When I was growing up, before Thanksgiving dinner my mother forced everyone to go around the table and say what they were thankful for. Outwardly I rolled my eyes and groaned but inwardly I loved that she made us do this.
Whenever I am going through difficult times, I try to remember to make gratitude lists. It is a way to keep my brain from slipping into melancholy, self-pity, and anger. I was told to find a way to even be grateful for terrible things. It works, sometimes, to force your brain to think this way.
This week we asked Entropy contributors: What are you grateful for?
David S. Atkinson
I’m feeling grateful right now for the people I’ve met in the indie lit community, both for the exciting work I get to see and the incredible amount of support I get for my own writing.
I’m grateful for my mooshes and all the mooshes in the world. Animals, in general, are so capable of compassion and generosity in a way that I want humans to aspire to. I’m grateful for the birds and the sky and the sunrise and sunset each day. I’m grateful for words and language and the inadequacy of language that drives the necessity for poetry and connection. I’m grateful for my family and my boyfriend, who I rely on daily. And I’m grateful for the entire CCM-Entropy community, all of you, who keep me sane and connected and remind me the importance and necessity and beauty and joys of literary community.
My family (blood & chosen), my dogs (and all dogs), Joanna Newsom, California, badass activists doing the goddesses’ work, literature & art, live music, not working customer service, liking my current job, being in school, the Yuba River, the ocean.
I am grateful for that morning a few weeks ago when I was so tired, so worn thin from stress and insomnia and general lack of sleep, that I understood why women kill themselves and take their children with them. I am grateful to myself for sitting at my kitchen table and telling myself, you must get out of the house. There is Toddler and Me yoga, there are museums, there are parks, there are mountains. I am grateful to the city of Los Angeles for all these things it has to offer. I know nothing lasts forever, feelings pass, and once I slept again, I would be fine, and I was. I am grateful for the airplanes that take me back and forth across the country between my homes. I am grateful for my family in NY, they are struggling to survive, they are living and loving and imperfect and they love me, and they love my daughter. I am grateful to wake up each morning to, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” coming from the next room. I am grateful to my mother-in-law, who flew across the country to watch my daughter while I went to a writing conference. I am grateful for all the generous and talented writers in my life, people I can talk to about books, and about writing. I am grateful to my grandma for telling me stories all my life. I am grateful for my husband, my sweet and steadfast husband, who would do anything I asked him to do, who is the best father I could ever imagine, who loves me when I am at my worst, who I can depend on, a love I never, ever thought I would receive or be capable of myself. I am grateful for the heated pool in my apartment complex and the hills of Griffith Park and the friends who hike them with me. I am grateful for my old friends back home who have known me since I was a child. I am grateful for this community, I truly am, I love reading the stories and anecdotes that are shared here. I love how supportive we are of one another.
I’m grateful to my family and all the money they send me, my dear loyal friends, my two great loves and their love which still sustains me even in death, my cat, who brings me so much joy, my beautiful apartment and my continued residence here, witchcraft, medical marijuana, living in Los Angeles with the rich and vibrant literary community here, yoga, the sunrise every morning, my books which I will finally finish reading by candlelight when the apocalypse comes. The books I have written and the books I am still to write. Emojis.
I am grateful for my best friend and soul mate, my amazing, loving once abandoned cat, my friends, my family, the writing family here I have longed for and needed for so long, for not leaving this earth years past from depression and illness and for all the posts above this little clump of words.