Thankfulness has been on my mind a lot lately, and not just because it's Thanksgiving season. Last fall and winter, I did a Bible study on the armor of God, and thanksgiving popped up there because it's pretty much the prerequisite to peace. If shoes are the peace in the suit of armor, the soles might be made of gratitude.
I'm thankful for all the usual (but not-to-be-taken-for-granted) things: my faith, my family, a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear. This list alone represents an embarrassment of riches I need to remember to be grateful for every single day.
But lately, a few more obscure targets of my appreciation have come onto my radar. Namely...
1. Retractable vacuum cord. Watching my canister vacuum suck up the cord when I'm done using it thrills me every time I push the button. This either makes me really pathetic and in desperate need of an actual life or charmingly grateful for the little things.
2. Notes and reminder features on my cell phone. Longtime Guilty Chocoholic Mama friends, please don't hate me for this, but it's true: I have upgraded from my dumb phone. I promise: I haven't crossed over! It's just that I have teenagers who drive and are out past dark, and my old phone was not keeping me in adequate contact with these treasured people. Apart from the assurance of keeping up with my progeny, the things I love best about my upgraded phone are the "notes" and "reminder" features. Which are the new sticky notes in my life. I use them for mini grocery lists and texts I want to send later and blog post title ideas and (my personal favorite) Bible verses I'm either trying to memorize or just need to keep literally close at hand. (Psalm 5:3 is a current go-to.)
3. B&B Vanilla Bean Noel. Other than the fact that using this makes me want to eat my elbow, it's pretty much perfect.
4. That my 19-year-old still calls me "mommy" when she texts me. Except when she's mad at me. Which isn't very often. And is almost always justified.
5. Cherry Limeade Sparkling ICE. Vitamins, antioxidants, and puckery pick-me-up fizzyness with no calories. I'm pretty sure this is the most I could ask for from a beverage.
6. Toilet paper. I've often said I would have made an awesome pioneer woman on account of their limited wardrobe choices (fewer decisions to make) and limited social lives (see: introvert homebody). But I do greatly appreciate the modern convenience of toilet paper versus whatever they had to use. Which is probably enough said on that topic.
7. The load-size sensor on my washing machine. Several months ago, my old washing machine died after a mere 23 years of service. (It had been a wedding gift from my in-laws, so my husband and I felt rather smug that our marriage had outlasted our appliances.) I went looking for a new one that would wash my clothes; I did not need it to interpret the mood of my apparel or otherwise promise to change my life. I ended up with a agitator-free, front loader which, as it turns out, almost has changed my life. In keeping with the title of this post, I'm oddly grateful for the happy little song it plays when I turn on the power; I think the title is, "Now We're Going To Do Laundry...Won't This Be Fun?" But what I love the most is that I can throw in a load of whatever, close the door, and push start without having to decide if this is a small load...or a medium-ish load but with bulky stuff that could push it into large-load territory...or a small large load. No, I just get the thing going and leave the room while the machine takes its contents for a test spin to figure out how much water it needs to do the job. And then at the end, it chirps to tell me it's done, but only in a non-aggressive, "I know you'll probably ignore this until tomorrow morning which is why there's a 'rinse and spin' option, too" kind of way.
8. The online book request option at our local library. I'm standing in the kitchen. I suddenly think of a book I should read or need to read or want to read. I pop around the corner to my computer desk, log into my account at our local library's website, search for the book, request to have it sent to the branch closest to our house, and wait for a call telling me it's in. Really, a lot more of life needs to be this easy.
9. Electric pencil sharpener. Sometimes, it's the littlest things that wreak the biggest havoc on your emotional stability. Dull pencils are one of those little things for me. I want mechanical pencils to solve this problem, but they come with their own issues. So a few years ago, I broke down and bought an electric pencil sharpener for our home. I really don't think I can adequately describe the calming effect sharp pencils--and the assurance I can resharpen them ANY TIME I WANT TO--have on me. Maybe the best less-than-$20 I ever spent.
10. You, dear reader. If you are my mom, thank you. If you are one of my faithful readers and encouragers, thank you. If you are a new visitor to my little slice of the blog pie and are not sure how you ended up here and are not sure you're ever coming back, thank you. I don't think it is at all odd that I'm grateful for you, and I'm sure you are not weird, or at least not any weirder than I am. And anyway, everyone knows that weird is the new wonderful.
What are you (possibly oddly) thankful for?
Tell me all about it here in a comment or over on my Facebook page.
Maybe I should be thankful for it, too.
Previous posts that might have something to do with this one: