I dedicate this post to my ex-husbands.
Yes, really. You’ll read why in a minute or two.
When I began to collect all the entries in my gratitude journal for 2021 I knew that there would be many things repeated from day to day. It would be natural to have many repetitions. My friends and family, of course. My health. My job. And even just a few weeks into the year I knew coffee would be a frequent entry, but I did not expect it to be the number one entry. ☕
There’s a good explanation for this, of course. At least 90% of the time, I was drinking coffee, or waiting for my coffee to cool down a bit, while I was writing my entries each morning. Because I had tasked myself with coming up with not three, not five, but TEN things each day, often times coffee made the list simply because it was in my line of vision, or in my hand, and I needed to fill a slot. But if you take into account the fact that I only started drinking coffee about eleven years ago, the fact that it’s such a habitual occurrence in my daily life is a little surprising to me. When I started living on my own last summer I wondered whether that routine would go by the wayside because I wasn’t drinking coffee with my husband or because he wasn’t making it each morning.
But no, it’s one of the things that survived, at least so far. So I would like to thank him for coaxing me, or persuading me, into trying coffee. I believe my very first cup was from Hyperion Espresso, maybe a latte or cappuccino, and then after that black coffee. This is still how I drink my coffee. Would I be better off if I had never acquired that habit? That’s debatable. I would have one less gadget in my kitchen, but I would probably be drinking a lot more soda.
Just like everything else in life, there are upsides and downsides. And while I do have him to “thank” for many of the downsides in my life over the last year, I also recognize that he is also responsible for or was a part of many of the best times of my life. Because of him I met three young people (and their significant others and their children) who will hopefully be a part of my world for the rest of my life. He also nurtured and encouraged my creative spirit. And while I don’t like the way it happened or how that made me feel during the darkest days, our divorce pushed me out of my comfort zone and brought me here. So while he may not appear by name in this word cloud, he is indirectly or directly responsible for many of the things that are.
And my first husband? Well I have him to thank for two of the other big entries on my list: my children. They’re the reason I’m here. They got me through the worst of the bad days. They’ve made me laugh, and they’ve certainly made me cry over the years, but I can’t imagine my life without them. I’m proud of the amazing human beings that they are, and I feel blessed knowing that they want me in their lives.
My ex-husbands are a huge factor in who I am right now. I learned a lot from each of them, in some cases because of them and in others in spite of them. I learned about love and heartbreak. I learned about sex, compatibility, communication, forgiveness, empathy, honesty, financial management, how to make a martini, and even how to drive a car.
If you look at the rest of things I’m thankful for you’ll notice many of the things I’ve written about over the last year. They’ve been recurring themes in this blog since the beginning: music, art, warm weather, yoga, dance, nature. You might also notice things like warm socks and blankets. I’m sure those are from the winter months. ❄️🙂
Within that word cloud you might spy the names of a few other people I am grateful for. My dearest and oldest friends have been my rock this last year. I’ve reconnected with other college friends that I chat with pretty regularly now. I’ve made some new friends, including those I’ve been spending time with in person recently. They’re helping me learn even more about myself and what I’m capable of. Sometimes I can’t tell who’s more surprised by what I’m learning: them or me.
Right now I’m also thankful for science, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and Dolly Parton. I got the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine today and feel more confident now about going out into the world, whether it’s my everyday world within the small perimeter I spend most of my time in, or everything that lies outside that circle, waiting for me to explore. 🗺️
Edit: I realized two days later that I should have included the latest “bloom” in this post. I think it fits in perfectly with a gratitude state of mind.