Show some appreciation for the little, take-it-for-granted kinds of things that make life easier.
It’s Thanksgiving time again. As I’m preparing to host dinner, I pause amid chopping celery and stuffing mushrooms to reflect upon a few things I am most grateful to have in my life.
I am thankful for the same things many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy: a roof over my head, food on my table, shoes on my feet. I’m thankful for my health, my family, meaningful work and free time, as rare as that seems. I’m extra grateful for my dear husband, especially whenever I hear of someone’s marriage hitting a bumpy patch.
I’m also thankful for less lofty things. These are things that I wouldn’t include in the grace before Thanksgiving dinner, but they make my life easier, fuller or more fun.
Topping this list is the combination of my minivan and cell phone. I spend a lot of time in the car, and it’s one place where I can’t be at my children’s beck and call. Oh, sure, I can take CD requests and maybe reach Timmy’s teddy bear if he drops it, but seatbelts and the distance between cockpit and coach make it impossible to do much more for them and they know it.
The forced hiatus from child care lets me catch up with friends and family through the wonder of wireless. My mom and sister know I’m only able to talk when I’m driving, so they let me do the calling. Weekend commutes to work are for catching up with my best friend, who lives in Houston. If it weren’t for the car and the phone together, I’d never get in touch, except for online.
This brings me to my next blessing: the Internet. It’s a communication tool, a people-networking device, a post office, a research library, an entertainment center and a publishing company, rolled up into a neat little bundle of routers and cables under my desk. How did I ever survive without it, just a few short years ago?
I’m thankful for my electric mattress pad, a gift from my sister last Christmas. Climbing into a warm bed on a cold night is one of life’s great pleasures. Soon I’ll also put my electric blanket on the bed, for the nighttime panini effect: toasty on both sides. (Earl is grateful for dual controls.)
I’m thankful for my faithful coffeemaker, which has my java ready to go when I roll out of bed. I’ve recently discovered if I set my dishwasher to run at 4 a.m., my favorite coffee mug is still warm when I get up. Another toasty pleasure. Quiet time in the morning with Juan Valdez, wrapped in a fuzzy robe with my hands curled around my warm cup – it doesn’t get much better than that.
I’m thankful for Lean Cuisine and Diet Coke. For the instant gratification of my digital camera. For movies on-demand and remote controls. For Swiffers. For my hairdresser, who comes to my house with lotions and potions to make me beautiful, or at least presentable. For free shipping.
For blessings, great and small, and the chance to write about them, I am most thankful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, from me and mine. Now, back to the mushrooms.
Julie Fay’s column runs on alternate weekends. Reach her at email@example.com, or read more at http://juliefaysblog.blogspot.com.