Friday, February 27, 2015

Lessons in Gratitude

There are times in our life when, simply put, we take things for granted. We whisk through our days taking advantage of fresh water, heat, air, clean sheets...We rarely imagine a life without coffee, television, cell phones...We become content. Selfish. Indestructible in a way...
Living in this small cabin for almost two years has taught me so many lessons. Lessons I never even knew I learned. But then today I started thinking about all the things I took for granted when I had a big to waste.
This is a list I made today as I started reflecting upon Things I Will Never Do Again ( when I get my new house).
1. I will never sit on the couch and eat a meal. 
How elegant and proper it will feel to sit at the dining room table with nice dishes and not juggle a steak knife and water glass...all the while, pushing aside a stack of magazines, a begging dog, and a mound of coats.
2. I will never have a dirty fridge again
Sadly, it's been okay to have wilted lettuce, soggy carrots and some unknown casserole hiding in my refrigerator. It's been okay because it's too much trouble, and frankly, I just don't care right now. I will embrace my new fridge. I will love it and clean it and not fill it with unneeded condiments, leftover fish and expired milk. Never. Ever.
3. I will remove my shoes before entering
Since all the cabin flooring is laminate, it's very forgiving to muddy boots, sandy flip flops, firewood crumbs and dog prints. I've shamefully developed a habit of not even wiping my feet when it's obviously called for. In my new house, there will be no shoes, no firewood, and definitely no ungroomed doggies.
4. I will open my curtains daily
In the cabin we've learned to conserve heat and air by closing the curtains. Most times, except a few months in spring and fall, it's almost claustrophobic in here. I'm feeling mole-ish. When I get my new house, it will be mandatory to open all drapes, blinds and curtains first thing every morning. And let 
the sunshine in! Plus, there's a added treat of beautiful, blessed scenery...
5. I will have clean, organized closets
No more piles, baskets, bags or suitcases stuffed with clothes. They will be hung on good hangers, color coded and all turned the same direction. There will be shoes in pairs. (Not one under the TV and one under the bed...)I will have a place for everything and everything in its place.
6. I will have no junk mail
No car dealer flyers, credit card offers or satellite provider ads will ever grace my clean desk area. I will never again sort through grocery sacks and shoe boxes for receipts, important papers and that forgotten address. I will have files. Pretty ones. And scotch tape, paper clips, batteries and pens- all tucked away sweetly, ready to be utilized.
7. I will not wear pajamas all day
Immediately after breakfast, I will shower, fix my hair, and dress in real clothes. No wearing pajamas all day, or unattractive man clothes that make consuming a whole cheesecake practically unnoticeable. I will have a pair of wonderful slippers, body lotion and a new and improved attitude.
8. I will never save things for another day
I will enjoy my "stuff" on a daily basis. I won't pack away my keepsakes, yard sale treasures or special photographs. I will burn my candles, cut flowers from my garden to make bouquets, waste  bubblebath and decorate the way I want -and not how magazines, TV shows and popular opinion dictate. I will surround myself with the things I love. Having them stored away for two years has made me appreciate them more.
9. I will never have another Christmas without a tree 
Having a Christmas tree has always been a "given". Two seasons without one has made me realize how important this is to me. Aesthetically as well as spiritually.
10. I will never take my husband for granted
Seriously. I have watched this man battle tree stumps, wasps, 100 degree heat and below zero temps...too-short ladders, too-long days, and a squirrelly wife. He's splintered fingers, calloused his hands, bent his back and bruised his knees. I've heard him curse, calculate and, hey, sometimes even chuckle...and yet, when he's covered in sawdust, blue in the face and sporting bloody knuckles, he still finds a moment to smile and say, " I'm building you your house, Honey."

Maybe it's not a new house you are waiting for...
But no matter- don't take anything for granted. Consider those fresh tulips in a vase on your counter, shine those dishes like they were heirlooms, kiss your loved ones, love your "stuff" ...and be your best you. 
For I have learned slowly, bitter sweetly, but just in time-
Gratitude is a daily privilege.


  1. Its a BIG no on #7! LOL I cant wait to visit your new home this summer. You have been a real know me, Im not so sure I would have remained calm

  2. " I'm building you your house, Honey." What a wonderful treasure that comment to you is. I can tell by your reflection on your past 2 years that your life will be filled with wonder and adventures. Hugs to you my dear friend. Gail