Remember Oprah’s “Gratitude Journal” lady? The one who made a fortune selling a simple diary in which every day you would write down the things you were grateful for that day? With Oprah’s endorsement, that lady sold a million of ‘em. The only problem with that was who remembered to write in their journal? Not me. I have a drawer dedicated to journals purchased and forgotten. I know…I’m bad. Maybe you are, too.
But guess what, cupcake? They’re right.
So, resolved: In the spirit of the Holidays and new beginnings in 2016, I am forming a gratitude club. Come join me. Now, what do I have to be grateful for? Hmmm…
- Good Water…In Western North Carolina, we have a plentitude of delicious, clean water, thanks to Mr. Vanderbilt and his rich friends. Such good water that we’re drawing big breweries to our mountains like Kardashians to photo shoots. Just a few years ago, there was talk of bottling and selling Asheville’s water. That was before plastic bottles became uncool. Now, of course, Raleigh is planning to privatize our water. For that, I say to Mr.Moffitt, “You suck!”
- Our Mountains…These mountains are a source of constant wonder to me. When I drive around, a new vista tickles my eyes and soul at every turn.
- Friends…At church, in writing groups, and at the hospital where I volunteer, they abound. More important than their multitude, though, is the fact that I have three best girlfriends. Count them—three! These amazing women are the ones whom I know I can count on for tea or wine as needed. They’re the ones who will bury the body for me and pretend they didn’t see it. You know who you are. I love you and am more grateful for you than I can express.
- A good partner…That’s Matt. He’s fun and silly and quirky enough to sustain my interest through all these 31 years. I’ve had bad partners. Trust me, I’d rather be alone than experience that again. But Matt? I’m keeping him for as long as we both shall live. And, hopefully, in whatever it is that follows in eternity.
- Neighbors…They look out for me. I look out for them. Enuf said.
- Mammograms…Having breast cancer two years ago, I am grateful for the clean bill I got last week. Of course, they had to scare the sweet bejeesus out of me and say they saw something in the other breast. As I lay there on the ultrasound table, I formed a Resolve: I will get them cut off this time. Then, this sweet radiologist came in and said the magic word.
- Cyst…That’s what it is, and I never thought I’d be so grateful for a cyst.
- You, My Readers…and the readers who are loving my novel, Shanty Gold. Thank you for all the 5-star reviews on Amazon.
- Yoga…It keeps me moving and sane. And Chas, my teacher, is the reason I’m so conscious of gratitude right now.
- Four Seasons…When Matt and I decided to move South, we settled on North Carolina because I knew I needed change of season. I would get majorly bored in any kind of continuous, balmy weather, and I know it. Funny, isn’t it? But it’s important to know what atmosphere you require for happiness, and I do.
- My Electric Blanket…Much as I love these chilly, windy days, crawling under into my cozy bed and getting warm is heaven.
- My doggie…Bucky, that demanding, crazy black little bastard who wrote a column for me when I needed to focus on my novel. Now, when he humps and chews up my pillow, I ignore him and say, Ohhmm. He’s confused by my not screaming. It’s a start.
- Good Dentists and Doctors…After growing up without novocaine in the torture chairs of Benham, The Butcher, and Froelich, The Nazi O.B., back in Springfield, Ohio, I am so-o-o grateful for dental and medical compassion and drugs.
- My Daughters…who in October spent a fortune to fly here from California, Colorado, and New York and the one who drove from Raleigh to be our designated driver to help Matt and me celebrate two BIG BIRTHDAYS. Don’t ask, I’m not telling. Sometimes, that saying, I Love You to the Moon and Back sounds sappy. But I do.
So, dear reader, you smart, beautiful person that you are. Join me in my gratitude club. Write me and tell me what you’re grateful for, too.
I hope your Holidays are blessed and full of joy.
Jeanne Charters writes about the business of living your life to the fullest. Over the years through her magazine columns, books and blog posts, she has sought to help other women face life's challenges through humor, strength and perseverance.
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