Grateful To Be Grateful

Sunday is a day for gratitude, and one of the grandest aspects of being alive is that, no matter how dire things seem, there are always reasons to be grateful. In fact, chances are good that the minute we start listing them we can’t stop. I make these lists not only to gain perspective but because they make me ridiculously, palpably happy—and stronger, too. Nothing empowers us like remembering the myriad ways we’re already blessed. It’s like asking for help and then noticing the wind already on our backs. One lovely side effect of my recent injury: It’s provided me with even more reasons to be grateful, since so many people have been above-and-beyond kind. 

1. I’m grateful for the strangers who carried my groceries today.
2. I’m grateful for the purple flowers by my bed.
3. I’m grateful for the beauty and big heart of my friend Rachel, who asks every week: What are you grateful for? Spill it!
4. I’m grateful to see Fun Home soon with my dear friend Jan, who bought the tickets after my back spasm made me miss the previews.
5. I’m grateful for my sweet-and-spicy god family.
6. I’m grateful for the mango I had for breakfast. Pure sunshine, that mango.
7. I’m grateful today marks my ninth week without sugar. This is the longest I’ve gone since my twenties and it’s starting to feel blissfully normal.
8. I’m grateful for Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer. There are many, many ways that our country is still deeply troubled but I’m grateful that we’re slowly climbing out of the Dark Ages when it comes to LGBT awareness and rights.
9. Two weeks later, I’m still grateful I saw Stevie Wonder perform Songs in the Key of Life at the Barclays Center. I suspect it will be the musical highlight of my life. To that end, I’m grateful this injury has given me such ample opportunity to bask in Stevie, Aretha, and especially Ella. No one’s as willfully, expansively, and infectiously happy as dear Ella, who transcended a wretched early life to make glorious lemonade for us all.
10. I’m grateful for spring spring spring spring. Spring! We earned it this time around.
11. I’m grateful I finally had the brains to wax my eyebrows. The easiest glamour in the world.
12. Speaking of easy glamour, I’m eternally grateful for red lipstick and crisp white shirts and dresses with pockets.
13. And the color blue. I’m so grateful for all shades of blue. And lovely-dovey pinks and purples–guaranteed to open the most blocked of chakras. (Even mine.)
14. I’m grateful for manicures and pedicures. Every time I look at my purple and green fingers and toes, I grin anew; they’re the prettiest irises on the block.
15. I’m grateful that permakitten Grace’s favorite pigeon survived the winter. His head is almost entirely neon green and purple, we’re pretty sure he goes by the name Pedro, he spent all fall on our windowsill, and he showed back up yesterday. Hola, Senor Pedro.
16. I’m grateful for Oscar, the very cute and gregarious baby who comes to the coffee shop with his mom every Sunday. The kid has charazma.
17. I’m grateful for the film “Singing’ in the Rain.” I can’t imagine a life—let alone a career- without the joy of that reference point.
18. I’m grateful beyond measure that yesterday’s car fix was affordable.
19. I’m grateful for the Clare of Assisi candle I was guided to buy at the bodega. At the time I had no idea why; typically I only burn incense on my altar. But when I got home I learned Clare was a trailblazer who, in addition to founding a female-only religious order and being the first woman to write a monastic rule, was deemed the patron saint of television by Pope Pius VII. This feels profoundly helpful in terms of the turn my career is taking.
20. I’m exceedingly grateful Gracie and I fight well with each other since I’m generally so bad at it. Yesterday, when she broke my favorite knick-knack while chasing a mosquito, I yelled so loudly that she hid under the bed for hours. When I finally cooled down enough to look for her, I found all her favorite toys lined up on my pillow and my little friend huddled, eyes gleaming, in a corner. Animal agnostics might not agree but I know this was her method of making up. Which made my heart explode with love.
21. I’m grateful for the million times a day that my heart explodes with love, even if it sometimes breaks in the process.
22. I’m grateful to be grateful.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy