Two years ago this month, possessed by Stan and full of semi-fictions, I watched Pollyanna for the first time since I was a kid. And do you know what? It changed me. Maybe just for a bit. Or maybe forever. Or maybe not at all. Maybe it was just something convenient on which to hang a timely spurt of positive thinking. Well, I’m having another spurt, and this time I’m hanging it on January 31st.
So. My sister has a friend who is blind in one eye as the result of a stroke. The same lady also has fibromyalgia, an irregular heartbeat and to cap it all, a couple of weeks ago, she died. Thankfully, she was brought back to life, but still. The same lady’s husband, incidentally, who has also had a stroke, and is also blind in one eye, is also diabetic. As my sister was telling me about all of this yesterday afternoon, I experienced a palpable wave of gratitude. At first I feared that I too was having a stroke. But it was gratitude. And it got me thinking, and it got me counting my blessings. So I thought I might count them in public.
- I’m glad I have my health. Well, relatively. I do have chronic back problems, receding gums, athlete’s foot, haemorrhoids, ear wax and acute hypochondria. But nothing debilitating. And I’m hopefully borrowing a bicycle while I’m up here, so, if I put my mind to it, I can be Zeus by Christmas.
- I’m glad I never have to go back to Sunderland ever again. This is my first extended visit to see my mum since she moved to Mansfield from Sunderland in July, and I have to say, I like it here. The people here seem far less embittered, aggressive, miserable and hopeless. But maybe that’s just me. No, I don’t think it is. Not entirely. Sunderland is short-tempered, and the young people in the street are invariably mean. I don’t think that’s true down here. And the accents are much sweeter. Also – and this definitely helps – old ladies keep calling me ‘duck’.
- Speaking of Mansfield, I’m glad yesterday was a beautiful day and I went with my mum and sister to a place called Vicar Water.
- And I’m glad that someone chose build a sculpture of a giant golden hand coming out of the earth. Look at it!
- I’m glad I was able to get closer too…
You know, I reckon this is one of the most wonderful sculptures I’ve ever seen…
- I’m glad I’m getting closer to my family.
- I’m glad that my incontinence remains for now an amusing exaggeration.
- (I’m glad that it amuses me at least.)
- I’m glad I booked a place on a Buddhist retreat at the end of the month.
- Now – there’s no way of saying this without teasing a smirk and eye-roll from the more cynical amongst you, so I’ll just come out and say it: I’m glad I’ve found God.
OK, I haven’t really found God. I’m sorry. I misled you. But the truth is that lots of things in my life are pointing me inside at the moment. So I intend to put some work in on my inner life. Man. And it’s not just because I’m reading Eat Pray Love, I promise.
- I’m glad I have a plan B and know that whatever happens, I’m leaving the country on January 31st, 2011. (Unless death or impending death steps up to prove me wrong.)
- I’m glad I have a plan A that I’m going to tell you about tomorrow.
- Also, I’m really glad I don’t have to leave the house today. It’s miserable out there.
What about you? What are you glad about?