Gratitude

I confess: I’m a bit cynical at times. I’m sure that comes as a shock.

But I’ve been feeling pretty low lately–a sort of low-grade, general malaise that I can’t seem to shake off. And *that* isn’t normal for me. So, I keep looking at that, and wondering why–why I feel this way, and why this feeling doesn’t seem to pass.

I feel like I’ve stepped off the world, somehow. And it keeps doing its spinny thing, but I’m not in sync with it. Or I feel like the music stopped, and everybody grabbed a chair, and I’m just standing here, feeling bewildered and left out (of what precisely, I’m not exactly sure).

Recently, I was telling a friend that part of the problem is I don’t want anything. I don’t want material things. I don’t really want to be in the city where I am, but I can’t think of anywhere else that would be better, either. I would like to be traveling, but I don’t want to go anywhere specific. (For someone who always, always has the next trip on the horizon, this is truly unsettling.)

Every morning when I wake up, I wonder WTF is wrong with me, anyway? (Please don’t answer that, I’m feeling a little delicate, if you hadn’t already noticed.)

So, clearly, it is time to take stock. Pause and have a look around this cobwebby attic and figure out where the broom is going to do the most good.

And I have no answers right now, but I have found a lot of things to be grateful for, even if nothing…not one goddamned thing (except my lovely, pointy little dog-beast) is “perfect.” Some days, if it weren’t for her, I would probably stay in bed. But I look around and I can’t actually complain, either.

I have brilliant, beautiful, intelligent friends…people who I am not only grateful for, but who are truly some of the most fucking awesome people walking planet Earth at this moment (this is *not* subjective, by the way).

I have a job that I actually like, unexpectedly, that not only pays the bills, but gives me an extraordinary amount of freedom and flexibility. And is the last place I expected to find this, and is the only place I can actually see myself working and maintaining at least partial sanity.

I see beauty everywhere I go. There is so much–Golden Gate fog across the early-risen moon, the American River flowing serenely past its human-made prison of levees, a valley oak nestled in the nook of a rolling hillside. A squirrel burying its winter provisions in a concealed corner of my yard. A yoga inversion that makes the blood rush to my head. A glass of bordeaux with a charming man who sometimes makes me feel like a complete moron. (Perhaps that could be the title of my autobiography someday: Diary of a Complete Moron.)

I walk down smooth sidewalks, to a temperature-controlled building, transported there in the luxury of my own vehicle (also climate-controlled), listening to NPR or anything else I might choose, on well-paved roads, in a city with a high quality of life. I shop at stores where I can afford what is on the shelves (note: I am not in like, say, a Coach store or Tiffany’s, here, people).

Honestly, there is no fucking excuse for malaise, now, is there? And I can’t shake it.

But even so, I’m looking around, doing the doggy paddle. Head above water. Happy to be breathing air rather than water, I suppose.

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