It’s such a powerfully visceral emotion. It gets you in your gut. It’s true that often the absence of something from one’s life brings an acute awareness of that which we are retrospectively grateful. I remember my sophomore year in college when my Father was hospitalized and there was no money to send. I went hungry more often than I ate, and was grateful for my waitressing job and manager Jeannie who would feed me the Plat Du Jour, because she knew it would be the last meal I had until my next shift. The winter I went without heat when it dropped below 20 degrees for weeks on end, renovation projects that deprived me of running water, a stove to cook on, walls that kept out the wind, and the rain, and the elements. These experiences shape my gratitude. Is it strange when the heat starts up and a whirr of warm wind blows by my toes that I am reminded that central heat is a modern wonder? That I am filled with a sense of calm and happiness when I smell salt air, that I am thankful for the stranger that shows me a kindness in a foreign country when I am lost?
For all the trials and tribulations that my moves, and renovations cause. The flips and my flipping out, allow me to live in the moment in a way I can’t imagine achieving otherwise.
As we near the end of the year, as I back out the construction schedule and evaluate the final four – if the only stakes that were at hand were the teams that ran up and down the court I would rest easy, but my final four, are weeks, and the barriers that that exist in the achievement of my critical path.
This is familiar. I am grateful for that. I appreciate all the kindness that the folks at The Ink Block have shown me. They have softened my heart, which had been hardened from too many patchy repairs, they have given me the gift of an easy existence, a door held, a package delivered, a truck filled, a smile, a hand, recognition. I almost forgot that I was in a city. I learned to accept help again. They have prepared me for what will certainly be a dusty entry into my new home. They have lifted the weight, and as a result, I will be able to take on more.
For those of you who follow me, you know I love Winnie the Pooh, and Piglet too. A. A. Milne wrote: “Piglet noticed, that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” I am grateful to have this opportunity to forge ahead with number 4!
Happy Christmas Eve….Happy Hanukkah.