gratitudeAn attitude of gratitude is beneficial for mental health, so I’m going to talk about the things for which I’m grateful, so that I can better deal with the stress of life. That might be a selfish reason to foster gratitude, but whatever works!

I suspect I’m healthier than many women my age.  My body parts all still work, though they do need a bit of coaxing as they exercise their First Amendment right to protest.  My blood pressure is low, my resting heart rate is lovely and blood tests reveal I have nothing that requires medication. There is a standing order for blood to be drawn following my recent physical, so it’s possible that something new may have cropped up.  But, for now, ignorance is bliss.

Thankfully, (a great word to express gratitude), my kids are healthy and I don’t take that for granted. (Unlike the way my son takes for granted that I will send him money every month.) My husband is also healthy, a fact with which he agrees when his left ventricle isn’t palpitating with anxiety.  I also suffer from anxiety, but my ventricles are uninvolved.

It is said if you have your health you have everything.  That sounds great on a fortune cookie, but it isn’t always easy to believe in the world outside the cookie.  Fortunately (see what I did there?), there are other things for which I’m grateful.  I’m grateful that I can afford to go to Chinese restaurants.  I don’t go every day, as that would be excessive, increase my daily intake of salt and fat, and adversely affect my upcoming blood tests.  But I am thankful that I can go out for Chinese food.  Or Thai food.  Or sushi.  I am aware there are many people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  So, I’m pleased that my next one might be coming from Panda Express.

My wonderful sister and I share many memories. We are each other’s confidantes and therapists.  Occasionally, we are at odds with each other, but that happens too infrequently to mention, so I don’t know why I just did. I’m grateful that my sister likes to shop, that we wear the same size and that she gets bored with her clothing. I’m glad that my parents stopped while they were ahead and didn’t have any more kids, as I’m sure the next one wouldn’t have turned out as well.

I’m grateful for my hair stylist who works out of her house, and whose reasonable prices make it possible for me to bid adieu to grey roots every three weeks.  Of course, as is the law, my stylist is also my confidante, so I’m grateful she hasn’t posted any of my secrets on Facebook.

I’m grateful that our auto mechanic wangled extra life out of my 10-year-old Altima, which threatened to retire due to electronic problems.  He charges little for his services, and takes a personal interest in his customers. Honest auto mechanics who charge little and take a personal interest in their customers are as rare as 10- year-old Altimas that don’t have electronic problems.

I’m grateful for salad dressing variety. Sometimes I’m in the mood for honey mustard and sometimes I prefer French or bleu cheese.  But I wish the bottles looked different, so I wouldn’t have accidentally bought Paul Newman’s balsamic vinaigrette instead of Ken’s.  I know Paul Newman was a real person who philanthropically donated his salad dressing profits to charity. I’m not sure if Ken was a real person because it’s been a long time since I’ve read the bottle.  But Ken’s dressings are better, philanthropist or not.  So, I am grateful for choices in salad dressing, but I’d be more grateful if the bottles looked different.

I’m grateful for well-stocked supermarket shelves so I don’t have to sleep outside with a long line of hungry people, only to discover there is nothing to buy when the store opens. By the way, can’t the well-fed photo journalists who document the lines in Moscow, share a few of their Snickers bars with the huddled masses yearning to be fed? Apparently, they are not as philanthropic as Paul Newman.

Wait!!  I almost forgot my wonderful husband, which would be a huge problem as he is probably reading this right now! I am grateful, (Do you have a synonym for “grateful” as this is getting redundant?), for my wonderful, amazing, marvelous, funny, adorable, awesome, creative husband. I hope he IS reading this or I will have used all those adjectives for nothing!

Women who are surveyed say that the most important asset a man can have is a sense of humor. If that is the case, check!! My husband is able to wring humor out of the most improbable situations. It’s a quality that makes life more enjoyable, but I advise against sitting next to him at a funeral.

There’s more I could mention, but too much of a good thing and all. So, in conclusion, I possess an attitude of gratitude. If I’m not in a bad mood. Or sleep-deprived. Or cut off on the freeway. Or hungry. Or waiting too long at the doctor’s office. Or…………

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