Oops. It's the middle of March. I thought I had posted this on New Year's Day, but found it lurking within my Drafts folder. Better late than never, so here it is! - n
It was the most glorious way to spend New Year's Eve. Woke up. Got out of bed. (Did not drag a comb across my head. Nor a hairbrush. Nothing there to comb or brush). Brushed my teeth instead (but not with a hairbrush). Had toast and tea. Bathed. Wore black. Did some laundry. Had lunch with friends. Sipped on chamomile tea alone at home. Read bad news in the paper. Visited my mom. Chopped vegetables. Watched some TV. Messed about on the computer till midnight. And wished myself a Happy New Year.
Yes indeed, a great, glorious, lucky, amazing, blessed, wonderful day. Don't get it? This is what I mean:
I made it through the night! I am still here! I was given eight hours of sleep and now I'm refreshed enough for another day.
Got out of bed.
I have a bed of my own. It is a bed I go to when I want, and get out of when I want. No one forces me into it, no one kicks me out of it it, or harms me there. It is a safe place, and I fall asleep easily a few minutes after I lie down. And when I wake up, I can get out of bed on my own, with limbs and muscles and bones that work. How glorious is that?
Brushed my teeth.
I choose happy-looking toothbrushes in
my favourite colours. I have a pretty mirror. Even without my glasses, I
can see myself clearly: two eyes, two ears, a nose, lips and a mouth
full of teeth. Everything where it should be and able to do what it's
supposed to do. Nothing missing, disfigured, removed, bruised. I have
the coordination to brush my teeth myself with my happy pink toothbrush,
and spit into a sink that I chose, with shining chrome taps that always
release clean water whenever I turn them. How amazing is that?
Had toast and tea.
I do not have to wonder what my first meal of the day will be or where it will come from. I have a fridge, I open it. I have an electric kettle and teabags, I use them. I know that the milk won't have gone sour, that the bread won't be moldy. I know that if I run out, I can call a delivery boy and have teabags, milk, fresh bread, sugar and butter all delivered to my front door in ten minutes. I know that if the fridge or the kettle break down, I can replace them. I know that if the electricity cuts off, my UPS battery will take over. I know that if the battery runs out, I can put a pan on the gas stove. I know that if the gas gets over, I can get into my car and drive somewhere nice for breakfast. How lucky is that?
Clean. Hot. Water. As much of it as I want. In a bathroom all my own. My towels aren't threadbare, and they smell of sunshine. How glorious is that?
As a sign of mourning and protest. I have the freedom to mourn, and the freedom to protest, and the freedom to show the world that I do. I have ethics and values that I learned as a child. Someone taught me - showed me - about right and wrong, about justice and fairness. I was able to go from child to adult without unlearning those lessons. How blessed is that?
Did some laundry.
I have more than one set of clothes. I do
not have to break my back squatted on the floor to wash them. I have a
washing machine that runs on electricity. I have electricity! I have
running water! I can afford not only laundry detergent, but also fabric
conditioner that makes my clothes smell so sweet. I never have to go out
in yesterday's clothes. I never have to smell of yesterday's
sweat. How lucky is that?
Had lunch with friends.
There are people who love me, and enjoy being with me. We can overeat together and laugh together and know that when the times come to cry, we can do that together too. How blessed is that?
Sipped on chamomile tea
I can afford those god-awfully-priced fancy teabags. I had access to the information that taught me I do not always need pain-killers or sedatives, that the petals of these little white flowers are sometimes all I need. How glorious is that?
I am comfortable and content with times of solitude. How blessed is that?
I have a place to go to, a place that I can call my own. How amazing is that?
Read bad news in the paper.
I am literate. And - the bad news in the paper is not about me or anyone I love. How lucky is that?
Visited my mom.
I still have mine. She is always happy to see me. She is brave enough to live independently of me. She loves me enough to let me have a life of my own. I love her. She loves me. How glorious is that?
I have my choice of fresh produce just down the road from me. Fresh organic produce. I do not have to worry about the price of tomatoes. No red meat (doctor's orders) but I can have all the world's vegetables on my plate. And all the world's vegetable peelings go into my compost bin to make less trash and healthier potted plants. How amazing is that?
Watched some TV.
I have a bloody great big flat screen
colour TV. I can see every detail clearly because someone recommended a great opthalmologist and because I could afford
cataract surgery. I can watch whatever I like, and absorb and
understand everything I see. I could leave the TV on all day (but I
don't!) and not worry about the electricity bill. How great is that?
Messed about on the computer
I have a computer of my own, that I can use for work or play whenever I feel like. I know how to type. I'm connected to a world of exciting technologies and breathtaking advances, with so much to learn and discover and be curious about. How wonderful is that?
I do not have to get up early for work tomorrow. How lucky is that?
Wished myself a Happy New Year.
I have made it to 2013! It took me nearly fifty years, but I made it! And I lived long enough to get to be a child, a teenager, a young adult, and now finally, a grown-up who doesn't need a party, a show, new bag new shoes new dress new anything. No plans, no problem. No alcohol, no problem! The new year is more than enough. And within that, the new season, the new month, the new week, the new day. How glorious is that?
All through the day, even the most "ordinary" day, I am so consciously aware of all these great, glorious, lucky, amazing, blessed, wonderful things in my life. Every one of them is something I cannot take for granted. Every one of them is something someone somewhere can only dream of.
That's why I don't keep a gratitude journal. I would run out of ink, of time, and of space.