Ridiculous Gratitude (Seriously)
When I searched for “gratitude lists,” the Googles produced over a million hits. Still, I’m fairly certain that none of them will look quite like this one.
What I’m grateful for in the year 2017
- My car, in all it’s dented, dinged, rusted, dog-hair-coated, vaguely-unpleasant-smelling glory. It not only takes me wherever I want to go (within reason) but it is so dismally unattractive and broken-looking that even the most desperate petty thief would surely take one look at it and go, “No way there’s a dang thing worth stealing in that hunk of junk.”
- That glorious moment when you blow your nose and instead of the pathetic dribble that usually comes out THE ENTIRETY OF THE SNOT currently clogging your noggin just EXPLODES into your Kleenex and not only does it feel AMAZING but you are also instantly rewarded with a GIANT INHALATION of GLORIOUS oxygen and you realize that the very act of BREATHING ITSELF is one of the greatest gifts you have ever been given and you swear that you will never EVER take your respiratory system for granted once this VIRUS STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF HELL ITSELF finally runs its course and leaves you alone…………….not that I’m frustrated with my cold or anything. Ahem.
- Excellent fingernail clippers.
- Discovering FANTASTIC adult jokes strategically placed in a movie that you loved (but clearly didn’t fully understand) as a child.
- Polyester/Rayon/Cotton blend t-shirts. (So soft. So stretchy.)
- The realization that I am inherently valuable, no matter how poorly I tell jokes, wrap Christmas gifts, keep in touch with friends, or perform simple domestic duties like cooking, cleaning, and remembering to bathe myself on a semi-regular basis.
- Notebooks. I love them, love them, LOVE them. I want to own and write in ALL of them. Every. Single. One.
- Stuffed animals, which I also love, and which, I insist, have no upper age limit for use and enjoyment.
- Fat pants. Because Holidays. Or, you know….Tuesdays.
- Moments when I actually DO feel just as rewarded by giving as I would have by receiving.
- Uncontrollable laughter. The kind that makes you snort, cry, practically suffocate, and pee yourself (just a little bit).
- The existence of coffee, which, frankly, is the only reason this blog post got written.
- The excitement I STILL experience when reaching out to open my mailbox. I haven’t ordered anything. There are no magazines on the way. I am not expecting a paycheck, letter from a friend, or anything, really, other than junk mail and bills. And yet the POSSIBILITY of a BRILLIANT SURPRISE gets my hopes up EVERY TIME and it is AWESOME.
- Sticky notes in rainbow colors.
- The inexplicable, unconditional love of my dog, who will respond to punishment by trying to lick herself back into my good graces. (I attempt to mimic her unrelenting adoration in my human relationships, and while most people have appreciated the effort, they tend to prefer I keep the licking to a minimum.)
- My brother and sister. Because they are there when I need them. Because they love me despite having seen me at my worst. And because fifteen-ish years of watching the exact same obscure movies (usually many, many times. Occasionally on the same Saturday) means we can converse almost entirely in quotes for days at a time.
- A 3:1 ratio of Cool Whip to Pumpkin Pie. If you don’t understand this one, it is highly probably that we can’t be friends.
- The interwebs. I don’t always understand them, but without them, you wouldn’t be reading this.
- The times when I open my Bible and read the exact thing I need to read in order to do the hard (but right) task in front
So, is there even a point to all of this silliness? Absolutely. I am genuinely thankful for these things. They create tiny moments of delight throughout my days, and my willingness to experience that delight gives me a strange kind of refreshment and forward momentum. But even though I am easily delighted, I don’t always stop to FEEL the gratefulness of those moments, which is a missed opportunity for me. Because the FEELING of gratefulness can be a force for good that is as, if not MORE, powerful than even joy.
During the holidays, it is common for us to sit in a circle with family and friends and mention the big things in our lives that we are grateful for: Mom’s surgery going well. A good wheat crop this year. A healthy pregnancy. Steady employment. Good homes. Freedom. Safety. All things for which we can and should definitely give thanks. But let us not underestimate the little, ridiculous things that make life so colorful. After all, the ability to be unapologetically ridiculous is, in itself, quite a blessing.