As many days as possible, I list at least one (sometimes up to six) distinct thing(s) for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s March 2014.
I am grateful to have come across Lisa Congdon’s line drawing class. A walk in the rain. My rain jacket. Plastic bags. That Andy was home when the building’s fire alarms sounded. That there wasn’t a fire.
I’m grateful for Sunday morning breakfast with Andy. Fun watching the newest episode of The Americans. Time to read “Human Snowball,” by Davy Rothbart. The Paris Review. Getting a couple miles in. Very warm water.
I’m grateful for the surprising relief of honest work. The balm of easy data. Kindness from the people I work with. The pleasant stranger who asked about my Moleskine. That he told me about his. Espresso.
I’m grateful for certain specific memories that I’ll never write about here. A sunshiny walk past new-to-me blooms. The pleasure of reading three impressive student stories. And then some lines by Grace Paley. A walk for coffee with a new friend. Her words that remind me (of my writing) not to relent.
I’m grateful for one more week to work on a story prior to submitting it to workshop. The decision to modify this list (Project Gratitude) from six things each day to a minimum of one.
I’m grateful for the plumber who came to replace the kitchen faucet. The infrastructure in place that prevents us from having to put up with black specs in our water. Micron pens (02, 05, 08). Ink.
I’m grateful for my journal and the way it helps me record story thoughts. Getting through a day of nine billable hours so that now writing can come first for a while.
I’m grateful for my office, my very own office. That the far wall is Andy’s music room.
I’m grateful for waking up at 1:27am to take down more story ideas. Up again at 6:18 am with even more ideas.
I’m grateful to have a weekday clear for writing.
I’m grateful for another writing day that started at 4am.
I’m grateful for another writing day that started at 5am. That life can be like this. That I love writing so much that I write even when I don’t feel the love.
I’m grateful for making the deadline with only two major typos. Coming in right at the 4000 word maximum. Already processing ideas for the next draft. Wonderful and immediate feedback from one of my trusted readers. The veranda. Getting over an annoying email.
I’m grateful that I spoke up for myself again and again.
I’m grateful for time to fill pages with triangles and scallop shapes. Happening upon the bluesy band at dinner. The fire pit. Keys. Trust.
I’m grateful for an afternoon in Santa Monica with Andy. Flat Elliot. Sangria. Tapas. Spain.
I’m grateful the earthquake wasn’t bigger. That Andy got to experience what it’s like. A hug from my little sister, the mom. A new team to take over so that I’ll have more time to write. People who support my endeavors. The courage to tell people about my endeavors.
I’m grateful for a nice walk to the post office. The news that I got into the spring story workshop.
I’m grateful for time to sit at the lunch counter and read another Lorrie Moore story. Spiders: “Earth’s animal try at heaven.” More. Moore.
I’m grateful for time to sit and study cat food options for our girls. Reading more great Moore lines, “. . . rhetorical barbed wire, indignant and arcane.” A two mile walk. The way the workshop of my story led to an entertaining class discussion on the use of second person. Feeling understood. Feedback that gives me new ideas for the next draft.
I’m grateful for my paying work and the way it’s sort of fun a lot of the time.
I’m grateful for a morning of line drawing on vintage photographs. The nice service at Bar Food. That they don’t put butter on their grilled cheese sandwiches.
I’m grateful for the emailed poem. Its beauty and hard truths. The hope of peace with she who sent it. A date out with Andy. The Grand Budapest Hotel (am I a philistine for napping through Anderson again?).
I’m grateful for a morning walk to the art store for a white extra fine paint pen. A nice phone chat with Mom. Beer tasting with three strangers. The way they immersed themselves in the topic of something sensual we could all ponder out loud together.
I’m grateful for not getting called in to jury duty for the third day in a row.
I’m grateful for a day to devote to wrapping up a project.
I’m grateful that jury duty fell on the best possible day of the week. The wifi connection in the waiting room that allowed me to stay caught up on client needs. Finding a place to walk for lunch. Being dismissed without being assigned to a trial. A low stress drive around downtown L.A.. Figuring out where to go without any distress.
I’m grateful for finally getting more caught up than ever after seventeen months.
I’m grateful for a morning to devote to creative play.
I’m grateful that S came to the brunch. That Andy did all the laundry, filled the gas tank, grocery shopped and did the dishes while I visited with friends all morning. Another chess win in the sunshine of our deck. Dinner with my dear. The way he takes care of me.
I’m grateful for a walk on the beach after a full day of work.