Whenever I feel like writing something, but feel at a loss for what to say, my go-to exercise is a gratitude list.
1. I am super grateful for my new washing machine and it's little "Let's begin!" and "I'm done!" songs. I'm especially grateful that Patrick figured out how to install in when the technicial wouldn't do it on Sunday. I am further grateful to have three nights at home in which to wash all the clothes that have piled up for three weeks.
2. I watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with my whole family last night, and I am ever grateful that HP has been part of my life for the past decade. I seriously feel lucky about that way more often than you'd think.
3. I'm grateful that when I pull up at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through in the morning, the servers know my voice, and will ask if I want "the usual." It's nice to be known.
4. I'm so grateful for the coming of Spring. I'd be gratefuller if it would come a leeeetle faster.
5. My house-a-versary is coming up, and I'm daily grateful for my house. I am actually grateful for the week in which I believed I had lost it, because it makes me appreciate it all the more.
6. I am grateful for the poet Billy Collins, my favorite. Here is one I just enjoy:
And here is one I use every year in my classroom:
7. I am grateful to have been told this week that the Salvation Army is a hugely anti-gay organization. (Which others have evidently known for a long time...where have I been on this one? And what are some other ones I should know about, but don't, besides the Boy Scouts?) They fire employees if they find out that they're gay, and they give a lot of money to anti-gay causes. Now, I can bypass the bell-ringers without guilt and donate my money and old clothing elsewhere. And it's another excellent reason why Guys and Dolls can stay dead to me for eternity.
8. I am grateful for the hour I passed so pleasantly in the Athenaeum last night, drinking a glass of my favorite cheap chardonnay (Hacienda, if you're interested) and reading my Oprah magazine while Patrick made a delicious dinner. (Some sort of turkey stew and corn muffins, if you're further interested.)
9. I am grateful for all of my beloveds who came to see me in the show this weekend, even though it's expensive. Not that everyone should, because I hardly ever get to see people in things unless it's for work, but it was still so nice to know that there were people out there, loving me, and caring about my own little Maxi Fords more than anyone else's.
10. A friend posted a youtube poetry slam on my Facebook page last night about teachers, which I loved. At a dinner party, this poet/teacher was asked, disparagingly, "What do you make?" Instead of answering with his salary, he (poetically) responded: "I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor, and I make an A- feel like a slap in the face if you haven't given your best." Finally, he came to the answer "I make a goddamned difference." When I heard that, I remembered what I wrote in my high school yearbook under "Ambition." It was the cliched "To make a difference." And then this morning, in my Notes from the Universe, it said something about having achieved exactly what you hoped for. So, I'm grateful for that.
If you're reading this, go make your own gratitude list right now, even if it's just spoken aloud in your car or just in your head. It'll make you feel much better about your life.