Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Debt of Gratitude

I write one every year. Not always here on the blog.
I wrote my first one on a big sheet of art paper in 2006, after talking to my friend L. on the phone. (
It had not been an easy year for either of us, or for our families, and it wasn't going to get much better  over the next few months ( we, of course, did not know that yet). It was going to get worse before it got better.  And now, as I slug through this last year in the decade of my thirties, I have to say; it just goes up and down, up and down. Sometimes more down than up. Sometimes you look at those "even-keel" types and ask yourself, HOW does nothing EVER happen to some people?

It's December 23rd, Sunday, today. Tomorrow is our family Christmas and Mike is here with me, that alone tops all gratitude this year.
Getting married. Having someone to call "husband".  Never believing that would happen.
I have a cold. But no headaches. I haven't been running and I've gained about five pounds since August. But I'm not riddled with constant anxiety, and I'm waiting for the results of the latest MRI
and I'm not freaking out.
I went to church twice in the past week--once last Saturday with my mom and niece, and then on Thursday, the Christmas pennance service with my mom. Songs, piano, poinsettias, confessing our sins. What to say?  Vanity. Pride. Stubbornness. Judgment. Impatience (oh how I struggle). And then the final one--'this situation with a co-worker that I can't seem to move past. That I can't seem to remotely even whisper of forgiveness'.  I was wracked about this last point. The priest didn't seem too concerned. One Hail Mary, one Our Father. And absolution. And could I say a prayer for him? Yes, I could and I did.
My mom and I left the service after the required prayers, quietly (the instruction was to leave quietly when you were ready). I prayed to St. Jude (lost causes) before I left, same as I did on Saturday. What did I ask for, is that what you want to know? Nothing specific. Just knelt on the small wooden altar, lit my candle, and asked Why, What now, and Could I have done something differently?
I have no answers.
I'm sitting in a warm home, my husband is watching Sunday Night Football.
I have a pile of wrapped gifts to my right, for my family, and there are ornaments hanging from my dining room light fixture (I don't have a tree, I have Christmas roses and a Christmas orchid.)
I have to work a half day tomorrow but I have a job (one that frustrates me endlessly, but that's another post in itself. We're talking about gratitude and the LAST thing I want to think about is my workplace and how fucked it's been these last few months).
I'm in pajamas and I'm sniffling away with this minor little irritant of a cold while I boil water for a hot toddy (I hate normal tea).  I'm going to bed soon. I worked really really hard this year. I travelled alot, back and forth to Maine.  I am finishing the year with a clean slate. I have no guilt. I have no regrets. I lost a ten-dollar-bill today, that I hope someone who needed it found.
I slept in til 11am. The sun was out. I hung out with my sister and her kids. I made dinner with Mike.

I settled in. I tied up loose ends. I continue to live my life exactly the way I want to---it might not look like everyone else's, but it's my design. I made it, I built it, I continue to nourish it.
I own it.

So it's almost the end of the year.
Merry Everything people.

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