I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot lately. Maybe it’s because of Thanksgiving. But I doubt that, since I never celebrated Thanksgiving growing up (when you were raised by an Australian and a Cherokee, the Pilgrims just aren’t that big a deal). I think it’s because we’re coming up to the end of 2006, which on paper is the worst year I’ve ever had: I got divorced, moved back to D.C., had to start my life over from scratch, find a job, and keep my kidneys from killing me. Plus, I went to see Marie Antoinette, and there’s two and a half hours of my life that I’ll never get back.
But, in a strange way, 2006 has also been the best year of my life. I’ve always said that change doesn’t come cheap. I have a fresh slate and a new life, and I even entered a new decade (I turned 30 in November). I gave up a lot of things, and got a lot more in return. So, to close out 2006, I’d like to talk about all of the things I’m grateful for:
I’ll start with my friends, who I also consider my family. You never know who your real friends are until you go through hell. My gang loves and supports me, even when they don’t necessarily agree with me. I always know if I’m living right or screwing up, or even if my outfit is a bit on the frumpy side. I have a wide assortment of people I can nurture and annoy, which I love to do. And let’s not forget my sister, who always comes up with something kind to say (even if it’s, “Take care of your kidneys. You can’t have mine!”)
Then there’s the basic stuff. I have a job with health insurance, a roof over my head, and food to eat.
But then there’s the petty stuff: Flexcar. Good posture. Gerbera daisies. Newspaper home delivery, high-dose antibiotics, beer nuts, Lean Pockets, bargain shopping, hair dye, chivalry (bonus points for knowing which side of the sidewalk to walk on), matinees, mousse with leave-in conditioner, Yeungling, cheeseburgers, and the ability to run in heels.
And there’s everything I shouldn’t be grateful for. I’m glad that I don’t have a lot of money, because I enjoy living simply. I like beer, cheeseburgers and a decent jukebox much more than I’ve ever liked fancy dinners with multiple forks. I’m glad I got so sick, because I’ve learned to take better care of myself. And, oddly, being divorced is awesome. Once you break out the D-word, you’ll know right away if the person you’re speaking to is cool…or a judgmental freak. It’s a handy B.S. detector. Also, it means that no one ever pesters me about when I’m getting married.
Last of all, I’m grateful that I’ve survived the last year with my karma intact. Sometimes it takes a bad year to bring out the best in you, and I think I passed the test.
So, have a merry Christmas, Festivus, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, and I’ll write again soon.