Gratitude: May 2014

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 May 2014. 

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I’m grateful for time to have a peaceful dinner and read “Powder” by Tobias Wolff before the evening workshop began. That the lecture led to a possible leap forward in one of my story drafts. Kind tweets.

I’m grateful for the loving email reminding me that the world is full of goodness. My work companions. Jam from Virginie. (You, too, can enjoy it!) The sweet friend who added lime and salt to the rim of the cold Corona bottle. Limes. Salt.

I’m grateful for the mental escape of bookkeeping. Finding another way to look at the data. A cool evening walk. Noticing street art by Korsen in my neighborhood. Street art.

I’m grateful for being able to take a private, hot shower without having to find clean water, generate fire, heat the water (without getting it too hot), and build a contraption that rises up over my head to spill the water down onto me. I’m grateful for social media and the infinite wonderful things I’ve seen and learned of from virtual word of mouth. Like Kenny Pittock and his Train Drawings.

I’m grateful for the delight of KENNY PITTOCK CHECKING OUT MY INSTA-FEED. Hi Kenny! (OMG!). Cool Southern California mornings. Wearing boxer shorts and slippers around the house. Working from home. The kind folks at my dad’s breakfast haunt who helped me deliver a birthday treat to him. Safe driving.

I’m grateful to have lived in my west LA neighborhood for exactly two decades. Anniversaries. Memories of calling my folks from the pay phone on the corner 20 years ago today. That my dad has lived 75 years and counting. Homes (old and new). That my brother gets to go to Italy.

I’m grateful I feel ready to stop therapy after more than 3 years. That I can change my mind anytime. All the sentences I almost typed here, realizing I’m not able to put it into words — what it feels like to have a psychoanalyst who knows my grief. The periods of life in between crises. The magnificence of certain trees. Soil.

I’m grateful for the way Andy placed the gray afghan over me and tucked all the edges around me. The pleasure of slipping back into morning sleep before dawn. Paris Review online archives. A morning to read. Lord Byron. Poems from a new and unexpected friend.

I’m grateful for lunch with dear girlfriends. The maple candies at El Chollo. Enjoying the company of the people I work with.

I’m grateful Lemon drops and seared tuna. Skipping home in the dark. A nice chat with our neighbor Jack at the 7-11. Realizing we’ve been acquainted for at least seventeen years.

I’m grateful for relaxing days with Andy.

I’m grateful for the way writing deadlines prompt me to do chores. Finally getting to the grocery market, filling the gas tank, picking up the dry cleaning. The dry heat.

I’m grateful for time to have a nice dinner before class. That we live so close to a gorgeous university. University. University.

I’m grateful for Oral-B smooth dental floss. A good long walk in the (still) heat. Warm bread. Beer flights. Nutty ales. Crisp saisons. Belgian whites.

I’m grateful for all the client work I can complete from home. The full moon. The way it shines in through our kitchen window. Downton Abbey on DVD.

I’m grateful for my writing partners and our new deadlines. The delight of a sweet dog in the office. Cantaloupe. Time to walk and listen with a friend.

I’m grateful Andy asked me on a date. The decision to say yes and take a day off from both writing and bookkeeping. Having the kind of jobs that I want to do on my days off. Cool air blowing into the bedroom. The scale’s reminder to eat less and move more. A really fun movie, Chef.

I’m grateful for a morning of rest. Our home.

I’m grateful for my awesome dentist and his fabulous crew. Movie glasses, to make teeth cleanings seem to pass more quickly. No cavities! The sweet Parisian bakery down the street. Almond croissants. Black coffee.

I’m grateful for the catharsis of tears. Another teacher who loves the written words.

I’m grateful for a full day of writing. Knowing that I have some readers waiting.

I’m grateful that a long day of bookkeeping didn’t prevent me from having a civilized lunch in a room filled with sunlight. Spicy salsa.

I’m grateful for a means to earn money with kind people.

I’m grateful for Crystal Moody and her inspiring daily creative practice. Her gorgeous website: year of creative habits. Supportive emails from women I admire. A three day break from bookkeeping. Our sweet cats.

I’m grateful for a date with Andy. Celebrating our 12 year anniversary of the day we met and sparked by enjoying the memory of it. That that was enough. That writing this now a week later makes me smile. Companionship, love, affection and all of their mysteries.

I’m grateful for another day of writing (wash, rinse, repeat).

I’m grateful I had another story to deliver when the piece of shit god awful rewrite that’s plaguing me still wasn’t ready. The note that said, “I understand.” A lively class discussion. Fellow writers. The moment on Louie when his youngest daughter and a neighbor play a violin duet. Also, when he tells little Jane that the thing he likes 2nd best to being with her is remembering the times when he was with her.

I’m grateful my bout of self-loathing didn’t go on for too long before a brief note came from my teacher–generous and encouraging. The drive to do better. No dearth of deadlines. A date with some writing friends to look forward to.

I’m grateful for a quick answer. Commiseration from my brother. Mom’s help. The flexibility to work at night. Time for a dinner break. Reading an another great draft from one of my writing friends.

I’m grateful for a reprieve from the usual schedule. That Santa Monica has placed games, tables and flowers out for the public to enjoy. A walk in the gorgeous weather with my work-lunchmates-friends. A leisurely meal with them.

I’m grateful for pushing the draft through to a new place. Organic mints. Our happy mealtime routine of my kissing the back of Ruby’s furry little neck when I carry her down from the counter. Extended hours of day light. Peanut butter and peanut butter memories.

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