Monday, February 25, 2008


When I'm feeling kind of "blah", it always helps to tally a few blessings . I'm convinced that it is a singular grace to appreciate what you have, while you have it. I, like so many, fall into the trap of living in the future..."If I accomplish x,y,and z, then I will be satisfied". Worse yet, I occasionally look to the past and recount bounty that was unappreciated, presumed, perhaps even squandered. Sometimes, it helps to acknowledge that the here-and-now just might be as good as it gets. And that 'aint half bad.

I am thankful for:

My parents: Who gave me life, despite less-than-ideal circumstances. They did the best they could. For the major parenting screw-ups, all if forgiven. And that forgiveness is a gift, in and of itself. A gift for all of us.

Family. I married the right guy who is just crazy enough to put up with me. Still. I had children at the right time, built my own life, and fashioned the family I had always envisioned. I take note of this not to boast, but rather, to acknowledge that I'm blessed and honored to have these three wonderful people in my life, every day of my life. This may not be the case tomorrow and it most certainly will not be like this forever. Life is fragile. Life changes.

My husband's family. Which is now my family. It has been an adventure to be part of this loving, compassionate, giving, sometimes unruly, mega-social bunch of crazy Catholics. They truly are wonderful. And living satire to boot.

Faith. Living without faith is to have no true direction, no rudder. To not experience the abundant love and strength given to us by God is to feel abandoned, much like an orphan. When faith becomes a reality and not an abstraction, your life is transformed.

My Aunt M. She's more like a sister than an aunt. I can't imagine this world without her. My guess is that many people feel this way about her. She lights up a room.

Friends. I'm not a collector of people. That is to say, I'm not one to have hoards of acquaintances hanging about nor do I seek the company of others simply to avoid being alone. When I do call someone a friend, they have my complete loyalty. I'm blessed to have a number of incredible women in my life whom I consider "lifers". In one way or another, I'll know them as long as I'm living. And I do not take that gift for granted.

Art: I'm not a connoisseur nor am I an artist. But the world would be very bland without art. I don't think God intended us to lead purely practical lives. Everyone should produce at least one thing that achieves no prudent aim whatsoever. I'm thankful for this tiny, Bohemian inner voice of mine.

Home. It's more than my house, although the dwelling itself is nice and we worked hard to have it. It's everything else. Our photos, the children's artwork, my collections, our pets, our flowers, plants, shrubs. My little office right off of the kitchen. The children's growth marks in each of their closets. Toys. The kids' bedrooms--they're magical and they make me happy every time I enter either of them. Our books. It really does take so much to make a house a home. To make it your own.

Neighbors. Many of whom are also friends. Salt of the earth. Kind, generous, thoughtful. Within a few weeks of living here (back in 03), I knew the names of 15 neighbors. In California, in our first home, I never knew the name of our next-door-neighbor! After two years! Your neighborhood is, in many respects, more important than your house itself.

Love of words. Reading, writing. Writing, reading.

Simplicity. Despite my weakness for the occasional luxury, I also really appreciate the goofiest things. The way flowers make a hospital entrance seem so welcoming. Post-it Notes. William-Sonoma hand soap. Freshly laundered bed linens. Johnson's Baby Lotion. Baths. Crayons. The Zoo. Fireplaces. Crisp, new magazines. #2 pencils.

Turns out...I feel better.
Told you it works.

Give this blessing tally a shot. You might just be amazed once you see the words on the page.

1 comment:

Don said...

Wow, excellent post. Makes perfect sense.