My swollen heart

Sunday afternoon as I sat out on the patio listening to the waterfall gurgle and the birds chirp and warble as they flitted from the waterfall to the birdbath to the flower-covered vines decorating our back fence, an overwhelming sense of gratitude came over me.

Out of nowhere, my heart swelled with gratitude for my crazy house and overgrown yard and that, despite a house payment that doubled when we bought this house -- and the stress accompanying it when we both lost our jobs relatively soon after -- this is the place Jim and I plan to call home for the rest of our days. I love my house. I’m so grateful for my house.

Yes, it’s a material thing. But this material thing makes me happy and content … and grateful.

After a week of thinking about, writing about, cussing about all the things I think suck in my life, all the things I worry endlessly about, it was nice to suddenly, inexplicably realize a plethora of things for which I’m grateful. Things I’m blessed with that truly trump all the fears, doubts, worries and complaints I let get in my way each and every day.

I’m grateful my family – immediate and extended – has never suffered a true tragedy. We often succumb to fear and trembling over imagined tragedies when the reality is that we have been tragedy free and have it pretty darn good.

I’m grateful I was laid off and given the opportunity to consider and pursue a career path that matters to me.

I’m grateful for Jim, who supports that career path even though it means far less money than the one I previously fell into. I'm grateful for Jim for countless other reasons, too.

I’m grateful my girls grew into such lovely, amazing, thoughtful, intelligent, empathetic women … something I never thought would happen while in the throes of the teen years.

I’m grateful for Bubby. And that I get to see him more often than some long-distance grandparents get to see their grandchildren. And that Megan and Preston happily share him with me -- a consideration not all grandparents are afforded.

I’m grateful Megan and Preston are doing the right thing by my grandchild -- another thing not afforded all grandparents.

I’m grateful for a twisted childhood because it twisted me into an unusual shape. It may be a weird shape, but it’s different. And different is good.

I’m grateful that Jim and I continue to have the money we need. Plus some. Plus lots, considering what many others have.

I’m grateful for those who read what I write, who act like the gunk and junk that flows from my head to my fingers and onto the page and screen is worth reading.

I’m grateful for the unexpected gratitude that filled me up, made me consider what matters, what’s important and what’s worth being grateful for.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Today's question:

What are you grateful for today?