Today’s assignment for #Bloganuary is writing down five things for which I am grateful. So naturally, I spent the day pondering how to shorten my list. It wasn’t easy as it turns out I have many things for which I am grateful.
Here is my top five:
1: Family, we are not always together as we are separated by the big pond known as the Atlantic Ocean but thanks to technology e.g. the Internet, we are able to text, video chat, send clips, buy each other presents, and much more. Even our matriarch, my mother, who is a mother, grand -mother, and great-grandmother, texts and takes short clips. Grateful to be connected!
2: Friends, you can never have too many friends. Friends come in all shapes and forms. Every now and then one may seem to be absent and then another jumps right back into your life. I love mulling over cases with one friend who also blogs and has a background in law enforcement. I love critiquing investigations with other law friends which always results is midnight text messaging. And just this morning, I found out that my writing actually cheered up another friend’s Monday morning!
3: Happiness, I think that in general I am a happy person. I am immensely grateful for everything that we have and, that we can get everything that we need. Too many people cannot and the pandemic has made it so painfully clear that we really need economic equality if we ever really want to be one people.
I just now filled up a cart at Kroger buying what we need and want. The bill was over $200 but came down with the Kroger card and coupons. Yes, I use manufacturers coupons. If I can save five bucks with coupons, we have five bucks to buy something else or save. And every five bucks that you can put towards your old-age pension plan or your kids’ college funds, is a score. Never underestimate what you can add over the years to your savings accounts with ‘just’ a few bucks.
The pandemic has shown us how much work there still is to do so under this header, I add being grateful that we can donate to Feeding America.
4: Health, this may sound cheesy but every morning that I wake up, I stretch and silently say “Yeah, I am alive.” I am not ready to check out yet. Still a lot to do, places to see, show my daughter all the areas/countries where we studied, lived, worked, etc. With every decade in aging come new challenges and my latest, menopause, is a b*&^% but I am healthy. I don’t see my asthma as a burden. It warrants paying attention to changes in breathing but when everything is under control, I put it out of my mind. Grateful for inhalers!
5: Sanity, this is a combination of common sense, intelligence, emotional intelligence, some street smarts, being able to read the room, and a healthy curiosity to acquire more information. I cannot tell you how many times I picked up on cues at receptions or social gatherings, how people move, behave, or look. Being able to read the room, knowing what not to say, being able to calm someone you recognize is fighting anxiety, all these small sensors matter.
Now I left off a lot as the assignment just said to name five things, however, I cannot help myself. I must add this one.
I am grateful for having a home. We have a home. We have a house, a colonial four-square in which we made pockets of comfort for everyone living here. We have the privilege of owning it, changing it when time passes, upgrading/renovating when needed, knowing that this is the place where we have peace of mind.
Within these four concrete outside walls, we are protected. We have our safe places, our solace, our sanctuary. These four walls give us the option to be ourselves, just us, no need to justify why we differ from what mainstream ‘popular’ people do or why we value something entirely different.
These four walls allow us to be a family on our terms and not on what society expects from us. Our values, our bond, our weird habits that not everyone gets, that’s what makes us a family.
Another friend once said that she wished she had the means to have a structure that she could call her home meaning, that she owned it. And that included being able to make the mortgage every month, of course. And I have never forgotten the look on her face when she watched her children play, I dropped off some items, and for a brief moment, when we discussed bringing those items back and just leaving them on my front porch, she opened her heart and told me her wish: a home for her children, where they could always stay, where they would never have to leave. I don’t have that to worry about. I have a home for which I am very grateful.