I have so much for which to be grateful and it’s all too easy to let it languish in the background as the negative presses its relentless battle against the positive. So I’m taking a moment to celebrate. I’d also like to help dispel the myth that non-theists are somehow less grateful for the gifts of life than theists. Gratitude can still be mighty when the mysteries of existence remain unsolved. Certitude is not a prerequisite. The warm feeling in my heart says so.

I am grateful for the amount of love I have in my life. Not just the love itself, but the sheer weight of it. As my tiny balloon moves across the sky, this love is stabilizing ballast, holding me close to earth when strong winds threaten to propel me into the void. This love is an opportunity for me to reciprocate, to feel useful and strong. It fills me up to overflowing so I have more to share. In a world where so many people are constantly lonely, I am very lucky to have friends and family who love me and who let me love them. (Let us not forget that loneliness is not always the lack of love, but sometimes the lack of a place to put it.) If you have love, let me hear you say wooooo!

I am grateful that I have music in my life. For me, there is no more powerful connection to the essential joy of living. For others it may be math or forestry or power tools, but for me it’s listening and playing, listening and playing. Again I am lucky to have friends and family for whom music provides the same connection. We play together and I am convinced that the cosmos rejoices. There is nothing that makes me feel more like I belong exactly where I am. Everyone needs something like this. Something that makes all the not-so-niceness of the world go away for awhile. Something that gives you the strength to do the housework or the stupid money job because later there will be singing and laughing.

I am grateful that I sleep next to my husband every night. So many couples are separated by circumstances beyond their control. Whenever I see movies or read stories about couples who truly love each other, but can not be together, I can’t help but imagine what that would be like. And for me it would be absolute hell. My husband is my very best friend. We have a spectacular marriage (for which I am spectacularly grateful). The few times we have been separated for more than a day made me feel like I was missing a leg. I kept hobbling around, pretending to live my life, but it felt unreal somehow, like the ocean heard through a straw. I tell him every day how happy I am that he is there, within arms reach, generating constant joy.

Fortunately for me, I have tons more for which to be grateful, so there will be more of this in the future.

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