Lately as I snuggle down into my pre-warmed bed (my heated mattress pad is the savior of my seasonally Arctic bedroom), tucked around with my favorite duvet and soft, well-worn sheets, the Bug at my side (she's always in bed before Craze), it's one thought that comes to mind.
And it doesn't matter if I've had a happy day, a boring one or even a day that I mentally described as a "write-off." At the end of each day, just before I drift off to sleep, I try to think of three things that I'm grateful for.
Typically, I find myself saying the same things:
No. 1) I'm grateful for my wonderful and frustrating husband who often annoys me but I wouldn't want to live without.
No. 2) I'm grateful for my dog who is the most beautiful mutt you've ever seen and is the best dog ever (even though she really isn't) and has brought a special joy to my life that I didn't have before I found her.
No. 3) And finally, I give a word of thanks for my house. It is old and ordinary. There's not an inch of granite or stainless steel to be found (unless you count the cutlery), but it is warm and comfortable and cheerful. I love that it holds some of my favorite pieces of furniture from childhood and the bright colors of our walls. I like to think of the families who lived here in the 81 years before we bought it. I think they must have been happy because it's just that kind of place. And I feel lucky that, for now, I get to call it "home."
And then in that space of time between wakefulness and sleep, I often get annoyed with myself that I am so repetitive in my gratitude. Always with the husband, dog, home. So predicable! So I challenge my brain to be a little more searching of my day and creative with my thanks and more things pop to mind.
The other night I said I was grateful for being asked to make Thanksgiving brunch for 25 people at my husband's uncle's house, even though that morning I was frankly pissed off to have the assignment dumped in my lap. But then I decided I was just being sort of lazy and I should take it on with a better attitude. And I was grateful that this culinary request had challenged my thinking in that way.
I also find myself remembering and being thankful for little moments during my day. Snapshots really, of something only I, in all the world, saw or experienced. The little sparrow endlessly preening on my back porch railing. The way the evening sunlight cast a golden aura during my dog walking. The breeze that felt chill on my cheek, that particular mixture of autumn with a hint of the winter to come.
And even on the days that I do deem a "write-off," my gratitude Top 3 are still there. And that in itself could be reason No. 4. . .