We all have bad days, bad months, and for some of us, bad years. We sometimes get trapped into wells of self-pity and sadness. One way to turn around that way of thinking is to remind ourselves of the good in our lives, big and small, silly and serious. For this Sunday’s list, we asked Entropy contributors to list the things for which they are grateful.
Dennis James Sweeney:
I’m grateful for the things that sometimes frustrate me: stuff pulling me away from my writing, being too tired to concentrate, having way too many emails/messages/whatever to answer. All of these things seem like a pain on a daily basis but they actually mean my life is full, brimming. I forget to be thankful for that, but boy am I.
I am grateful that love exists. I am grateful for my dogs and all dogs. I am grateful for the sky.
I am grateful that there are yet things to be grateful for.
I’m grateful for the relative health & happiness of the creatures I love, getting to quit my customer service job this week, and Joanna Newsom.
The other day I realized that people were treating me very kindly. My partner cleaned the porch and bought me my favorite beer. My friends who my cat currently lives with sent me mother’s day flowers from my cat. Drivers were letting me cross the street instead of bombing through the crosswalk. Then I realized people actually treat me very well a lot of the time and I just am too busy to see it, and I felt really grateful for it and for the shift in consciousness.
I am grateful for the smell of honeysuckle and for a rose that is a particular shade of orange, and for the egrets on W. 9th St.
I’m grateful for the heated swimming pool in my apartment complex. I’m grateful for yoga, for putting me back together. For my companions who hike with me (friends, husband, baby, podcasts) For Griffith Park, home of mountains, wilderness and wildlife in the middle of a giant sprawling city. For my happy little girl, who looks at moving curtains or rays of sunlight or blades of grass like they are the most glorious and wonderful things in the world. For my husband. For my family, though they aren’t perfect, for people who believe we should be grateful for the things that have hurt us the most, most of the time I am not there yet, but I’d like to be, because it seems like a peaceful place. For National Parks and road trips and books and writing and rainy days.
My amazing wife. My loving cat. A community of writers here. The sun rising each new day.
I am grateful for people being earnest even when it doesn’t seem avant garde. I am grateful for this little person who trusts me despite my only being his mom for a little while. I’m grateful that I have enough of what I need in life (& more than enough). I’m grateful for the writers in my community who cheer me on even when I feel like a perpetual blob of writers block and angst.
I’m grateful for everyone and everything that’s in my life, and everyone and everything that’s not in it. That’s the simplest way I can put it.
I’m grateful for all the wonderful friends I’ve made, I’m grateful for all the stupid mistakes I’ve made, and I’m grateful for being able to still learn and grow as a person and a writer even though I’m a cranky old man. I’m also grateful for everything my mother taught me and for all the books I’ve ever read, even the crappy ones.
I’m grateful for mountains, valleys, desert, and sea, and that they live in my mind to sustain me, even when it’s years between trips to visit them in my spiritual home of Los Angeles. I’m grateful for Houston, my actual home town, and especially the Astrodome, which I grow even fonder of (and perhaps more like) every year. I’m grateful for ears and nose and eyes and mouth and other fine and faulty body parts that let me experience life in stereo, video, and taco. I’m so thankful for my thyroid gland that I even wrote an homage to it when it got cancer a few years back and we had to be permanently separated. Which leads to my most fundamental feeling of gratitude, for life. I’m fine now, but I wear a green rubber band around my left wrist to remind me, when I inevitably forget, why the shittiest and loneliest days are the same present that the best and most joyous ones are. I’m here.