It seems as if everyone on the planet lately has been pouring buckets of ice water over their heads. Not me. I’d far prefer making a donation. I can barely dip my toe into the Atlantic Ocean even in these, the Dog Days of Summer – so I’m not sure I could take a whole bucket of ice water.
Nevertheless, this avalanche of Ice Bucket Challenges clogging up Facebook and Twitter feeds has been a good thing since donations have increased significantly for ALS research in the past month or so, particularly compared to the same period last year. So I say keep on dumping that ice water, people!
But I was recently challenged to do something that was far more do-able. For me, anyway.
Last week, my friend Amy challenged me to write three things for which I’m grateful every day for five days. And each day I was supposed to challenge three more people to do this.
Have I completed this challenge? Um, no. Perhaps a better question would be, “Have I started this challenge?”
But it’s a great idea. I’m no Mother Teresa and I can definitely use a little more attitude of gratitude.
So instead, I think I’ll write a blog today about some of the things for which I’m grateful. In no particular order (except for number #1, of course!) here is my list:
#1. I'm grateful for my loving husband, Vince. He is “my person.” (You’ll get that if you’ve ever watched Grey’s Anatomy.) He loves me unconditionally. And sometimes, boy, there are conditions for which he could easily say, “This ‘for better or worse’ stuff is for the birds!” But he doesn’t. And I feel truly grateful that we found each other at this stage in our lives.
#2. For my family. At first I was going to lump “family and friends” in one category, but it’s better to separate them. Why? Well, because we don’t choose our family, for one thing. On the other hand, my family – my parents – did choose me and made me “theirs.” They chose to take home and love a kid whose birth parents gave her up for adoption. I have never questioned that my family is my family. I have felt loved always. Even when I was a bratty teenager. Or maybe especially when I was a bratty teenager. (Not that I can really remember that far back.)
#3. I'm grateful for my friends. I have this annoying belief that friends are for life. Even when we move away or our lives diverge, I still think of a friend as a friend. Call it being stubborn, if you like. But because of that stubbornness, I have had friendships that have lasted for decades. My friends have helped me get through some rough times. But they’ve also been there with me through the good times. Hopefully I’ve been able to return the favor. Plus, we’ve pretty much collectively kept the “adult beverage” industry in business. So for all my friends, I’m eternally grateful.
#4. That even though my foot is all kinds of messed up and I’ve been wearing a clunky boot for a month now, at least I can still get myself from Point A to Point B. I’m clumsy and my footwear is not fashionable in the least, but I can still navigate the way on my own two feet. For this, I’m grateful. Besides, I was clumsy before I started wearing this clunky boot.
#5. For living in a country that allows me freedom of choice. I get to choose who to vote for, what religion to follow and I can pretty much wear whatever I want. Some people think our rights are becoming more and more restricted – and in some respects, I don’t disagree – but at least I don’t have a government telling me that because I’m a woman I don’t deserve to be educated. Nor am I required to wear a garment that completely envelopes my face and body when I’m out in public. And, oh sure, there are those humid days when my hair is a frizzy mess and my makeup slides off my face as soon as I apply it that I think it’d be a fine idea to cover up the whole mess, but at least I’d get to make that choice.
#6. I'm grateful for my home and my ‘things.’ I know that we shouldn’t value things over people – and I don’t. But ask a homeless person on a frigid day in February if he’d be grateful for a roof over his head. So I’m grateful for that. And I’m grateful that I have a comfortable bed to sleep in every night. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to value “things” less – like that latest designer handbag that at one point I thought I had to have. Instead I value the time I get to spend with my aging parents and the opportunity to return some of the love and kindness they’ve extended to me throughout my entire life.
Hmmm. I’m not sure I was supposed to get this chatty on the gratitude thing. So I’m thinkin’ that this blog is not going to make it all the way to 15 things for which I’m grateful. Hey, this might be something for which you should be grateful.
Looks like it’ll have to be a two-parter. Egad.
I’m not going to challenge specific people because I don’t want to make anyone feel obligated. But I think it’s a great idea for all of us to at least take a moment out of our busy lives and think about what we’re grateful for. Even if we do end sentences with a preposition. (Is that still a thing?)
And, okay, #7. I’m grateful I had some pretty awesome teachers who taught me enough grammar and spelling that I’m halfway decent at stringing words together to make sentences and paragraphs. Any mistakes I make are not because of them.
Tune back in tomorrow for some more of Jane's Attitude of Gratitude. Same bat time. Same bat channel.