Gratitude List: Day 4

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

More and more, this thing of gratitude makes me love my life. It’s not that I didn’t before, more that by going in search of all the things in my life that make me happy and that I’m thankful for, I’m actually finding them. I’m sure I could find things in my life that bring me down, but isn’t that a choice, too? What if I look at my life for the difficult things that I’m grateful for, and not just the happy things that one expects gratitude from? Here’s what if:

Gratitude for things and people in life I wasn’t always grateful for.

  1. My mom’s death. I learned that if I can get through that, I can get through anything.
  2. Getting arrested for stealing from Nordstrom’s when I was 14. I couldn’t afford anything there, anyway, so being banned was a gift.
  3. Not getting a dog on the weekend we were “supposed” to get a dog.
  4. Getting fired from David Dart. I didn’t realize how much I hated working for that guy until I was forced to leave.
  5. Leaving my backpack in the taxi in Germany with my camcorder and camera in it at the end of our trip. It made me appreciate the pictures that made it home that much more.
  6. Not having cable for the first few months after we moved in to our new home.
  7. My most recent ex and the horrible end I brought to our relationship.
  8. Being gay. I get to see the world from a perspective that many don’t.
  9. Being stuck in a meeting room for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week for the last 3 months of my last job. It makes sunlight all the more beautiful.
  10. My mom’s last boyfriend, without whom I would have no little brother.
  11. Anger. It tells me something’s not right.
  12. Being unpopular in school. It’s taken a while, but I’ve learned a lot from that, later in life.
  13. Breaking my rib while coughing and crying in April of 2004.
  14. Quietly breaking up with an old friend.
  15. My mother’s alcoholism. It taught me how to take care of myself.
  16. Almost getting fired from my first job at McDonald’s.
  17. My 3rd painting, which did not go as well as the first two.
  18. The slug I found on Jackson’s water mat one morning that made me realize just how big the gap was at the bottom of the back door.
  19. All of my grandfather’s verbal abuse, and the growth that’s come from realizing that none of it was about me.
  20. Losing the bid on the Premiere house.
  21. The six drafts that won’t be the final draft of 7 Days.
  22. Being told when my breath is bad.
  23. Every 26 days.
  24. The idea to take my grandmother to El Pollo Loco on the day I found out she died.
  25. Choosing to walk away when all I wanted to do was stay.
  26. Being the impact I don’t see.
  27. Not knowing the details of my mother’s death.
  28. Losing a bet over whether or not a word existed and having to run down the street like Phoebe. Talk about freeing.
  29. Selling my grandparents’ house.
  30. The recent real estate crash.
  31. Hurting my hip last year. Reminds me to take good care of myself always, not just when I’m hurt.
  32. My angst-filled teenage years.
  33. My age.
  34. Getting pooped on by a pigeon in 7th grade gym class. (Isn’t that the epitome of early teenhood?)
  35. (Accidentally) dying my hair orange when I was 19. A true test of my sense of humor.
  36. A smaller than expected turn out in my last workshop. As it turns out, intimate gatherings are my thing.
  37. That our giant bed doesn’t fit in the “master” bedroom, because that room is perfect for our office.
  38. That the tattoo on my right shoulder is still visible, if I really look for it.
  39. Being present for my father’s death.

Admittedly, this list was more difficult to write than the previous lists. More in the fact that there are far fewer difficult things that have happened in my life than simple things. There are still a few things I’m not sure I can feel grateful for just yet, but by creating this list, I now have an idea of what to work on. And in the meantime, I’ll go back to searching for happy things to be grateful for.

How about you?

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