Fresh off an earthquake and a hurricane, right now I’m just thankful that we’re not dealing with swarms of locusts or frogs falling from the sky…
I forgot to write my gratitude post last month. That seems particularly crazy, because July featured lots of good stuff for which I was grateful, including the very happy day that was my brother’s wedding. (No comment about the very hot day that was also my brother’s wedding. I was not very grateful for temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun in July.) That day capped a great week in Boston, full of time with family and friends.
(By the end of that week I also had a new phone, after mine went crashing to the ground the first day I was home. There maybe wasn’t a ton of gratitude for that in the Storybook Life house at the time, but it’s been a great excuse for downloading cool new apps. So on balance I’m counting it as gratitude-worthy.)
Anyways, it’s been more than a month since the wedding, and fall is almost here (according to the calendar, at least). So looking back over the summer, a few more things I’m feeling grateful for:
- In all seriousness, that Hurricane Irene didn’t hit harder. We laughed about the quantities of beer and wine we stocked up on to get us through the storm, but looking now at some of the pictures of flooding in Vermont and trees that crashed into roofs, I’m glad all we had to clean up on Sunday were the empty wine bottles.
- Well-made “temporary” housing. Our neighborhood was built in the 1940s as “temporary” housing for federal employees who came to work at the Pentagon during World War II. I was really, really thankful last Tuesday that they built these buildings with structural integrity when our loft started shaking. I made a fool of myself on the conference call I was on at the time, yelling/quivering, “What the hell is that? Really, what the hell is that?” when I felt the earthquake here in Virginia 10 seconds before they did at the other end of the phone in D.C., but at least everything stayed in one piece.
- The lazy summer of Michele. Remember “The Summer of George” on Seinfeld, where George decides to take the summer off? I couldn’t quite do that — kind of checked that box last summer, after all — but I did give myself a bit of a pass in the last couple of months. After the race to finish school, which itself came on the heels of last year’s ridiculousness, I needed to kick back a bit (however guilty it left me feeling). I spent days at the pool. I read a lot. I watched trashy TV and movies. I was even honest with my team from a class project that I couldn’t help revise our group paper in order to submit it to a student journal. (OK, I felt bad about that one, but better to be honest, right? I did end up editing it in the end, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do more research once that diploma came in the mail.)
- My super stronge-r back and shoulders. According to my physical therapist, my back and shoulders are strong enough that I no longer need regular PT sessions. I guess that’s a good thing, if it means I’ve gained strength through doing things like lifting weights. (Don’t get carried away. We’re talking 3 and 5 lb. weights here.)
- The comfort of rituals. Whether it’s getting pizza and watching the Sox on a Friday night or meeting good friends for our twice-yearly Restaurant Week dates, there’s a lot to be said for staying true to routines that make you happy.
- New blogs that make me smile. Well, to be more specific, The Bloggess makes me snort. The summer was improved measurably by Beyonce, the 5-foot tall metal chicken. A friend’s blog kept us posted–and entertained–as she traveled across the Pacific Northwest. And Gleeful is a great reminder that small successes and joys are worth measuring. I really like her 39 Secrets of Adulthood (a takeoff on The Happiness Project).