A Writer’s Gratitude Tastes Like Pumpkin Pie

Photo Credit: djwtwo via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: djwtwo via Compfight cc

There’s a lot of good to say about gratitude. Even though gratitude can seem like an industry these days (books! blogs! speeches!), and that making a gratitude list at Thanksgiving time can seem as creative as Cool Whip, expressing gratitude is still one of those things that can lift your spirits.

Gratitude can let you realize that your lot in life is a lot, not a less. Gratitude can connect you to people and to yourself. It can even make you healthier. It’s great to be grateful.

This gratitude post has two voices: one is my writer’s voice, and one is my wise guy voice. They are both grateful, though their approaches are different. Not all of the items on my writer’s list are writerly, and not all of the items on my wise guy’s list are wise.

Writer:
I am deeply grateful that my mom has moved into assisted living and retained her warm spirit, and even increased her vitality since she had to leave my boyhood home. And grateful as well for the good health and spirit of my siblings and of my sweetheart, who are all doing pretty well.

Wise guy:
I’m grateful that my mom never found out about all of the illegal, dangerous and downright stupid things I did as a kid. (Though she thinks she does know them all; mom, you would call the cops even now.)

Writer:
I’m grateful for my own health, which though it’s tilted at a few windmills this year, it’s righted itself without collapsing altogether.

Wise guy:
I’m grateful that the antibiotics that recently saved me from the gut-clenching bacteria I brought back from Myanmar tasted like jellybeans. [Note: you can choose to believe wise guy remarks or not.]

Writer:
I’m grateful to have good old friends—some from more than 30 years back and even some more than 40 years back—whom I still see and talk to, though not often enough.

Wise guy:
I’m grateful that most of my old friends make more money than me, because I can make a tidy list of the borrowing I’m going to do in my later years. And I’m grateful that my newer friends don’t know about all those things I did as a kid. [See above]

Writer:
I’m grateful that I finished two books this year, one a novel yet to be published and one a self-published nonfiction work.

Wise guy:
I’m grateful that the writer guy above finished that novel too; it only took eight years.

Writer:
I’m grateful for books in general, and just for being able to read. Books have been the spur to my imagination for as long as I can remember.

Wise guy:
I’m grateful that with today’s memory, I’ve forgotten pretty much all the bad books I’ve ever read. And that I’ve forgotten that I’ve forgotten some of the good ones as well.

Writer:
I’m grateful for life itself, which I too often forget is an impossible gift.

Wise guy:
I’m grateful I can find shoes for my large feet. In fact, I’m grateful to have feet.

Writer:
Thank god for mashed potatoes. And bourbon.

Wise guy:
I’m glad we can agree on something.

Gratitude does change my attitude.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there!

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2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Gratitude Tastes Like Pumpkin Pie

  1. You aren’t mixing the mashed potatoes and bourbon, are you? Just because we can find the words “mash” and “sour mash” doesn’t mean . . . oh, never mind.

    Didn’t get enough sunshine this summer and it has affected my mood. I’m going to get all touchy-feely and start writing down some gratitude, see if I can convince my own wise guy how good he’s got it. (Yes, I suffer from terrible problems like how the PDF tool I use on my iPad apparently doesn’t respect my directory structure when I synchronize it with Dropbox. And yes, I realize that means Louis CK is going to come to my house and frown.)

    I’m with old Albert E: we can live as if nothing is a miracle, or as if everything is a miracle. Or, from Lloyd Bridges’ character in the movie from which I extract most of my life philosophies, Joe vs. the Volcano; he says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.

    When I lose that feeling, I know I’ve dozed and need a wake-up call.

  2. All those potato-mash mashups are done internally, Joel. (And eternally, probably.) I know what you mean about wise guys needing convincing—often, they are too wise for their own (and other people’s) good.

    I’m only awake on certain moments on certain days, but my oh my, amazements there are. Have to stay alert for more. Happy T-day!

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