The alive and the grateful

Recently, on Facebook, an old school friend tagged me in one of those annoyingly prevalent chain-letters-for-the-age-of-social-media posts that I was going to ignore as I have ignored all chain letters in the past. But this one was a little different, this one felt a little like it was going to decrease world suck, and here is how the challenge went –

“…to post three positives in my life for the next four days and nominate three people each day to do the same to spread an attitude of gratitude…

Well, this is day 1 and here are the three things in my life I am grateful for.

First, I am grateful for my family. Every last crazy one of them. My parents and sister and aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and nieces and nephews – the family I was born into with all its many idiosyncrasies and the family that I then married into and created with Dave. Both have taught me the greatest lesson of all – how to give and receive unconditional love. And that’s one of the reasons I never buy a lottery ticket – after winning the most important lottery in life run by that fickle mistress, fate – asking for more just seems so greedy! Also, the lottery is just another tax on the mathematically challenged!

Second, I am grateful for my friends. Every last crazy one of them. They are the aloe vera for my parched soul. They have made me cry with laughter, drunk on good conversation (and good wine, let’s not get too poetic), counseled me, listened to me vent loudly (sometimes too loudly…ok, most times too loudly), challenged me, accepted me with my many idiosyncrasies, lent me many a shoulder to cry on, fed me, and refused me the 4th glass of wine!

Last, and I really cannot believe I am writing this, I am grateful for my body. This is a hard one for me because I was sure that I would have gone with mind over body first – but here it is, go figure. I have slagged off my aging body to mine a rich comedic vein for so long that it’s become second nature for me to criticize my rotund belly or my doughy thighs or my jowly chins or my pudgy knees or my wrinkly face – you get the picture. But I am so lucky and grateful for what my body can do and what it has experienced – and it’s time to articulate that, rather than be bogged down by how it looks.

So [deep breath] here goes –

I am grateful for my wavy whitening hair, it may serve as my own personal hygrometer but it seems to match my personality and has definitely been character building! I am grateful for my eyes that have seen some of the most beautiful things in this world – majestic sunrises and sunsets, faces of family and friends. I am grateful for my wrinkly face because those grooves have come more from smiling than frowning. I am grateful for my neck that has helped keep my head firmly on my shoulders. I am grateful for my arms that have sheltered my children. I am grateful for my belly – spare tire and all – that acts as a laughter amplifier. I am grateful for my spine that can be both flexible and steely as required. I am grateful for my legs that have helped me take a stance and rise up to challenges. And I am grateful for my larger-than-average behind that has helped lower my center of gravity and made me more stable.

So, there you go my friend AS, one day down – three more to go. I apologize for blowing off your assignment, and I’m going to apologize more because I’m not sticking to the strict letter of the assignment either. My four days are going to be non-sequential – because procrastination seems to be the baseline state of this body that I am grateful for. And although this has been a really fun thing to do, I’m not going to nominate 3 people because I don’t assign homework to friends – just students who have no choice ;-)!

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