Gratitude notes for November 2019

Today was a really sweet day. I got to spend it with people who made me feel totally at ease. I got to be in “vacation mode”. I’m lucky I get to meet and spend time with people like that.

I was shocked by a toilet today what opened itself for me. I never had a toilet do that for me before.

I’m lucky that my health and safety have been so well-preserved that I can be available to enjoy others’ company easily. I could lose that all in an instant and will definitely lose it one day. I’m so fortunate that I got to have those things today.

I met someone in my building’s gym this morning. We’ve crossed paths several times over recent weeks, but today was our first introduction. He said he’d seen me running around the neighborhood on his drive to work. It made me feel a sweet sense of community, knowing that we’d been familiar fixtures in each others' lives for so long. It’s special when we regard each other with the same amount of “hey, I know you!” kind of feeling.

We got a lot done today. In measurable terms, things were delivered smoothly, we learned a ton, and it bears a sense of accomplishment to have things go well that way. It makes for a nice day, all in all.

I’m grateful that I’m well-provided for. I’m not hunting for shelter tonight, nor am I dealing with any world-shattering trauma. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I’m afforded and was able to take advantage of today.

I just found this gem of a zumba instructor on Youtube. Deep down, I look up to this man. He’s being himself 100%. One day, I want to be coaching dance classes wearing tiny pants and hopefully a man-bun.

I found “Fast Lane” by NIVIRO and PollyAnna yesterday and ran to it this morning. I flew. My body was a tool at my command. I’m so lucky I get to sail down sidewalks in my gray sweatsuit listening to music that inspires me.

At the end of my run, I pulled a muscle, seemingly out of nowhere. I had to cut my run short at the very end. I have little injuries like this all of the time. It’s amazing to me how I’m always able to recover and can enjoy myself in other ways while my body recovers. And even though I can’t run right now, my life will go on, practically unaffected by the temporary change in my routine.

I’m thankful I’m not living in fear for my life or the lives of my loved ones. It’s crazy how great my life is compared to how awful and unbearable it has the capacity to be. I’m lucky that I could live in peace today.

Today, I had a co-worker tell me I was “going to find a great husband one day”. I was dying laughing. She was referring to the pie I baked for our pie-baking competition, and the quality of my pie would doubtless find me a mate. Traditionally, a pie would be baked by a woman looking for a man. In my case, I’d still be left with a man.

I took my belly full-of-pie and turned it into an extraordinary dance session this evening. Everything just felt right. I don’t always know that the ingredients are for a successful dance class for me, and I always feel lucky when I can really “get into it”.

I’m grateful I’m able to have my Mom in my life like I do. I won’t always have her, and it’s so filling to be able to have a relationship with her where we’re able to talk as often as we do. I really got lucky.

I had more than a dozen other interactions with other people today that did nothing but lift me up. I know life doesn’t always offer that, and I’m incredibly fortunate that mine did today.

I just made an apple pie. It looks awesome. Probably way more awesome than it actually is. Or maybe I just think it looks awesome because I made it and had rock bottom expectations. I don’t care; it was fascinating to watch the flour turn into pastry and water/butter/sugar turn into the viscous pie goop. Honestly, I don’t really care if it tastes any good. The process was so much more rewarding than I anticipated.

I’m fascinated by how impactful one positive interaction can be on my entire day. If anything was reinforced for me today, it’s that spending time with people I enjoy is the best way I can hope to spend my time and keep me happy and healthy in the long-term.

I’m incredibly lucky to be in a position where I don’t have to worry about paying rent or about what would happen if my paycheck was late. It won’t always be this way, and the fact that I never think about this stuff is a miracle in itself.

I had meaningful one-on-one conversations with three different people today who I either just met or have met only once in a limited capacity. Additionally, I had a fun email chain that ended this morning and brightened my day with the ending message of “strive [to be] your best and enjoy what you do, something good will come out of it”. I’m thrilled with how lucky I am for the people I get to meet in my everyday life.

This one’s kinda vague, but I’m so greatful for the freedom to experiment with things that I’d like to improve in my life. I think something, and I’m able to just do it. I have the time and liberty to go for it. I think my life would look very different if this freedom were not available to me.

There were fireworks late last night for the lighting of the Christmas tree in a shopping center nearby. I didn’t know what the sound was at first. I didn’t see the fireworks themselves, and a part of me wondered if it were something more destructive and violent. I’m grateful that I don’t live in a time or place where fearing for my safety is a part of everyday life or even fathomable in terms of warfare. It’s just luck that my life has turned out this way so far.

Excellent run at the beach today. 80+ degrees and sunny. I listened to Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” album first. I was loving it. It was a great way to take in my surroundings for most of the run. Then I switched over to “The Tempest” and “I Don’t Deserve You” for the end. For each song’s drop, I dove fully into my own imagination. The music played, and my body kicked into high-gear. I wasn’t even thinking about running. I was in another place entirely, fully immersed in the scene unfolding inside my mind. I love it when I’m able to achieve that state of trance and euphoria like I did today.

I’ve been writing more recently, and I’m surprised by the shape my progress has taken. I’ll write half of a piece and find that I’m unable to finish it. I’ll do this several times, amassing a small collection of half-finished articles. Then, I’ll go back to outline my first article to find my thoughts more coherent as a whole. It’s nice to see that my half-written articles aren’t in vein and that they may lead me to a complete set eventually.

I’m incredibly lucky that I have people I love and who love me. My life is completely different because of them than it otherwise would be, and I’m so grateful that this is the reality I get to live in today.

There was a moment today when I was completely overwhelmed with the food choices I was given at a restaurant. The more I froze up, the more the guy behind the counter would explain my choices in more detail, always deferring to me for the final decision. It was a mess. Thankfully, we stuck it through and enjoyed a really tasty meal. The guy behind the counter was a saint for putting up with me throughout my many degrees of confusion and overwhelm.

I’m grateful that I got to spend my time with someone today who I believe enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed theirs. It’s nice to be able to spend time with someone without really having to think about it much; the day becomes a relaxing and enjoyable one quite easily on days like these.

I’m thankful for my parents and that I can have meaningful conversations with them. For the relationships I have with them now and for the love they have for me, I wouldn’t trade them for anybody else out there.

I’m so lucky for my safety, health, and freedom. I didn’t earn any of these things, and I will lose each of them someday, probably all on the same day and sooner than I expect.

In dance class tonight, another student was called up to dance with the instructor, and she totally owned it. What surprised me was how her attitude and the amount of fun she was having superseded everything else as far as the impression she gave and the energy she emitted.

There was something about the air today when I drove to work. It was the first morning in a week or two that wasn’t crisp and chilly, and it felt remarkably like the first real day of spring. It felt nostalgic like when we were kids, and I was instantly transported to that easy mindset.

Today, we decided we’re going to have a baking competition at work in a few weeks. I’m surprised how competitive I am and I’m actually excited to compete in it.

I saw a grandmother pushing her (presumably) granddaughter around in a stroller today. The grandmother seemed as into their journey around the block as the granddaughter was, and together, they were exclaiming things and making a quick dash across the street as the walk-signal threatened to end. I guess all you need is a sidewalk and a stroller to have a good time.

Today was a good day. I got to be around people I enjoy, and I didn’t lose anybody I love, my sense of safety, or my freedom. I will lose these things some day, and I’m so grateful to have had them today.

Today was a fun day. I had highly-engaging conversation with two different people for breakfast and lunch, had a video meeting that I very much enjoyed, participated in board game night, then shook my booty in dance class, ending it with a playful fit of trying to do that “slow fall” dance move that all the cool kids are doing. It’s nuts that days like these are pretty commonplace in my life.

I’ve been enjoying listening to “The Wise Man’s Fear” by Patrick Rothfuss again. I look forward to listening to it while I shower and drive from dance class and eat dinner. I love having my imagination captured.

Today, I was fortunate to live happily and safely. I’m not struggling to overcome any overwhelmingly-oppressive circumstances, and my psyche is intact. Until the day comes that I cannot cope with, I’m so very lucky to be living in this bliss today.

I was going through my emails this evening, clicked through a link, and saw an article written by somebody I went to high school with! It looks like he’s doing really well. I started following him on Twitter, obviously.

Today, I saw a car sail through a red light five seconds late, watched another car almost hit a dog off its leash, and watched my friend almost walk into a moving moped. All of these were near-misses that made be gasp and cringe. I’m so glad nothing bad actually happened.

I really enjoyed myself out at dinner with my buddy tonight. It’s so great to be able to spend time with somebody I enjoy and have them feel the same.

I’m so lucky my body still works the way it does. I fell into the nicest groove on my run this morning, and it’s a treat I won’t have access to forever in my life, or for even that much longer. I’m glad I get to enjoy it today.

Our plumbing was being worked on in our building, so I walked over to the building next door to use the bathroom and bumped into people I only get to see rarely. I love that I get to engage with people like that over larger spans of time. It makes me very aware of the larger community I get to be a part of and makes me thankful that I have a place in theirs.

Lunch time was super engaging today, everywhere from the lunch line down to finding space to enjoy a more focused 1-on-1 meal. I learned about people making progress on their fixer-upper houses, and about how people think about branding themselves online. It’s such a pleasant surprise to hear what people are into.

There’s something about eating a lot of pasta the day before exercise that makes the whole session feel really good. If I do it right, then my running and dancing feel good. If I overeat, then my running and dancing suffer, but my lifting feels good. No matter how I do it, I feel like a winner.

I’m so grateful that I can get to and from work without fearing for my safety or the safety of people I care about. One day soon, I won’t be so lucky, so I’m grateful to be in such a position today.

I had the most wonderful conversation with my Dad today. We spoke for over an hour about ideas we both resonate with and questions neither of us can answer. Being accepted for who I am and what I care about by my own Dad is a tremendous gift I’ve been given and am so lucky to have. I’m so grateful that I get to look up to somebody like him.

I spent today writing. I wasn’t preoccupied with anything coming up in the future; I was able to relax and just write. I’ve had trouble finding that peace in my life where I’m able to relax and focus on a solitary task that engages more than just my technical mind. My ability to find that peace now is precious to me, and I’m glad I can afford to create space for it today.

I’m thankful for the unthinkable stability of my life. I’m able to depend on the health and wellbeing of myself and those I love for the moment. That is a luxury I’ve been born into, and I’m incredibly appreciative that I can enjoy that privilege while it lasts. I’ll lose it some day sooner than I expect.