Tag: gratitude

grateful for family

This is another one of those topics that, as a younger person, I would have called a “no duh”.  Of course I am grateful for my family! Through luck I am related to a whole bunch of terrific people, especially my parents. (Neither one likes being in photographs, or I would post them here.)  I owe much of who I am to my parents; without their influence, support, and genetics, I (or at least the “I” I know of as myself) would not exist.

My parents are very different people, but they have some key similiarities.  Both are extremely intelligent, charming, and interesting. Both are college professors. Both are good advisors and listeners.  And, despite friction between us at times, both have committed to having mature relationships with me. I simply would not want anyone else as my mom and dad.

Fortunately, I am an only child, so I never have to share them!

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)

grateful for travel

I can hardly sit still long enough to write this entry — today FunkyPlaid and I bought our tickets for our trip to Scotland this autumn!  We will be there for just over two weeks, and it will be my first time in Scotland.  FunkyPlaid lived there while he earned his graduate degree in Scottish history, and he has been there many times, so I will have an excellent guide.  My visit to Scotland is also laced with emotional symbolism; FunkyPlaid and I spent two rollercoaster months getting to know each other before he moved to Edinburgh, and I was more than a little envious of his big adventure.  Existing in Edinburgh with him will bring that part of our history full-circle.  It will also be a litmus test to see if I can stand to live there in the future when FunkyPlaid moves back for his doctorate, although truthfully I can stick it out anywhere for a few years.

I am so grateful for the ability to and predilection for travel.  Ever since I was born, my parents instilled in me a great love of seeing new places which has only grown.  Today at a gathering of friends at the Palace of Fine Arts, someone was talking about visiting Zanzibar, and I immediately thrilled at the thought of being there someday myself.  I hope to get to see as many places on my long, long list as possible.

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)

grateful for games

My life would be droll and dreary without games.  Today I am grateful for them because had a marvelous time playing a table-top RPG called Changeling.  I love RPGs, board games, card games, and puzzles.  I am rarely without a crossword or Scrabble puzzle book, and FunkyPlaid and I have become avid geocachers in addition to our World of Warcraft habit hobby.

Frankly, I could be a better game player.  My ego is wrapped up in my gameplay because I am a fast learner but a slow refiner, and if I don’t play as well as I think I should be able to already, I get frustrated and sulky.  I am also fairly horrible at games that require bluffing, but at least I know I’m horrible at those.  Thursday nights are Board Game Nights at Gamescape North, which I try to attend whenever possible in order to expose myself to a wider variety of games and people in the hopes I will lose my ego and let go.

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)

grateful for my job

It isn’t quite what I thought it would be, and some days it is downright taxing, but I am grateful for my job at the library.  I work with an astounding group of people who have shown me limitless generosity and sympathy.  Some of the interactions with the public have been harrowing, but I enjoy helping people find information, especially when I get to learn something in the process.  We have an amazing collection in a remarkable building, and we serve an incredibly diverse population.  When I am not bogged down by the minutiae of management, I am awed by the intricacies of such a grand institution.

On that note, I realize it is hip now for San Franciscan yuppies to lampoon the homelessness problem as it pertains to the main branch of the public library.  I truly pity those of you who do.  Who do you think will suffer from the degradation of libraries and deprofessionalization of librarians, only people not privileged enough to swaddle themselves in overpaid “new media consultant” jobs?  You might be able to order everything you need from Amazon now, until you realize that there is no 1-Click for consistent cultural community.  When the glittering dust clears from the mashups and meetups, the library will still be here.

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)

grateful for books

When I started this exercise, I thought I might have some trouble enumerating all the objects of my gratitude, since I had been so focused on the negative for so long.  Not so!  Today’s entry is another easy one: I am grateful for books.  I love words and stories, paper and ink, the sound of a new book’s spine as it is first opened, the smell of an old book’s pages.  I believe in literacy and libraries, in the power of the written word to inspire and to inflame.  I learned to read when I was 3 years old, and since then it has been my fondest hobby.  It is the greatest luck that I find myself with a career in libraries so I can live my passion every day.

My beloved gave me Iain Banks’ Matter for my birthday, and I have been savoring it in small morsels ever since. Today I am grateful for it keeping me company while I drift in and out of achy sleep.

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)

grateful for my voice

This summer cold has taken away my voice. I went through the day saying almost nothing, whispering when needed.  There were nods and shakes of my head, shrugs, minimal gestures.  Mostly I listened: to other people, to the sounds of children playing next door, to the cats purring, to my own sticky breathing, to my beloved’s quiet singing in the car.

I am always surprised by the sound of my voice on recordings. We sound much lower inside our own heads, which makes perfect acoustic sense but still startles me.  I sound like a little girl; my laugh is bizarre and whooping.  Not-so-secretly I have always wished for a lower, sexier voice, something that prowls around vowels and shudders spines, chuckles that emanate whisky and chocolate.  Today I would just like my own voice back, because I miss it.

One thing I like about my voice is that I sound a lot like my mom. She is a professional actor and voiceover artist, so I don’t sound like her when she’s performing, but many people have told me that they can’t tell our voices apart in casual conversation.  I admire her voice so much that if mine is like hers, it can’t be all bad.

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)

grateful for zen

No, this is not an entry about Buddhism. I am grateful for my not-so-small and not-so-normal cat, Zen. Zen turned 11 this year, which is hard for me to imagine, as it seemed like just yesterday I was adopting a tiny runt with gigantic headlight eyes.

Zen is having a difficult time with the recent move. She has never lived with another cat before, aside from her litter-mates way back when, and I believe her poor eyesight is adding to her insecurity because she cannot track Torgi’s movements very well.  Regardless, our little family persists, and I am hopeful that in a few more months we will all be adjusted to the new living arrangements.

Zen is round like a little football, and still very strange, and she is devoted to me. When I am sad or lost, she is unfailingly comforting. When I am stressed, I have dreams of Zen escaping from car windows or back doors, and I cannot find her.  These are obviously fabrications of my twitchy mind because when Zen escapes in waking life she just crouches down and sniffs until I grab her and drag her back inside.

On the hardwood floors, her little stomps resonate through the quiet house, and I am comforted just knowing she exists.

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)

grateful for health

This morning, I succumbed to the summer cold that’s traipsing around, so it might seem strange to write about being grateful for my health. The fact remains that my health is better than it has been in years, and all because I traced the source of most of my nagging problems to ingesting gluten.  (This is why, for those of you who are starting to read my journal now, I am on a gluten-free diet; it is not a fad diet, but a diet required by an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine called Celiac Disease. Read up on this before lecturing me about how diets are bad for me.)

Despite making such a huge breakthrough recently, I have much more work to go on my health. I need to find a daily exercise regimen that I will stick to, unlike going to the gym or jogging.  I might return to tai chi chuan, as that had the double benefit of improving my fitness as well as my state of mind.

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)

grateful for food

Despite my new gluten-free diet, I still love food. Perhaps I love it more than ever now that I have to be more mindful of it. Tonight I am grateful for the importance of food in my life, and I celebrated it with a homemade meal of pasta (brown rice fusilli) with marinara sauce, and blue lake beans sauteed in pancetta, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil infused with lemon. It took less than an hour to prepare everything, and was utterly worth it. Mind you, I won’t stop loving my curry take-out, but there is something inimitably satisfying about a good homemade meal, especially when shared with appreciative loved ones.

Yum. If I weren’t so stuffed, I’d enjoy another helping right now!

(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)