Where am I? Somewhere above Arizona or New Mexico, I think. I’m flying east to Raleigh on board an American Airlines jet that should’ve taken off a few hours ago except there was this teensy wire that came undone and the pilot thought it might be a good idea to reattach it. I concur. And I am thankful they found it. . Before boarding this flight I moved into a short line, thanks to my priority boarding status. Frequent flying has its perks, that is except when some one who doesn’t have the same “perks” calls you a “cheater”. That happened to me today, a woman directed her ire at me, because she didn’t want anyone cutting in front of her in line to board. She was pissed. And I got to be in her line of fire. Actually ahead of her, but who’s picky? It wasn’t pleasant but, given my “don’t sweat the small shit” attitude I merely smiled and put my attention elsewhere. Only I’m thinking about her now, so obviously my attention has been shifted back to the fire-spitting lady for a reason, though it has not caused me to sweat a drop. Instead I am using this little event to remind me of how thankful I am for both the exceptional and the mundane events in my life.
Today for example I am thankful I woke up and in time to have a shower, get dressed, hug and kiss my dogs, remember all the stuff I intended on packing and getting it all out onto the street in time for the shuttle to take me to the airport. I am also immensely thankful for the fellow travelers in the bus, for their being pleasant, the driver capable, the traffic ultra light, security a breeze, except I had to remove my shoes because they have boingy springs in the heels (the bounce in my step is accelerated ever so lightly), and that the pilot found the problem before we were up in the air. More thanks to my seat mates who are snoozing or watching Stallone and De Niro in the Grudge Match. I am thankful the expletive spewing woman is seated rows back and not in my line of sight, the toilet facilities are available when I’ve got the urge and that the ride is smooth and easy, thus eliminating any need for the barf bag. Even though I could go on, ad nauseum.
That is enough of my list of thanks, one might think I’m on stage at the Oscars (hey it might happen someday) and we all may require those little bags I just mentioned. Or a shovel? My inner cynic often jumps in to quell my hyper-gratitude, but she is easily convinced that the alternative she suggests is much worse in the long run.
Getting irritated at my outer world is a downward slope on which to hitch a ride and lacks the fun. The powerlessness of grief can make the most sane person a nutter, quickly. I know, I’ve been there. Which is why I’ve daily been doing the laundry list of things for which I am thankful.
Funny enough, my thanks (and meditation) have lowered my blood pressure , slowed the incessant crying and woe is me-ing I managed to do for a year and a half while processing the departure of my beloved Max and my renewed independence and heightened creativity. One might not think the latter two could cause inner turmoil yet there is no question about the former…grief sucks.
There is a method to My Thank You Madness. My gratitude has made me live more gracefully, embrace the changes as if they were my friends rather than enemies and know that wanting things to be as they were ain’t never gonna happen, to say nothing about f’g frustrating and a miserable way to live.
I realize now that every time I get cut off by someone on the freeway or in a line at the store that they may have their own sort of “priority pass” of which I am unaware. I’ll just remind myself how thankful I am and keep on with my sense of abundance and gratitude so I won’t sweat the small stuff and get on with my life.