A sense of gratitude

Dear friends,

Have you noticed that I started using this salutation last year, for some (maybe many) posts? It is supposed to make my blog seem like a less formal place for writing, to take the pressure off, to make me feel like I’m composing a letter (which I still do, sometimes, with pen and paper) instead of an essay. The net effect should be that I write more prolifically. It hasn’t worked very well, but I still enjoy—and need the outlet of—writing, so I will keep coming back here.

Today’s post is about embracing the good. By and large, I’m not a complainer. Even as a kid I held the notion that negative attitudes are a drain on a person’s energy and a drag for everybody around. I complain about the complainers! But lately I have shamefully expressed some gripes about my own life. The list is short: (1) I am single again. (2) My belly fat is unattractive and makes my clothes too tight.

Right away, you’ll see that the brevity of this list indicates that my life is pretty f*cking good. And if that’s what you’re thinking, I heartily agree with you. Here’s why.

1. Although Fred’s and my relationship didn’t go the distance, it was sublime while it lasted. I loved him more than I’ve loved anyone else, and the space he occupies in my heart now is wholly surrounded with love. He would say the same about me. For this, I am grateful.

2. In my attempts to deal with the breakup, I’ve once again rediscovered my love of cycling. I recently went an entire week without using my car. This is largely possible because of a bike fitting I had last month, in which a physical therapist surmised the cause of my bothersome IT band pain, and made some adjustments that have let me once again take long rides comfortably. In ramping up my mileage, I’m seeing how quickly my fitness level can be improved. Raise a glass to being young and healthy!

3. I enjoy running for exercise. Many people seem to hate it, even those who do it religiously.

4. My two cats are good-natured and adorably fluffy. Let’s overlook the fact that one of them sunk his claws into my face the other day while, ironically, I was trying to trim the nails on his opposite paw.

5. My friends in Portland, and even my acquaintances, are amazing. They will step up to support me at every opportunity. They’re also fascinatingly intelligent and eclectic, which means that we can have silly fun and good conversation.

6. I am an auntie to two little girls, whom I love more than anything in the world. Every trip to Sacramento is another chance to hold the baby and play with the four-year-old. This makes me deeply happy.

7. I’ve not yet been priced out of the Richmond neighborhood. Restaurants and other businesses are popping up like daisies around my apartment.

8. I live in Portland, Oregon, yo!

9. My life is comfortable.

10. So is my bed.

11. My parents are healthy. I don’t know what I would do without them.

And many, many other things.

Love,

Kristen

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