Things to Be Grateful For

There has been a lot of complaining going on in my life lately.  Mostly by me.  Sometimes by other people.  At the risk of sounding like a hippie who’s forever stuck in the 60’s, this is really creating a negative vibe for me.  It doesn’t help that currently we are facing cloud oppression as the great hulking mass of grey looms over our daily lives, squandering what little hope for joy I had left.

Out comes my favorite sanity-saving tool: Lists.  First off, I need to get some things off my chest; the things I’ve been complaining about, the things that it would be criminal not to mention because they’re kind of awful:

1.  I have upwards of four hours of homework a night.  Add in music lessons and cross-country and a bird that needs to be tended to, and you get less than six hours of sleep a night, plus more harried homework in the morning.  I know lots of adults don’t get six hours a night, but allow me to be a bit whimpery here.  I’m growing and I’m tired and I’ve got huge dark circles under my eyes and according to several resources people my age need at minimum 9.2 hours of sleep a night.  My teachers continually lecture everyone on the importance of getting enough sleep, and I have to fight the urge to laugh sarcastically, because if they really cared about how much sleep I was getting they wouldn’t assign homework…

2.  We got Citrus’ blood/fecal tests back and I’m sort of freaking out.  This bird that I love with all my heart and then some has a whole slew of health complications that keep me up at night.  (He’s pretty underweight and isn’t putting on muscle mass at a normal rate.) 😦  I want Citrus to be with me as long as possible, so currently he’s got a UV bulb shining on him 2-3 hours a day, plus he’s on a calcium and probiotic supplement.  I always thought he was so healthy; he has so much zest for life and so much energy.

But, I need to employ the trick that one of my teachers uses whenever I complain about something: “Be grateful; you could live in a war zone.”

He’s joking when he says it and at first it sounds silly, but it really hits home.  I have so many things to be grateful for in my life.  I don’t live in a war zone and I have a family without financial struggle who loves me; I live in a free country where I can form my own opinions and not be discriminated against on the basis of gender or race or religion; I have so many nice things and internet access and supportive friends and a blog that I tenderly cultivate.

Other things to be grateful for this autumn?

1.  Warm fuzzy socks and pajamas, and wearing them all morning.

‘Nuff said.

2.  Cinnamon and cocoa–though not together (yet).

 I really can’t function unless I make myself a big ol’ mug of natural hot cocoa after cross-country practice, and at any time of the day, homemade almond butter+toast+a sprinkling of cinnamon = da bomb.  Can’t you just taste the snug and cozy?

3. Fresh, uber-local (read: from our backyard) apples!  I bit into one of these this morning and it was probably one of the best apples I’ve ever tasted! 😉

My knowledge of apple varieties, compared to the average Pacific Northwesterner, is quite meager (hey, give me a break–I lived in Wyoming for eight years of my life), but I think this apple tree we have is Golden Delicious.  My reasoning?  The apples are 1. golden, and 2. delicious. 🙂  (But seriously, what else could this tree be?)

4.  Running.  Sometimes it sucks.  Sometimes my shoe comes untied (story of my last race…#epicfail).  Sometimes my quads turn numb (thank you, October).  But there are plenty of people who can’t run for some disability or other, and there are plenty of runners who love the sport but suffered an injury that prevents them from running ever again.  I actually had a dream about this earlier this week–it was so terrible!  And thus, I am thankful for the pain of running, because with it also comes runner’s high and an amazing increased sense of self-worth.

Semi-related aside: Today I put the first ~3 miles on my NEW Nike ‘Structure’s! My ankles have been hurting on my last few runs, and I was delighted to find that these do in fact help with my overpronation.

(I hate the fact that I’m obligated to state this, but I’m not paid my Nike to talk about mah new shoes.)  They really work well, though–today was the best run I’ve had in a long time!  My previous running shoes were awesome and made from recycled materials, so that was purty cool, but…I guess having pain-free ankles is more important to me than a lower carbon footprint.  (Or is it?  :/  This is something I’ve really been internally warring with.  Regardless, I still love the shoes!)

5.  SOUP!

And the Soup Zone.  I really owe it a lot in terms of my sanity.  This wonderful meal-in-a-bowl can be lunch or dinner, or if you’re me, also breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, and a midnight nibble.

6. This guy.

This is Citrus when he was younger and still had his pearl coloring! 🙂

He’s got all these health complications but he is still with me adding a gorgeous sunshiney facet to my day with his whistling and dancing and just generally being my personal jester.  I really can’t overstate how much he means to me.

What are you grateful for on this fine Autumn day?

4 thoughts on “Things to Be Grateful For

  1. Is that mr. Sieling? The war zone comment? Anyways, I feel that I, too, have been complaining an awful lot. Some people have chronic deppression, some people live in China and have no freedom of speech, and some people get by on $1.25 per meal. And none of those people are me. So I’m grateful that I have a family who loves me and cares about me, and who I love and care about back. I’m grateful that I can sing Hallelujah and play it on piano as well and not have it sound too ear-splittingly bad. I’m grateful that I’ll probably be in college in only five more years, and that in the meantime i go to an amazing school where people actually care about learning. And lastly, I’m grateful that I have friends who I can laugh with and talk to, both about little things, and about big, important issues. Friends who I love and who I hope love me back.

    • Actually it’s Gacek ;).
      Do I count as one of those friends? If so, thanks. Thanks for saying you love me. The feeling is mutual. You’re such an awesome person, Rachel. I really mean that! (And by the way, thanks for commenting!)

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