So here we are entering the 9th week of the year already. For the past five weeks my family and I have been sick. Nothing major, just an ongoing long term lingering low grade fever cold virus bug thing. However, it has not been pleasant. I can handle a few days of sickness, and of taking care of others who are sick for a few days, but day after day, week after week, weekend after weekend, it has become a bit much for me. I keep waiting for it to break, for something to change, for the virus to move on to torture someone else.
Last week, after Cedar had been home from school for the previous nine days, (and before that he was home for a week) the kids had a week off school. It's that mid winter break when an escape from the grey doldrums of working life is needed. Some people plan trips to the Bahamas for a little beach relaxation, some people head to the wintry mountains for skiing fun, and we stay home and relive our glory days, while the green eyed monster makes stabs at us as we watch another episode of Law and Order.
It's all well and good, and everyone is back to school and work today, happily starting that build up for yet another break from it all in the beginning of April. So I thought it was a good time to bring a little Gratitude back into life. You remember my Gratitude Letter Writing Project? I have been writing a letter of gratitude each week for eight weeks now, and I have seen a few interesting results thus far.
One is that I am thinking about gratitude much more in my daily life. I am thinking about the people from all parts of my life, and even though I haven't written to all of them yet, I am calling them back into my awareness (those that are far away or long gone). It is a treat to remember old times with far off friends, past boyfriends, and dear relatives I rarely see.
Of course I have gotten happy and loving responses from the people I have written to. But I have also felt a little more random gratitude coming at me from unexpected places. Maybe what goes around really does come around...
I admit that last week I did not get to writing my letter. I was too sick and depressed about being sick to feel grateful about much. Today however, I would like to think back and write a simple list of things I am grateful for about last week, and send a little random gratitude off into the world.
---Thank you to the person who invented television, the people who create shows like Mythbusters and Busytown that my small child is enthralled by, the people who build and construct TVs and computers, and the inventors of Netflix. Without your hard work, I would have had to entertain my child for 9 straight days, (and 2 weeks straight before that) while we both had fevers and were struggling to survive each other's company, and I highly doubt we would have made it.
On that note, Thank you to the people who came before us modern folk. The people who did NOT have TVs to entertain their sick children, who were busy scrubbing laundry until they succumbed to the fever entirely or miraculously healed. If those unfathomably strong parents had not worked as they did to protect their children from illness AND not gone insane in the process of taking care of sick kids, I suppose most of us here today would not be.
Thank you to the inventor of Lego's. Without your fabulous toy creation, my son would not have had anything to do (when he wasn't watching TV) all week. And Thank you to Uncle Rick who, on his visit to Ithaca 2 weeks ago, bestowed upon Cedar the most fabulous space alien Lego set ever created. It has provided endless hours of building fun and distraction.
I also am grateful for having a warm house to spend my time in, for having a cozy bed to keep me warm, food in the fridge to warm up as needed, and my family to keep me going. In a sense, the basic survival stuff was pretty evident last week. I am grateful that I have created these things and that Rob had provided them for me. I realize that usually I am not thinking about surviving, or getting by. I am usually thinking about the things a step past that, entertainment, work, good food, and such. But when you cut down to the basics, you see things differently. My city is not being bombed, my home is not under attack, my family is safe, and life in my world is pretty calm. I am endlessly grateful for this. After weeks of struggling internally, I am thankful that my family is on the mend, that nature is still out there going on as it does, and that some things are pretty simple.
There are of course many people who deserve thanks for helping me out last week, not the least of whom is Rob. But hang in there, you'll get your personalized letters soon enough. There is much to be thankful for.