguments. Talking ideas through together.

I’m grateful for coffee makers. The simple stopper that prevents coffee from dripping when the carafe is pulled out. All the ingenious innovations that make our lives so much easier. Designers. Business class on trains. Tim O’Brien, the author.

I’m grateful for gratitude. Language. Words. The alphabet. Shapes. Symbols.

I’m grateful for following my instinct to build story notes rather than pressuring myself to generate prose. Figuring out who my new characters are. The excitement of trying a new process. The way questions lead the way. Microsoft Word. A Perfect Day for Bananafish.

I’m grateful to have spoken with both Mom and Dad on the phone. The birthday gift they sent early. The meeting where we figured out something that’s been a puzzle for a few months. Being able to help in a situation. Being present when people demonstrate kindness. Being.

I’m grateful for a leisurely lunch with a good friend. Hearing about some exciting events in her recent past. Hugs and kisses at the office from dear ones. That the printer didn’t jam. The way Andy arranged for dinner. The way Andy almost always arranges for dinner.

I’m grateful for a private place to sunbathe. That it’s a part of our home. The lawn chair. Towels. The cool breeze amidst sunshine (AGAIN). Cold clean water.

I’m grateful for rubber cement. The family meetings Andy and I have in order to take care of admin items. Sun screen. Blueberries. Bananas. My running shoes.

I’m grateful for time to shop for some staple wardrobe items. The sensitive woman working in the department store. Coconuts. Pineapples. That returning items is fairly simple. Being able to take care of errands and have a lunch break as well.

I’m grateful I surrendered to the impulse to write. The way I’ve forgiven myself for not following the schedule so far this month–moving forward. Knowing that my best work will come from discipline not impulses. Being open to both. My weekly appointment happened near a store I needed to visit. Finding the product we need.

I’m grateful for the place down the road with the solid internet connection. That it makes a great place to work. The .8 mile distance from our home, so I get exercise in as well. A day with Andy to prepare for our trip. His generosity. Our home.

I’m grateful hardwood floors, ceramic tiles and carpet. Porcelain bowls with one inch walls that make feeding that cats so easy. Sitting with our pets while they eat. Reading a Franzen essay and a critique of the Franzen essay before sunrise. Ellie’s affection. Morning.

I’m grateful for Colette Sartor’s tweets linking educational and inspiring content. Louis C.K.. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation–just reading about the work of their 2013 fellows makes me feel better about the world.

I’m grateful for the prerogative to leave this list incomplete.

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