It’s early in the morning and I’m already tired. My to-do list is long. My to-cook list is longer. My thoughts are on maintaining traditions for my mostly-grown children and now grandchildren. I saw a couple of memes this week that I could relate to: “Cook for three days so the kids can eat a single roll” and “What do you mean you want dinner? You’ll eat on Thursday.” (My husband is truly in charge of dinner Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.)
And yet – I am grateful.
I am grateful for a warm house and plenty of food. I am grateful that we have been blessed with enough and to spare. I am grateful that sharing and giving is more of a mindset than a bank account balance. I am grateful to see my children be thoughtful and generous to others, even when they are “starving” college students.
I am grateful to be a mom. There is no question that motherhood has brought me my highest highs and lowest lows. Nothing else even comes close. In fact, those highs and lows are the yardstick by which I measure everything else. People have rude comments on my writing? Shrug. I lost a political election (or two). Sad, but not like burying-a-child sad. Soo tired but a child needs me? Down some caffeine and I’m there for them. I love motherhood, in all its messiness and happy milestone moments.
I am grateful for technology that connects us. I am grateful I can video chat with kids and grandkids. When I was growing up, that was a science fiction kind of thing. (I just wish we had transporters already! I am grateful that technology lets me do my daily writing work from home, from beside a hospital bed or in a different country, because all I really need is a laptop and an Internet connection.
I am grateful for the power of friendships. I was lonely – really lonely – when I was a new mom and then a very busy mom. I was desperate for adult relationships and conversations. At some point (I don’t remember when), I decided to do more to create those kinds of relationships. I’m grateful now to have so many friends in so many different areas of my life. It’s powerful to know that others have your back.
I am grateful for words. I love to write and I love to speak. I don’t write fiction, but I like using words to create stories that are moving and memorable. Sometimes, I write when the words don’t come readily and sometimes I write when it feels like the words just pour out of me. Both are sweet experiences for which I am grateful.
I am grateful for learning. I earned a degree in nursing before I married and then, took 30 years off of formal schooling. That didn’t stop my learning! I’ve always made time for reading, although now I “read” books by listening to them. (I just wish textbooks were also available in audio format!) I make time to learn from others, too. Stories are powerful and I want to hear them. I’m rounding the last corner on earning a PhD now but I know it won’t be the end of my learning. Over the last year, in something totally unrelated, I’ve been learning about home improvement projects. I can now use a radial arm saw and a nail gun, I can change out light fixtures and plugs, I can lay flooring and baseboards and I’m about to learn how to put in a backsplash, one small tile at a time.
I am grateful for travel and meeting new people. I am grateful for medical miracles and modern science. So many of my kids would be dead without it – and honestly, I think I would be too. I am grateful for the power of gratitude. I learned about its healing properties through my own trial and error, but it is validating to read scientific research about it too.
Finally, I am grateful for Heavenly Parents who love me and for an Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, who walks with me – and my children – even through the darkest abyss. He is the light and life of the world and I’m so, so grateful.