These are not complaints, on the contrary, I have never been so grateful.
I shall be thankful for those things that are often overlooked;
blessings in disguise.
It is warmer inside than outside.
I will admit I never really appreciated this as much as I do now.
Bundled and huddled beneath layer upon layer,
contemplating how happy I am for every degree difference there is between both sides of the window pane.
Space heaters and hot water bottles are treasures to be sure.
As is having to wear two pairs of socks; because I have two to wear and more in the drawer.
My joints ache but my heart aches more.
I am more fortunate than 1.6 billion others.
I have a roof over my head that does not leak and walls that keep out the wind. I have electricity and running water.
I revel in the fact I can have a warm shower; do you know how luxurious that is?
I delight in every warm drop that pricks against my skin,
and try to catch them in a bucket to reuse before they escape down the drain.
I don’t want to waste a single drop.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated my flush toilet but I cannot justify using drinking water to flush when people in the world are thirsty.
The stained porcelain is a reminder, like a badge of honour, for flushing with grey water and for not using harsh chemicals.
I am grateful for indoor plumbing that guards my health and offers me the chance to make greywater. It means I have water so clean I can use it again.
And here I am embarrassed when company comes over. They must think I never scrub the toilet. Who cares. The fish appreciate my efforts.
I have food in the pantry and in the fridge.
Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.
Sometimes I run out of milk but I have never run out of food.
Sometimes I have to be patient to get groceries,
But I have never looked at bare shelves or gone to bed hungry.
I will admit there have been times I forgot to be grateful.
I went to the dollar store to buy food the other day and as my ten dollar bill slipped into the cash register I was overwhelmed by this weird feeling in my gut.
There was this sense of desperation as I had carefully chosen my purchases, picking up each one off the shelf and considering if I really needed them, if I could justify them or if it was just a want.
I had never thought I would feel that way again. The feeling when you pinch pennies so tightly they leave a mark.
The moments of sacrifice because I do not know when there might not be enough so I squirrel away small morsels and monies just incase.
Oh how that feeling burned inside of me.
But even that was a blessing.
I realize the ten dollars I spent was riches many will not ever experience and I am humbled by my arrogance.
Why did I believe I deserved more?
Jealousy did not look pretty on me.
Blurring the lines between needs and wants would not make me happy.
One more item in the basket would not satiate.
I have enough. It might not be everything I would like but I have enough.
I have embraced bartered items; because to barter means I have excess to share.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do has become my motto.
My needle is perpetually threaded.
I have been bicycling for almost six months now and the seasons have changed.
I find each trek a challenge rather than a hindrance.
I can ride into the wind and know that I will get there. That pedaling harder will make a difference; that I am making a difference.
I doubt I would have been car free this long if it weren’t for my circumstances but what great gift to be able to ride everywhere.
I have the ability to get from here to there and this is a gift.
And finally I am grateful that you rejected me, because of you I found those who gave me their love.
When I felt my lowest and least worthy they wanted nothing but my presence in return.
I was broken and people carefully picked up my pieces and cared for me. That is unconditional love.
You inspired me to be a better version of myself and to give myself selflessly.
I hope one day I will feel like I have earned this life I was given.
Tonight my dog curls up next to me and I do not know how many more days I can enjoy these moments with her, but I am grateful that I have made these memories. Each one is precious.
I would not change anything about my life.
My experiences make me who I am.
This is the lesson.
This is my giving of thanks.