by JEANNE LOHMANN
All day I try to say nothing but thank you,
breathe the syllables in and out with every step I
take through the rooms of my house and outside into
a profusion of shaggy-headed dandelions in the garden
where the tulips’ black stamens shake in their crimson cups.
I am saying thank you, yes, to this burgeoning spring
and to the cold wind of its changes. Gratitude comes easy
after a hot shower, when my loosened muscles work,
when eyes and mind begin to clear and even unruly
hair combs into place.
Dialogue with the invisible can go on every minute,
and with surprising gaiety I am saying thank you as I
remember who I am, a woman learning to praise
something as small as dandelion petals floating on the
steaming surface of this bowl of vegetable soup,
my happy, savoring tongue.
Today, I Am Grateful that I can focus on my gratitude, that I have practiced being thankful every day so that it is a habit and easy to turn to during the dips on the roller coaster of life.
Today, I Am Grateful for a husband who is truly my very best friend, who listens to me and values me and teaches me and adores me, who tells me that I rock and am strong and smart and beautiful. I am so, so happy to be married to this man.
Today, I Am Grateful for friends who are just a phone call away.
Today, I Am Grateful that I'm learning to trust myself and be bolder and braver.
Today, I Am Grateful for my upcoming trips to Orlando, Spokane (Washington), and Portland (Oregon), each for different reasons, each which will feed my soul in very different and very important ways.
Today, I Am Grateful for our magical mythical credit card "points" which enabled all of the plane tickets for those trips (and that the balance on that credit card is zero).
Today, I Am Grateful that in 15 years I've gone from "get me the hell out of here" at my high school graduation to being excited to see everyone again at our reunion in less than three weeks; I'm happy to have grown and completely let go of past drama. They say that success is the best revenge, but true happiness means not even wanting revenge. I'm so happy I'm there. I want the best for all of them, truly, and I'm saddened by their misfortunes; fifteen years ago I would not have believed that I'd ever feel like this. I'm looking forward to catching up and laughing with them.
Today, I Am Grateful for perspective.
Today, I Am Grateful for all of our South Korean and European adventures.
Today, I Am Grateful that I ate an entire blackberry cobbler all by myself over the past few days and my scale did not jump up 15 pounds. It did not even jump up one pound. I don't know why this is but I will frickin' take it.
Today, I Am Grateful for clean water from our taps, for our dishwasher, our washer and dryer, air conditioning, the DVR, Wi-Fi, cell phones, and all the things that make my life thousands of times easier and more comfortable than it otherwise could be.
Today, I Am Grateful for a car that is safe and reliable and paid for (and that I see a car as a means of transportation rather than a status symbol).
Today, I Am Grateful for Old Navy capri pants, Teva mush flip-flops, and graphic t-shirts, which seem to be my summer uniform this year.
Today, I Am Grateful that I can call on my neighbors for help if I need it; they have embraced us into their "family."
Today, I Am Grateful for Maeve Binchy books; I love escaping into her charming worlds.
Today, I Am Grateful for growing up in a home where meals made from scratch were the norm, not just reserved for special occasions.
Today, I Am Grateful that I know I'm going to be in a swim suit in public in just five days and that thought does not make me feel like throwing up from anxiety, and that my lack of anxiety has little to nothing to do with how I actually look in that swimsuit.
Today, I Am Grateful for comfy pajamas and complete control of the remote.
Today, I Am Grateful for good health insurance.
Today, I Am Grateful that a random guy in a falling-apart car smiled and waved at me while we were stopped next to each other at a red light. I'm thankful that I smiled and waved back, instead of being a dork and ignoring him for fear of "leading him on." I'm thankful that three blocks later when I turned right, I looked to the left to check for cars and we both waved again before I pulled away.
Today, I Am Grateful for the ability to figure things out and the confidence to try doing things myself.
Today, I Am Grateful for small, beautiful moments.
Today, I Am Grateful that I held something back, and that I let something go.
Today, I Am Grateful for hope and possibility.
Today, I Am Grateful for a community of friends spread across the country who support me and encourage me (in ways they know and ways they don't) to be a better artist, a better person, a better friend. And make me laugh my ass off. I'm really grateful for the laughing part.