It’s Never Too Late for Gratitiude

Here in West Asheville we’re getting a soft, straight-down sifted-sugar snow. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, which it is my pleasure to spend at home doing homework, being warm, and feeling rested.

I’m off from school. I’m done with my Thanksgiving travels. The fridge is stuffed with amazing leftovers from a Saylor family feast.

My irreligious fake-Catholic family didn’t mention gratitude once yesterday. Here, in my place, in my space, I’ll do just that.

I’m grateful for:

An honest, kind, sensible, funny, creative and gainfully employed housemate who sent me Thanksgiving greetings yesterday via text message. Thanks Don, and I send holiday wishes to you and the girls, as well as to all your family back home.

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I am grateful for the warmth, charm and intelligence of the BlogAsheville community. In particular I thank Gordon and Uptown Ruler for the kindness they showed me, and Gordon again for being the Man with a Plan when it comes to bringing people together.

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I am grateful for the local people who show me that despite what society tells us, love is not something that happens when you’re 25 or not at all. Love is for grownups and people who have lived. The rest are just lucky. Don’t be hatin’ yourself for nothing more than a lack of luck — or for having the strength to hold out and hold on.

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I’m grateful for a warm, tasty breakfast every morning, with good coffee and the company of sweet cats. I’m grateful that I am in a place in my life (and had the luck to be born into a society) where I can enjoy sweet, quiet mornings like today, spent taking a hot shower, drinking organic coffee, looking out my office window into the lovely gray November sky and writing. How bad can life be with good coffee and a view of black branches against a cold November sky, seen from my warm, cozy office where a cat sighs by my keyboard?

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I am grateful for youth and health. The other day I interviewed someone my age who has an eye condition that has changed him from having remarkably good eyesight to being legally blind. His vision will continue to deteriorate.

The next day I was fascinated by the depth of detail I could see in a paper towel I tore from the roll to clean a spill. The hundreds of tiny ridges. The rills and shadows, all in miniature. Then I stepped outside into the bright world on a sunny day. Why did everything seem so beautiful? I realized that in the back of my mind was my awareness that not everybody got to see the world the way I was seeing it just then.

Total blindness is too much for me to really understand. Standing in the street in the sun, I squinted my eyes and made the day dark. If you were going blind, every day would be dark. Darkness I can understand. I opened my eyes back up to a different world.

I watched a documentary the other day in which a group of friends who spent a crazy summer rafting down a river were interviewed decades later, in middle age. One man said that he wasn’t jealous of young people and their fitter, more beautiful bodies. Because, he said, everyone got a turn. Everyone got a turn to be young and healthy and beautiful, and he had his.

It’s still my turn to be young. It’s still my turn to be healthy. I am grateful for the chance to be aware of this, and to use my turn better than I do.

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I am grateful for my insane and awesome younger sister. I am grateful that she came over for the holiday (she lives next door to my mom) without having showered, and with dog hair and lint in her hair. I am grateful for the gigantic burp she let out at the dinner table. I am grateful that when I burped, she commented, correctly, that hers was better.

I am grateful for having the chance to explain to her over Thanksgiving dinner that I was sorry I hit her in the head with frozen food once when we were kids, and also that being mean is not my nature, but is simply what big sisters do.

“In fact,” I said, “if you’d been the older sister, it would have been you beating me up. And it probably would have been even worse.”

Mom agreed.

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I am grateful for my friends. For Rowan, Ran, Lala and Heather, and all their respective partners. I am grateful for the fun I’ll have tonight watching a Shakespeare movie and felting bars of soap with Heather. I am grateful to have a friend in my life who when given the opportunity to watch a Shakespeare movie and felt soap, does not tell me that she has a previous engagement going tapir hunting.

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I remain grateful for having the sense to be grateful in the first place, and for the way I have surrounded myself with those who share the knack, whether it arrived early or late.

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And if you’ve read this far, friend, I am very grateful to you. This blog takes at least two to be worth doing, me and you.

Thank you.

5 responses to “It’s Never Too Late for Gratitiude

  1. happy thankgivings, jennifer.

  2. Hey, same to you. And thanks for all the awesome blog posts over at SH. :0)

  3. This was beautifully written. I’m grateful for the thought you put into it!

  4. I am so grateful to have a friend like you, who will let me talk through an ENTIRE movie and not complain, not even once. (I know it is an annoying habit.)
    You are so silly. I didn’t know what a tarip was until a few minutes ago. I could never hunt them, I would be forced into a fit of giggles if one came near me….funny noses.

  5. I LIKE talking through movies. Otherwise, they are boring. You are very nonboring to me. :0)

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