Thankful for the small things

When I see a social media posting titled, “Things I am Grateful for — Day 49,” my immediate thought is that whoever wrote it is lying.

I don’t wake up every day grateful to be alive and thinking that I’m the luckiest person on earth. That only happened once when I was in Ireland, but that was overseas so I’m not sure it counts. It’s easier to think about what’s going wrong than what’s going right on any given day, never mind all the things for which I am grateful.

So I challenged myself to recreate an elementary school exercise — to think hard about thankfulness and about the small things I appreciate and write them down. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have 49 things, or that I started this challenge last Thanksgiving, it matters now that I have a list.

I am thankful:

I live where there are four seasons: Snow/ice, mud, hot as Hades and road construction. It’s hard to get bored when you live in a place where you can leave the house in a winter coat in the morning, need an umbrella at lunch and are in shorts by early evening.

Road construction season is nearing an end: One day this summer I was trying to cross from one end of Manchester to the other. Three different work areas, two detours and 45 minutes later I finally made it. For my sanity, I hope there’s a break between road construction season and snow.

The ability to work from home: The best way to avoid road construction and snow.

I’m old enough not to care if I’m wearing makeup to the supermarket:  Let’s be honest. If I’m alone in line clutching a bag of Ruffles and a vat of French onion dip, a face full of makeup will not change what others, including the cashier, are thinking about my evening’s plans. And they’re right.

My student loans are finally paid off: It only took 19 years.

Spotify: No more hauling around the flipbook of 200 CDs in the car, many of which ended up scratched and under the car seat. When I got rid of my last car, I found three CDs — two were in the trunk. (Along with about a dozen pairs of gloves I stashed there for safekeeping at the end of each winter but without fail forgot I had six months later. That’s another story.)

Text messaging: You have a better chance of reaching me through carrier pigeon than by calling me. I cannot tell you how much I hate talking on the phone and good thing because I’m trying to stay positive here.

Cadbury Eggs: This year I was able to stretch out my stockpile until two months after Easter. Those foil-covered, often sticky and partially melted orbs of goodness always chase those winter blues away.

Of course, I’m also incredibly grateful for whom and what you might expect — my mom (the English professor who has edited this note at least 125 times. Hi, Mom!), my dad, my chosen family of friends who love and support me, the opportunity to do a job I love and believe in with co-workers who feel the same, and Netflix.

I may tend to overlook the everyday things that bring me joy, but this list of people and things get me through each day. And for that I’m grateful.

Categories: Edit Note