Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Crap Gratitude List

It’s November and it’s fashionable and even desirable to make the proverbial gratitude list – the calling to mind of the things for which we are grateful: the people who matter . . . the events that mark, in good ways, the passage of our time.

This is not that list.

This is the list of the stuff that doesn’t make the usual gratitude list.

This is the list of my own discovering of what has been offered to me in the crap moments.  At its most fundamental level, this is my own declaration that I am grateful to be.  Maybe everyone isn’t.  And maybe that’s okay.  The only walk I have walked is my own, so I cannot say.

Hence, no wisdom is offered here; no greater learning to be sought.  It’s just one woman’s list of the crap and how she’s looked at it and called it, if not good, at least worth remembering.

1. I am grateful (or trying to be) when people are nasty to me – grateful that they feel safe enough with me to show themselves (up to a point).  It’s a gift for another human being to take the mask off and just be their old, hairy, even mean, selves.  Hurts.

2. I am grateful that I am someone content with her own company most days, since I am single.  Better me than someone who isn’t.

3. I am grateful that I do not always get my own way.  My head is big enough without more privilege.

4. I am grateful to walk with the dying.  They teach me things.

5. I am grateful to hate the taste of fish and sea food – at least I’m not depleting the numbers of sea creatures on the planet.

6. I am grateful that I have a big mouth – someone has to say the stuff that needs saying – might as well be me.

7. I am grateful that everyone doesn’t like me – reminds me I’m not all that – and every now and then, reminds me to take a look at me a little closer.

8. I am grateful that I sometimes let people down – reminds me to be forgiving when disappointment comes my way.

9. I am grateful to live in a place where I stand in disagreement with most folks about most things – I love a good argument and if I lived with the like-minded, who would I fight with?

10. I am grateful to have rolled in the mud-ugly of life – I am kinder, gentler, more flexible for it – sometimes.

This is no Pollyanna exercise.  I do not say, nor do I believe that everything happens for a reason or that all will be well in the end.  This is the simple realization that even the crap in my life, whether self-induced or visited upon me by others, has something to offer right in the moment of its happening.  Perhaps it’s a bit Zen, this thinking that the good and the bad can co-exist (whether peacefully or not is beside the point).  I cannot say.

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