gratitude-a-thon day 2042: gratitude, the money shot

As Mark Knopfler wrote and Mary Chapin Carpenter sings, “Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug.” Just 10 weeks ago my husband had shoulder replacement surgery (a casualty of the obnoxious auto immune arthritis he has that works investment banker hours). That major surgery was a snap. No pain, and better range of motion after a few days than the he’d had in several years. Parade!

This past Tuesday, he had what seemed like a simple ankle surgery to remove a painful bone spur that would put him in a walking boot for three weeks. Easy peasy, we just aced the shoulder, we had no qualms about this routine procedure that would help him hit the pavement without pain. But unfortunately it was more extensive, with multiple bone spurs and a ligament repair, and now he’s in a non-weight-bearing boot for six weeks, which is then a walking boot for another four. Um, not the day at the beach we were expecting after the long Y E A R of Covid seclusion we all experienced.

You gotta play the Scrabble tiles you get……

BUT we have a spiffy new stand-up recliner, a bed in the living room and a super fun knee scooter as consolation, not to mention one of those toilet seats that raises the seat higher and makes you feel like you’re peeing into the Grand Canyon……Canyon……Canyon.

The poor guy can’t use stairs, and guess where the shower is? And while our yard is blooming with about 100,000 hydrangeas (not really, but sort of), he cannot even get down the few steps to sit and enjoy them. He is pretty much a prisoner to the first floor.

Oh yeah, and the day we came home from the surgery, we found our dishwasher didn’t work (the repair guy came and it’s still not working…..) and there was a leak in our daughter’s bathroom! It’s true what they say, when it rains, it fucking pours (I might have added the “fucking” part).

Of course we will get through this. Of course there are worse things that could happen, but damn. Not surprisingly, Mr. Positivity’s spirits are good and he is wondering if I would mind getting a sexy nurse costume. I mean, he’s bored, and certainly not thrilled, but he’s feeling better than I am. My mood has plummeted, as much because of our homebound status, as because of my mind wondering which body part this high-achieving arthritis will come for next…

And this is why gratitude is so important. Because of unexpected, super shitty events like this. Because unless we’re aware of what we have, of the good things in our midst, we will sink to the bottom of the ocean, faster than one of Tony Soprano’s enemies. Gratitude is what will get me through the caretaking and the dish washing and the constant dog walking (oh yeah, did I mention the dog is kind of not doing too well either…..). Gratitude is what will lift me back up. So, today I’m grateful for gratitude itself. (And my bed, cuz sweet baby Jesus, I’m tired.)

gratitude round up: day 2041

A gratitude round up of a few of the things I’m thanking my lucky stars for right now:

The one thing that’s been positive about the pandemic is that I’ve been able to spend an unprecedented amount of time with my kids. At 23 and 26, this forced family fun time has been a matter of safety, sure, but there have been a bunch of laughs in there, too, and I know that we’d never get to spend this time with them if it weren’t for a killer virus roaming the earth. By the way, they may not share these sentiments!

Even in the rain, going to the Cape last weekend was great. It’s funny how staying in the house for a year will alter your sense of fun! Yup, it poured, like, build an ark kind of rain, but it didn’t dampen our spirits. And while we were told there’d be no fireworks, there were, and they felt extra amazing this year. And yes, the beach is my idea of a big fat slice of pie with whip cream, but it was really seeing my cousins who I hadn’t seen since you-know-what began that made this fourth of July sizzle.

This is my husband’s plate because I started wolfing down my 4rth of July meal before I could even take a pic. NOTE: I DO NOT EAT KETCHUP ON MY HOTDOGS. BLASPHEMY.

One of the fabulous fireworks. You gotta love that reflection.

My dog is not doing well. He is 13 and his joints are shot and he can’t climb the stairs and walking on the hard wood floor is like a slip and slide for him. He doesn’t always get up and greet us anymore when we come into the room, and he is sleeping a lot. But he is still wagging his tail and going for walks and eating and peeing and pooping, so we are just babying him and loving him as much as we can. This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and I know that the hardest thing is ahead. So, I am trying to be grateful for every good moment we still have together and for all those that came before. It’s a privilege to have had Riley in my life……

I’m pretty sure I ate a half of a whole watermelon yesterday. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. BUT IT’S SO GOOD. What’s more refreshing on a steamy hot, humid-like-you’re-in-a-fucking-sauna thing to do than stuff your insides with the sweet and crunchy coolness of watermelon. Nothing. Not one thing.

Yesterday, while walking around the reservoir and sweating half my body weight with every step (a lovely sight) , I saw the cutest thing in the whole freaking world. a major gaggle of geese had crossed the street and were now on their way back to the water. Traffic stopped as the last few joined the rest of the gang. There must have been 70 of them. It reminded me to care for your people no matter what.

What are you grateful for these days? I’m really interested. Oh, and have a grateful day, you know, one where you focus on all you’ve got going that’s really good and not that pile of crap that feels blah.