5 Days of Gratitude Challenge – Day 5

Last day! Hooray!

  1. My orthotics and the ability to walk. This morning I had an interview in the DUMBO part of Brooklyn (lots of walking and train taking) and honestly, every time I’m out and about I’m so thankful for having orthotics and legs to carry myself with. About a year ago, I had tremendous pain in my ankles. I could barely stand, nevermind walk. I was very worried about it. I went to physical therapy for months and though my condition improved, the problem didn’t go away. My chiropractor recommended I see a podiatrist and it was he who discovered (after an x-ray) that I have something called an Osteochondral Lesion in both my ankles. This basically means that I have two small fractures (about 8 mm long, each) in the cartilage of both my ankles. I immediately thought I would need surgery, but luckily we were able to fix the problem by my podiatrist making me custom orthotics that now properly support my foot and ankle. I’m not supposed to walk barefoot often and must always wear shoes with proper support (even sandals. No flip-flops!). But it’s a small price to pay to be pain free and walk with ease 🙂
  2. I’m also very grateful for all the friends I have these days. Though the numbers may have dwindled over the years, I now find myself more confident and at ease with the people I now stay in touch with because I know they truly care about me, and I care about them too – very much. There are 5 I can immediately call to mind who are wonderful people to have conversation with, have a coffee or a drink with, and laugh and be silly with but still trust enough to confide in each other. I treasure them immensely.
  3. Lastly, I am grateful and appreciative of my ability to write music and play guitar. There are many days where words are not enough, and music has to come in and do the talking. I’ve always been indebted to my rich musical upbringing since I was a kid because it has taught me so much over time. Not only is it cathartic, but it can be so much fun sometimes. Some days I feel as though I’d be nothing without it.

5 Days of Gratitude Challenge – Day 4

  1. I can’t complete this challenge without mentioning music. But to be completely honest, I have responded to this question so many times for essays, scholarships, classes, etc. It’s kind of become rote at this point. I think the reason why Elvis Costello said, “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” is because it absolutely is. How do you describe the transcendent? You don’t, you can’t. Heinrich Zimmer famously said, “the best things can’t be told”. If you are a human being who is still alive and are reading this, you probably have many songs which have generated an emotional response for whatever reason; That’s made you feel electric and supernatural. So you know what I’m talking about. Music is the great connector and communicator, and it’s beautiful in that it is what it is.
  2. My sight. Granted, over the years it always seems to decline more and more, but I am so thankful I have it. The other night I was out playing an open mic a blind man came in to experience the show. It was very eye-opening (pun not intended) to witness. I found myself trying to put myself in this man’s shoes: Where did he live? How did he get here? How did he dress himself this morning? What did he eat for breakfast? How did he make it? At the venue, he ordered a tea or coffee and the waitress brought it over to him and had to show him where the table was to set it down on by bringing his hand down to it. He sat turned away from the stage and just intently listened. I found myself wondering how he would pay for his drink, how he would get home…Was he walking, heard the music, and walked towards it and that’s how he found this place? I found it difficult to put myself in his shoes because I couldn’t imagine not relying on my eyes to get me around and do things and go places.
  3. The sun. Sometimes sunshines just feels so good on your skin. I’m not a fan of tanning or anything, but sometimes it’s nice to go outside and just feel that warmth – even if it’s only for a short while. It might swallow our planet whole one day, but for now I’m okay with it 🙂

5 Days of Gratitude Challenge – Day 3

  1. Cool breezes. I love fall and cool breezes with no humidity. Maybe it’s because October’s my birth month, maybe it’s because my hands sweat less or something. It’s always reminded me of freedom or falling in love. When you smell autumn air, all your worries seem to fall away. It’s definitely one of the many reasons why I’m looking forward to the summer ending.
  2. I could probably go on ad infinitum about Joseph Campbell. But I will always be grateful for all that he contributed to the world and the literary community. I also find myself quite proud of the fact that he is American. I don’t get too patriotic often, but with Joseph Campbell I do. He makes me proud to come from this country. His mind was one of a kind, and he realized so many common threads within myth, folklore, religion, and psychology and how it applies to us as human beings and why it’s important. His work, reading his books, listening to his lectures, and watching his interviews as given me an abundant set of tools of how to live in the world as a human being, and I will always be thankful for his existence.
  3. Clean water. I know I’m lucky to live where I do, and it’s one of the reasons why I don’t complain about it as often as some. There are parts of the world where if water is not scarce, it is hard to find clean. As a citizen of the Northeast United States, I have access to clean water to drink, bathe, and wash dishes. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you hear about tainted water from leaked chemicals in West Virginia or know how often people get sick and die from water-breeding diseases in foreign countries, namely India and Africa, you realize how good you have it after all. Sometimes it’s the little things we take for granted. I’d hate to think we wouldn’t know what we have until it’s gone.

5 Days of Gratitude Challenge – Day 2

Forgot to post yesterday, so I’m playing a little bit of catch up:

  1. SLEEP. Sleep is a marvelous thing – a chance to recharge your batteries and wake up the next day energized and refreshed. What a blessing. A good night’s rest can make everything 100% better the next day. I’m a firm believer in getting a good night’s rest and would never trade it for the world! I slept wonderfully last night, and now I feel I can take on the day with joy and confidence. Never underestimate sleep. If there’s anything I’ve learned in 23 years, it’s that sleep is your friend 🙂
  2. My brother. I have a younger brother whom I adore. He’s 15, and he really is my best friend. He’s taught me so much about football, being a good big sister, and makes me laugh like no other. There definitely wouldn’t be as much incessant laughter and joking in my life if it weren’t for him. We giggle about everything. I don’t know where I’d be without him. He’s super talented in many ways (writing, trombone, conversing about big ideas) and loves news and sports. He really is the best.
  3. Somewhat relatedly, FOOTBALL. American football, that is. This is the first year I’ve started my own Fantasy Team and I’m so excited! And I know today is game day, so I will have to wrap this up rather quickly. A few years ago my brother taught me how to play Madden and from there I learned the rules of the game and fell in love with the sport. Although it is a new love of mine, I hope to enjoy it for many years to come.

Do you have a Fantasy Team? If so, who’s on it? Let’s talk stats, people!