So many talks have been given, quotes made into cute signs, and so on about gratitude. I am sure I have absolutely nothing new to say on the topic. Nonetheless, I’d like to take a few minutes to share some of the things that move me and leave me with a sense of gratitude for the abundant, luxurious life I live. I am not wealthy, just fairly middle-class, but I recognize that I am rich compared to so many people across the world, even in our own relatively wealthy country.
First, I am frequently very grateful for the conveniences we take for granted in our first-world life. Aren’t running water and electricity amazing? I love having a climate-controlled home. I don’t like the heat too much, although at this point, I’ve lived 25 years in warm climates where there isn’t much snow and the summers are either very hot and dry or hot and so muggy you might as well be in a steam room. I don’t mind the cold; I like bundling up, but I have come to appreciate not having to navigate around with snow on the roads or sidewalks. I appreciate just being able to go about my business unhindered. So I appreciate air conditioning and heating. When I moved to the South as a 10-year-old from the cold climes of Pennsylvania, I went to an elementary school that still didn’t have air conditioning. I sweated through the first month or two of school (August!) and walked home in a haze from the bus stop to my (finally!) air-conditioned house. Mom would often be waiting with a Popsicle. How sweet and wonderful that was.
And plumbing. To have hot water or cold water whenever we want it, without waiting, without hiking to a well or going outside to a pump. Wowee. And toilets: it’s pretty nice to flush the smelly stuff right out of your house and not have to use an outhouse that always smells (no trips to said stinky wooden shed in the middle of the night either when it’s dark and who-knows-what might get in the way).
Technology never ceases to amaze me. Sure, we’re living in a media- and tech-saturated society, which isn’t always a good thing, but I’m in awe of how much good can be done with what we have. I just think it’s cool if I or one of my children has a question we can just take a quick moment to run to the computer and Google it. When I was a kid, the only immediate sources available were my parents and the encyclopedia. If neither of those all-wise repositories of information had the answer, I was sunk, just stuck with a question and no satisfying solution.
All of these little things are just a sampling of blessings I appreciate on a daily basis. Of course, what matters most to me are my family and friends, my experiences and memories, the things I’ve learned. I have a husband who has his imperfections and little quirks that can make me a little crazy, but he is just overall a kind and unconditionally loving man who has been better to me than I could ever have imagined these past 19 years. My daughters are astonishing in their beauty, their talents, their sweetness, their good natures. I wish I could just sit down and enjoy them non-stop, but my own needs to be alone and do things for myself as well as just the daily needs of a household keep me from doing that. But I do enjoy the moments we have, even the hours, in which we talk, read, play or otherwise have fun and share together. I also have some wonderful friends whom I admire and love a great deal, who I wish could all live on my cul-de-sac and be available all the time for fun and commisseration. There have been many other people who have been kind and good to me over the years, and I hope that any good I do can just “pay forward” in their honor.
Finally, I am grateful for my faith in and assurance of a God in heaven. It is always comforting to know that he loves me and has a plan for my life, in this mortal existence and afterward. I try to live to show him how much I appreciate his goodness to me in so many ways.
Sure, it’s only March, but every day can be Thanksgiving Day, can’t it?