26 April 2012

Things of Beauty in this World

Tonight I am feeling rather drowsy and not quite motivated to write, so I thought I would take some time to offer up my appreciation for things that bring me joy. A little focus on gratitude will set me up nicely to drift into peaceful sleep.

Here is the Baker's Dozen-length list of Things that I am Grateful for This Evening:

* Family - Had a really nice dinner with my mom and daughter...good conversation with two of my favorite girls. I always feel better after time spent with them...and any other family member, for that matter. I feel incredibly fortunate to have all of the people who populate my immediate and extended family in my life.
* My husband - Technically, he is in the family category, too, but I think he merits his own line. He often goes the extra mile to remind me that I am loved completely and without conditions. I'm blessed to have such an awesome partner.
* Rain - From sprinkly showers to pounding downpours, I love it in all of its forms. I love, too, that I can snuggle under a blanket and watch it just wash down through the streetlight beams after dark.
* Giggling - Abby and I did our fair share of this again this evening. She has begun to cultivate a giggle snort to emulate me when I really get going. I'm touched to know that she finds such a silly thing to be endearing.
* My faith - I think it has grown more in the past year. I think I, too, have grown into it more. I have enjoyed many conversations recently that have happened because I have opened myself to more faith exploration.
* Music - I need to turn some on. I have been sitting here with just the soundtrack of the fishtank filter keeping me company for the past hour...oh, and fingers-tapping-on-keys. My favorites for writing time: Yo Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Mumford and Sons, and David Byrne.
* Words - I love to play around with them and make up my own. And I won't give it much space here, but there is one thing I read about words that disturbed me today. It's shared on my Facebook page. You can head over there to read about it. I may address it in a future post, but this one is to be mostly on the positive side.
* Chocolate - I love the stuff...by itself and mixed with many other things. My most recent chocolate fix came from having popcorn with M & Ms the other night. Mmmmm...
* Coffee - It's rare that you'll find me without a cup of coffee in hand. I'm trying to incorporate more conscientious choices into my coffee buying habits. The new coffee place in town started selling organic, fair trade coffee. I was very happy about that and hope they start working in shade-grown varieties, too.
* Books - So many...so little time. Right now, light reading is on my mind. I have mostly been on a murder-mysery kick, a la James Patterson. I need to branch out into some other light reads. I will have brain power for the heavier, thougtier (see, I told you I like to make up words) stuff in the summertime.
* Houseplants - I may not know their names, but I love them anyway. I have this lovely one on top of my bookshelf that has runners that just hang long and lush and full of leaves. I love green-ness.
* Recipes - I have a slight fixation with recipe reading. Not sure what it is about recipes, but I just love to pore over them and dream of the food they will become. Food ought to have made the list. It is one of the things I love to distraction (really, some days I just sort of exist and dream between meals about what I will be munching on next...).
* My job - I am grateful to have one...even on the less tolerable days. I have the good fortune of being a teacher. I get to spend my days talking to and challenging children to take a look at the world through a different lens. I like to coax them into unfamiliar ways of thinking and to look at familiar things from another perspective. I also have the privilege of working with some great people with excellent ideas. I love the challenge that they offer me as a professional to constantly grow and change and make my instructional practices and decisions all about what's good for kids.

What makes you happy? What in your life could you include on your own gratitude list? This was a fun exercise that I will likely repeat again. For now, though, this is about all I can muster. The eyelids are heavy--I think I need to surrender to sleep.

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