There are weeks when being grateful is a challenge because the universe can seem to be playing a very bad joke. Weeks that are extraordinarily bad, when one cruddy thing after another happens, leaving you exhausted and drained and wondering what did to deserve so much misfortune. You’ve had those weeks, too, I’m sure. And the fact is, you, me, we have done nothing wrong really — it’s just life, and sometimes life presents us with challenging times. One thing that I am grateful of in times like these is in fact this very knowledge, that, like the sea, life ebbs and flows and sometimes waves crash, but we must pull ourselves up and just float until calmer waters return. And they do return.
So after a week when I found out I’ll be losing my job, had money stolen from my wallet, and my niece’s beloved Labrador died way too young from an aggressive cancer, I found myself having to look harder, dig deeper. Here are some of the things I’m grateful for today:
- Watching our Leni grow up — she’s the calmest and most confident puppy I’ve known. And such a beauty, too :-)
- Every sunrise, and the opportunities the new day presents to all of us to do better, with our work and loving one another
- Spending time yesterday with James moving and stacking wood, which will keep us warm this winter
- The smell of banana bread baking in the oven
- The love and support of my entire family — we may be very different people but at the end of the day, we’re there for one another
- James’ homemade curry bonanza!
- Spotting two birds at our feeder this week — fox sparrows and a juvenile yellow-bellied sapsucker
- The thoughtful woman who swapped her larger table for our smaller one so James and I would be more comfortable eating our dinner
- An inspirational evening at NYC’s Symphony Space, watching amazing actors (Amy Ryan, Dylan Baker) transport us as they read wonderful short stories, including one by James’ favorite, TC Boyle (whom he also got to meet briefly after the show!)
- The way in which life’s challenges can help us to set better priorities and remind us what is truly important in our lives
- In fact, one of the things I’m looking forward to is purging our home and space of unneeded and unused bits and pieces, to create a clean canvas of sorts for what comes next
- A beautiful message of appreciation from one of the Indian women who has been participating in a language training seminar I’ve led the past two months — even if the budget crunchers don’t see the value of my work, it’s nice knowing those directly affected do; I’ll miss them!
- A day today to rest and reflect and prepare for a new — better — week to come :-)