26 November 2008

The best gift

Yesterday at breakfast, a student told me I'd made a difference in her life. It made my day. In the afternoon, I talked with another student who told me I made her feel better. I felt like the luckiest person in the world.

On the day before Thanksgiving, I would like to give a dozen thanks:

1. I am a young and healthy human being. I'm no triathlete or even much of an athlete, but I started running this past summer and try to exercise regularly. (If running intimidates you, I promise if I can do it, anyone can. Here's how.)

2. I still have my parents and brother. I know too many people who have lost a member of their immediate family. When you include cousins and other relatives, the number skyrockets. I try to remember how fragile life can be, so that even when my family drives me crazy (all the time), I can appreciate how lucky I am to have them. (My mom, for example, called the other night and left a message about how terrible the economy was. She does this often, so that wasn't a shocker. But, this time, she ended her message with, "But don't worry. You can always move home if things don't work out." It almost made me cry. I love my mom.)

3. I live in a beautiful, comfortable home, surrounded by incredible human beings who are kind, intellectually curious, open-minded and often hilarious.

4. I have friends I respect who love me unconditionally. And while their living all over the globe is sad in some ways, it also means I have lots of very cool places to visit.

5. This amazing world in which we live and how easy it has become to go explore it.

6. Complete security in my freedom. I live in a relatively safe and stable country. I can go pretty much anywhere I want without restriction. I can follow whatever spiritual path I choose or not choose one at all. I can read and look at whatever I want. I can think whatever I want, eat whatever I want, wear whatever I want and talk about whatever I want.

7. I am working on a painting right now. What a luxury. And I get to be a full-time writer. One woman said I was "living the dream," and though I don't see it that way all the time, I have to appreciate that I get to work from home and have the time and freedom to be a creative nut.

8. Homemade ice cream and milkshakes. Thai food, Indian food and Mexican food. Dim sum, noodles, freshly baked bread and broccoli (especially when stir-fried with garlic or some other delicious sauce). Perfectly ripe fruit, especially mango, papaya with fresh lime juice, Rainier cherries and white nectarines. Farmers markets, in general. And eating outside on a beautiful day.

9. I have the kindest life partner, and he makes me happier than I even thought possible. He encourages me, no matter how zany I get, and makes me laugh. I am at peace because of him.

10. Laughter. One of life's greatest pleasures. And it's free.

11. Water in nature. An ocean, a lake, a river, it doesn't matter to me. I love them all. And bridges. Water and bridges.

12. People. Their quirks, their smiles, seeing them think. And that they let me into their worlds and let me contribute in some small way to their story. Nothing makes my life more meaningful.

Thank you, life!

What are you grateful for?

1 comment:

  1. I am grateful for this blog; you are poetry. Hoorah for giving thanks and a time for reflection! I am thankful for so much, topping that list is:
    *My Grandpa. 98 yrs young and doing great. He is THE male role model in my life, and I am so lucky to have him. He is amazing.
    *Marrying an honest man who loves me like no other, and makes me laugh to boot.
    *Having met wonderful new friends this yr; my life is richer and I am smarter because of them. I'd call that pretty lucky.

    Happy Thanksgiving!~breezy