Funny how things work… I was near the end of doing today’s gratitude list when the phone rang. It made the list all that more relevant. And then the phone rang again. Every now and again something happens that reminds me of how fortunate I am. Some days I am privy to several events at the same time. The last 2 days have been days of crisis – not for me, but for others around me. In some instances I can be of help, in others the best I can do is just listen. In listening to these folks, I am reminded of how fortunate I am at this time in my life. I have not always been able to see my blessings, and many of these blessings may seem stupid to some, but, just for a moment, imagine life without them. Imagine not being able to see! Not being able to dress yourself.
Another example, owning a cat (or 2) might seem silly, but it has been proven that the companionship of an animal is comforting and can even lower one’s blood pressure. I have cats even though I dearly love dogs, but I know dogs cost more and require more care (Mom! Gotta pee! – at 2 AM, and it is raining, snowing, nor'easter, something, not to mention I don’t walk all that well – and lord help me if I needed to pick an animal up.) I can handle a cat. It would not be fair to own a dog. I am grateful I figured that out before I hurt some poor dog just by owning it and not being able to care for it. That would be selfish.
Anyway, I digress… after the last 2 phone calls, I am grateful that I am clean and sober, that I don’t have to call people up and lie to try to get money out of them, and am actually grateful this person does not need the money because of all the reasons she stated… sigh. All I want to do is run in and grab her kids and give them a good home free of the chaos in their lives. But, I can’t do that either. Sigh.
Anyway, my gratitude list:
1. I was able to get up by myself and walk to the bathroom.
2. I dressed myself.
3. I have clean clothes to wear.
4. I was able to fix my own breakfast.
5. I have enough food to eat.
6. I have food to share.
7. My garden is still producing veggies.
8. I have water (and hoses) to water my garden.
9. It is hot, but my air conditioner is running.
10. I do not have to work out in the heat.
11. I can see.
12. I can hear.
13. I can speak.
14. I have a roof over my head.
15. My house is paid for.
16. I have running water and plumbing.
17. I have electricity.
18. I have a comfortable bed to sleep in.
19. I have a little cat (or 2) to keep me company.
20. I can still afford to feed and medicate my cats.
21. I have a computer that works.
22. I have a vehicle that works.
23. I can read.
24. I am able to help others.
25. I have many friends.
26. I belong to several groups that help others.
27. I have my own property, no one is crowding me. (can’t even see my neighbors!)
28. People depend on me.
29. Although I don’t have much, I am content.
30. I am at peace with myself.
I guess I could add I don’t have to do the things other people do to try to swindle them out of money by lying about my kids not having any food, or the electricity being cut off, or not being able to afford my son’s medicine…
Gratitude List part 2: the negative and the positive list!
1. I don’t have to lie to people to get money (drugs, booze).(hmmmm, or power? Thinking about politicians willing to hurt ordinary Americans for $$ and power.)
2. I may not have much money, but I am comfortable. (so far)
3. My needs are few.
4. I have learned to be content with what I have.
5. I have provided for myself and do not have to depend on someone else’s money. (so far)
6. I have had a good life.
7. I have had a good education.
8. I have studied with the Dalai Lama and have felt his peace and compassion.
9. My pleasures are simple,
a. good music
b. flowers in the garden
c. a cat’s purr
d. tomatoes growing 5 feet from my back door
e. picking enough beans for supper
f. a little cat pestering me to get up on my lap
g. fresh baked berry pie (my own berries)
h. a glass of iced tea
i. watching the sunrise
j. seeing the sunset
10. I have known love.
11. I am able to love, and have many friends.
12. I can laugh and can take being laughed at!
13. I have seen places around the world that no one will ever see again.
a. The capital of Montserrat (now buried in volcanic ash)
b. Much of the island of Montserrat that is now buried.
c. I have climbed Soufriere, now spewing volcanic ash and bits of lava.
d. I have climbed the pyramids in Giza, (now forbidden.)
e. I have walked the streets of old Baghdad (1960s)
f. And Beirut before so much of it got blown up.
g. And a hundred small towns in Turkey before paved roads and Tourism moved in.
h. I have watched from the river bank as a team of camels pulled my car out of the river (now they have bridges… where’s the challenge in that?)
i. I was part of the excitement when the first mound was opened at Gordium. (google it)
j. I have been in a number of tombs in Egypt that are now closed to the public.
k. I was at Aswan before it was cut apart and relocated.
14. I realize the world changes like the river, and I am grateful I have had a chance to see so much of it.
15. I am grateful I have so many Muslim friends and am welcome in their homes.
16. I am grateful I am not filled with blind hate and prejudice.
17. I have never killed anyone and have never been in a place where I might feel that need.
18. I never had to serve in a war. (I would have to be a medic!)
19. I have helped care for a number of wild creatures. They don’t seem to be afraid of me.
a. My house has sheltered owls, possums, a red-tailed hawk, turtles, squirrels…
b. I have fed numerous other critters at the wildlife center.
20. I have looked for parasites in hawk poop (and held the hawk to give it shots!)
21. I got to live on an island in Maine as a kid.
22. I lived in Turkey as a teenager.
23. Today I help Turks new to America learn English.
24. I am most grateful that I have the ability (and the desire) to help others.
25. I am grateful I have learned to ask for help when I need it. (OK, when I desperately need it. Sigh)
26. I am grateful I don’t need a lot of help yet but
27. I am grateful that I realize that I cannot do everything – or solve the world’s problems
28. I am grateful I have a few good people I can depend on
29. And that I understand the value of being dependable.
30. And I think this list is long enough for now, but, I know I could keep on typing… but I do have other things to do.