It's a closed-in, blustery windy surprise snowstorm-in-spring day over here. We are all of us cabin-fever locked inside. I'm feeling a lack of I'm-so-blessedness and I sit here, wondering what I can do about it, because I'm wandering around this house like a bear poked early out of hibernation.
I think it's time for me to prepare a list of gratitude of the people I share this cabin with. I met a man months ago, a young man, who told me he begins his day with a reach over to his nightstand, where he finds his pen and his notebook- the one with the filled in pages of three things he is grateful for.
He says that before his feet touch the floor he has spent a few minutes, eyes closed, bringing to mind different things every day, of what he is grateful for. Every day brings a new prayer of gratitude, and at the end of the week, he has a running list of seven days x three = 21 things he finds good in his life. Many of them are hidden blessings.
This morning, I sat with the keyboard in front of me and once I typed "Number One" of what I could find to be grateful for about the person who is now crunching potato chips loud enough for me to hear in the next room over, the good thoughts broke through and flowed. I'm not going to say it was like a clear running stream after I hit the obvious first five, and the last six minutes of typing more like water finding its way to the surface after a winter thaw, but here it is:
My list, finished in about 35 minutes, on what makes me feel appreciation for my life partner:
1. How he just shouted to me, asking why he keeps seeing the less than sign next to a number 3 on his facebook.
2. How he has committed to studying the craft of writing a symphony. Books taken out of the library in 4-week intervals and practice spurts at the piano. With God as his witness he will understand how all the notes work.
3. We can discuss the beautiful gift from above that coffee is, forever.
4. He doesn't care that I have public radio on all day and he ever so considerately looks up to give occasional eye contact when I loudly agree along with the headlines of the day. (I ignore the pained expression on his face, the world is not perfect, and no one in it is, either.)
5. He understands the frustration and the disappointment in how the mechanics at our warranty-covered car shop, and our warranty-covered appliance repair, and our warranty-covered anyplace, try and sell me on the most maximum repair service versus when he calls they act like they've known him since kindergarten. I can sum this up by saying: Mark believes what I tell him.
6. I watch him open his mouth, the temptation for the last word burning on his tongue, but then he takes a deep breath, and closes his mouth. This is a grand effort, the feeling of implosion. I know, I have felt it often myself. I appreciate it.
7. He will ask me if I want the last oreo/potato chip/meatball, even when there is no way humanly possible if you have a heartbeat to not see him licking his lips while he offers it up. I pretend I am full.
8. After 20 years of hearing stories about my mother, here as an immigrant, supporting six children as a single woman in a country that did not make it easy to be female and Latina, he talks of her with the equal measure of pride as I do.
9. We secretly daydream about living in a library.
10. Listening to Car Talk together is what Saturday mornings mean to us.
This little list here, people, it helped me. There is a lot to be grateful for. And though this cabin feels a bit tight this morning, there is room to shove myself out of the way to see glimmers of good fortune in its corners.
Happy weekend, everyone. I love you, guys.
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