This year passed with alarming speed. A year seemed like a month, a month like a day, and an hour just a blink. As a child, I counted the seconds between seeing the lightening and hearing the thunder to determine how close it was (one-one thousand, two-one thousand…) If a similar calculation existed to know how close we were to our own end, I wonder if we’d spend less time on “have to do” and more time on “want to do”, or if we’d get so caught up counting the days we have left that we’d lose them in the process.
Four years ago, in a nod to Thanksgiving, I whipped off a list of things I’m grateful for, both large and small, and I’ve continued the tradition with a new list each year since. Strung together, they are the rope I hang onto when I need to slow down the passage of time (one-one thousand, two-one thousand), and I am thankful for each and every one of them.
Parents who hold hands with their children as they walk them to school. Things you can’t learn in school. A little mitten holding onto your hand. Kids whose hats fall in their faces when try to look up at you. Kids who skip for no reason. Skipping a boring meeting. Meeting friends after a bad day at work. A good day at work. Working out. Working it out. Making a living. Making it work.
Weather forecasters being wrong about a big storm. Weathering the storm. A beautiful day. Beauty in the eyes of the beholder. Springing into action. Leaves opening on the trees in the spring. Discovering a great view the leaves were blocking after they fall.
A cool pillow on a warm night. A warm comforter on a cool night. The perfect weather of warm days and cool nights. A morning sky full of kaleidoscope colors that takes your breath away. Taking a deep breath. Clearing your mind. Speaking your mind.
Belly laughs that make your sides hurt and your eyes water. Being tickled. Tickling your fancy. Little girls wearing fancy dresses.
Christmas music in July. Jimmy Buffet music in January. Old disco at a wedding. Remembering your old moves. Thinking that you’ve still ‘got it’ even when you don’t. Surviving a company move. Having a job to move to. New digs. New kicks. Kicking a bad habit. Starting a good habit.
A day spent not looking in a mirror. Being OK with what you see in the mirror. Being fit. Not having to fit in. Fitting into skinny jeans. Short shorts in summer. The short version of a story when I’m busy, the long version over a relaxed dinner. Shortcuts. Relaxing dinners.
The smell of fresh baked rolls at Subway. The smell of cinnamon buns at Cinnabon. Rolling out of bed to the smell of coffee brewing. Cinnamon in my morning coffee. A morning run with friends. Not running away from a challenge.
The first few chews of gum before it loses its flavor. The first snowflakes that melt as they hit the ground. The first few months of a relationship before it loses its glow. Not losing the glow. Healthy food that doesn’t make you lose your appetite. A healthy appetite. Comfort food. Being comfortable in your own skin.
A perspective changing vacation. Changing your mind. Changing over your clothes for the season and finding something you forgot you bought last year, score!
Dogs who patiently wait for their owners without being tied up. Little boys wearing ties. Cutting painful ties. Drivers who let you cut into traffic. Cars not blocking the intersection. Not having a mental block. Inspiration. Sincerity.
Making memories. Being memorable. Giving credit where credit is due. Fighting the good fight. Putting out fires. Not starting them to begin with.
A feel good story. Feeling good. Having good vibes. Playing old 45 records. Breaking a record. Not breaking a promise. Not being afraid of making a mistake. Knowing what you need to do. The courage to actually do it. Words of encouragement.
Faith in the afterlife. Restoring your faith in mankind. Being kind. Being at peace at the end of a day.