Gratitude: October 2013

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

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I’m grateful for lunch at home. Safe driving. Tangled Up In Blue. The pleasant unknown. Medium rare. A turbulent free return to work.

I’m grateful for the birthday gift of a new writing class. A small group of fellow students. Time to rest. Feet. Toes. Skin.

I’m grateful for parking spots. A day of work. Having some answers. To-the-penny matches. Michael J. Fox. Robin Williams.

I’m grateful for nine billable hours. Hearing about how much my buddy enjoyed some sweet treats from Paris. That Callie-dog was okay. A recovery (however slow) from perfectionism. The mantra: just do your best. A new deadline.

I’m grateful to have woken up at 5am on a Saturday to start writing. Ruby. Ellie. A full weekend to write and exercise. And nap. Andy’s annual October gift to me–curating a spooky film fest for two; although, today, the meowing cats on screen had Ruby nervous.

I’m grateful for memories of an evening years ago. My grandmother, who would have been 101 today. Restaurants to walk to from home. Neighbors from all over the world. Warm bread. Marinara.

I’m grateful for the fabulous pet store downtown. Being able to buy some treats there for our kitties. Twitter communication. Au jus. Cat nip. Prolonged anticipation.

I’m grateful for weights. Time to lift them. Desire to lift them. The possibility of getting stronger. A four mile walk in perfect weather. Quiche for lunch.

I’m grateful for the cool air. Rain. Shoes. That my workshop deadline isn’t next week. Speedy wifi during lunch. The reminder that my main goal–to grow as a writer–is being fulfilled.

I’m grateful for lots of work to keep my mind occupied. The opportunity to practice patience. The cheerful, thoughtful waitress. Sweet potatoes. A new veggie sandwich for Andy.

I’m grateful for a new approach to the data. A good meeting. Pumpkin coffee. A full day of work. Enough battery power. The start of a weekend.

I’m grateful for lunch with a good friend. Bloody Marys. October in Los Angeles. Saturdays. Resisting pumpkin flavored everything most of the time. Giving in once in a while.

I’m grateful for the smell of gasoline. The absence of the smell of gasoline. That Ellie didn’t damage the computer when she started poking around at the keyboard. Seeing the very young boy running around the park with a badminton racket. Ellie’s cuddles all afternoon. The show “Being Human”.

I’m grateful for a pleasant dinner with an old friend. Hearing about his adventures. Deliciously creative food. Sidewalk dining in Culver City. Command over our own schedules. His health.

I’m grateful to have had time to walk to therapy again. Comfortable temperatures. Coping with myself for procrastinating. Egg white omelets. Potatoes. Black coffee.

I’m grateful for a morning to read before class. Writing class. Being able to spend the day in Westwood. A safe place to express my feelings. Guidance. Hugs.

I’m grateful for the moral support of a relative stranger–a fellow applicant. Moral support from so many people. The answer. Practice at withstanding disappointment. Feeling good about moving forward. Knowing that my goals remain the same.

I’m grateful for good work. Fun software. A leisurely lunch. Amazingly encouraging emails. The way Andy took care of our dinner delivery. Szechuan shrimp.

I’m grateful for a haircut. The way I trust my stylist to do a good job. Seeing her laughing about President Bush in Albania. A wonderful walk home. Home. A relaxing evening with Andy.

I’m grateful for a morning to read again. Time to draw paisley swirls. Time to research lit mags. Nice notes from people who mean a lot to me. A long afternoon with dear old friends. Riding the Ferris Wheel with them.

I’m grateful to get lost in gratitude. Having so many wonderful stories here at home to read without even turning on the computer. Alice Munro. Joshua Ferris. Third person POV so closely held you experience the protagonist’s denial. Safe driving on the freeway.

I’m grateful for the schedule that allows me to walk to and from an appointment two miles away. The will power of avoiding stopping for lunch on the way home. Being able to work remotely. The encouraging feedback from a friend who wanted to read my stories.

I’m grateful for the epiphany I had while critiquing a classmate’s story. All the ways practicing story analysis teaches me how to become a better writer. Our amazing teacher. A safe drive to and from the first LitCrawl in Los Angeles. A seat at the bar. Hearing wonderful writers read good work. Wonderful poet, Kima Jones’ kindness in being as welcoming in person as she is on-line. Having a great LA Lit event to attend to help me celebrate the experience of moving on from my first major writing rejection.

I’m grateful for time to sleep in. Fresh clean water. Clean clothing. The way my  new haircut is so much easier to style. Taking care of business. Horror movie nights with Andy.

I’m grateful to have heard about the exciting projects my client and client’s clients are working on. Working in pleasant environments. The ability to take a break when it’s needed. Friends I can text when I’ve forgotten my jacket.

I’m grateful to have had time and tools to redesign my blog header. Our scale: concrete proof that more self-control is needed. The confidence that I can make more healthy food choices. That reading my classmates’ work is a real joy. To have people to reach out to when grief strikes again. Rich memories.

I’m grateful to have healed enough that I could finally edit mourning out of my blog bio. That Andy has remained my loving partner. The way he insists on doing the laundry for us and won’t accept my help even though I offer each and every week. The time to take a walk before it gets too dark.

I’m grateful to have had a full day of writing. The way walking breaks can spur ideas. The way Andy fed the girls while I wrote. The way he got the coffee machine ready for a button push in the morning.

I’m grateful to have been awake and alert at 5:05am. To have been sitting in my office writing at 5:10am. Andy’s kindness in bringing me a big cup of hot coffee and a kiss at 5:30am. That I could make a client visit shorter in order to get back to writing. The way I went straight back to writing after dinner. The way I couldn’t help but grin as I pulled the covers up over my shoulder at 4:30am having just finished a first draft of a new story.

I’m grateful that I was able to sleep for three hours. For being able to submit the story to my workshop prior to the deadline. For a yet another wonderful class with an amazingly good teacher, and serious and talented fellow students. That I was able to remain alert and work throughout the rest of the day. Ibuprofen. A good standing date with Andy.

I’m grateful for the room in my schedule to sleep in. Incredibly beautiful weather again. A good talk with Mom. Telephones. A delicious lunch served by a zebra. That homework includes reading “The Year of Getting to Know Us” by Ethan Canin.

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