#16. Gratitude listing (listing gratitude?)

This one doesn’t require much explanation. Suffice it to say that I have a lot to be grateful for – yet I haven’t been feeling particularly grateful lately. It’s my experience that being grateful isn't so much a decision as it is a state of being that requires constant effort. When my tank needs topped off, I frequently make the decision to make gratitude lists. And that usually lasts about two days. Not this time. Gratitude lists, seven days in a row. Ten items per day, no repeats.

I'll get some goddamn gratitude even if it KILLS me!

Day One

(Quick question: is it ironic or just entertaining that on the first day of being grateful, I wake up feeling sick?)

  1. My husband’s willingness to cater to his whiny wife.
  2. Ice packs on my neck, without which there would be no comfort.
  3. Ibuprofen in my gullet.
  4. Cadbury’s chocolate, also deposited in said gullet.
  5. Knit sportswear; specifically, sweats. I think we should all spend more time being more grateful for comfort clothing.
  6. DVR. Isn’t it just amazing? I can watch all kinds of crap – commercial free!
  7. Crap magazines, to be read exclusively in conjunction with #8.
  8. Bubble baths. I could probably add this every day, noting a different type of bath product. But I shan’t.
  9. Colin Hay’s “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin.”
  10. Hot cups of tea, made even better with aid of my fabulous electric kettle.

Day Two

  1. Ron Currie Jr. I’m enjoying reading his Everything Matters so, so much.
  2. Fresh blooms in the yard. The lilacs may be gone, but the day lilies are working their way up out of the ground and my lavender plant seems to have survived the winter. Maybe it’ll even bloom this year?
  3. Yarn and knitting. I’d be embarrassed to try to explain how much joy these things bring to my life.
  4. A husband who has as much of a capacity for mind-numbing television as I do.
  5. Lindt chocolate. It’s important that all chocolate not get lumped together. That would just be unfair.
  6. My cats. Except when they’re waking me up in the middle of the night. Or relieving themselves. Or puking.
  7. Modern medicine, in general. Alka Seltzer Cold & Flu medicine, in particular.
  8. That one fluffy purple blanket my mother-in-law got me for Christmas years ago. I am a fan of comfort.
  9. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.
  10. Having a washer and dryer. As much as I hate, hate, hate doing laundry, I have to remind myself how much worse it was when there was a Laundromat involved.

Day Three

  1. The women in my life. Seriously. You have no idea how much strength I gain from them.
  2. A husband who takes my pre-travel planning and attendant anxiousness in stride.
  3. My orange bike. I haven’t ridden it in a week or so, but just looking at it in my mud room makes me happy.
  4. A roof over my head! How did this one not make the list before Day Three?
  5. Hummus and pita chips. I mean, really. So good.
  6. New socks. So fresh. So good.
  7. All the cool people who make neat stuff, take pictures of it and put it on the web so that I can surf craft and design sites for hours on end, ooh-ing and aah-ing about it all.
  8. Strawberries. Is there too much food on this list?
  9. Do-overs.
  10. The Weepies’ “Citywide Rodeo.”

Day Four

  1. Good, trustworthy friends who are willing to come and stay at our house and take care of our cats while we’re gone.
  2. The privilege of international travel – or so I try to convince myself as we leave on the overnight journey to Glasgow.
  3. Having tools other than liquor for dealing with turbulence. (See #s 4-10)
  4. Rilo Kiley’s “Portions for Foxes.”
  5. Genius pain reliever sticks and fistfuls of ibuprofen, without which I couldn’t make these trips.
  6. Seat-back entertainment systems on flights. Even if they don’t work half the effing time.
  7. A husband who understands that Travel Me is always a little nervous, often exhausted and highly impatient, but still insists he loves traveling with me anyway.
  8. Books, magazines, games and music on my iPhone – anything to distract my mind while flying.
  9. Travel snacks!
  10. A sense of humor. This, by about four hours into the flight, is purely theoretical.

Day Five

  1. Restraint of pen and tongue so that when, after a night of no sleep, when I ask the sassy flight attendant if I can have some coffee and he says, “I don’t know. Can you?” I don’t punch him in the face.
  2. Safe landings.
  3. The short passport line (for me) when entering the UK.
  4. Progress in regards to my constant anxiety about money while traveling. That way, when the tickets from Heathrow to Gatwick cost twice as much as I’m expecting, I don’t freak out.
  5. Black London taxi cabs. Even if it’s just a quick glimpse of them outside the airport on the way to catch a bus, it’s indisputable proof I’m somewhere else.
  6. The patience of the pilot sitting near us on the bumpy London-Glasgow flight when I keep leaning over him and asking, “Are you sure we’re not going to die?”
  7. Vending machines that sell Cadbury’s chocolate. I think I need one for my house.
  8. A lovely, bright and airy flat in Glasgow’s West End, our home for the next five days.
  9. Family who, despite their excitement to see you, completely understand the fact that you can barely stay awake long enough to catch up on the first day.
  10. That moment, when you’ve been up for more than 24 hours, when you crawl into bed and it finally feels like you’ve stopped moving.

Day Six

  1. The fact that while there are new shops here and there, Glasgow doesn’t really ever change.
  2. Cups of hot, sweet, milky tea and a plate of biscuits.
  3. Hooking arms with my 92-year-old Gran and making our way through the streets on a few aimless errands.
  4. A husband who embraces my past as much as I do.
  5. My husband’s truly terrible but insistent Scottish accent.
  6. Compact umbrellas.
  7. The Brit’s love of black currant-flavored everything. Do we even have black currents in the states? And if not, why not?
  8. The Brits’ sensible insistence on having proper bath tubs.
  9. My life in America.
  10. Sleep.

Day Seven

  1. British tabloids. Fantastic! I have no idea who any of these people are or what the hell they’re talking about, but it’s all very seedy and awesome.
  2. Living a life, if only temporarily, where we get everywhere by foot or public transport. Feels rather virtuous.
  3. A husband whose capacity for inhaling the sweets and treats of my childhood far surpasses my own.
  4. Sitting at the same tables in the same café where my father brought my mother on their first dates together 50 years ago.
  5. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. As beautiful on the outside as on the inside. And it’s free. Free!
  6. Band-Aids. My toes are feelin’ the hoofin’ around town.
  7. Architectural details – a painted tile, stained glass accent, crown molding, curling ironwork, a cut-out in a balcony stairwell. Glasgow’s full of ‘em.
  8. Being old enough and, at least occasionally, wise enough to ignore the sense that you should be out enjoying foreign night life when what you really want is a quiet night in
  9. Fizzy lemonade!
  10. The privilege of international travel. (I know this is a repeat, but I mean it this time!)