Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I am not in enough trouble to warrant police attention.

Four reasons to be grateful, right here.
There's a line in "TheMan with Two Brains" when widower Steve Martin is trying to figure out if a new relationship is a mistake. He appeals to a portrait of his deceased wife: 
"Just give me a sign." 
The house shakes, lights blow, the portrait spins, there is moaning, "No! No! No!"
"Just any kind of sign," says Steve Martin.

I've been thinking about gratitude. 

I am grateful. My God knows that I am. And when my God turns out an extra effort - when my children travel safely from one place to another, or a friend's bad luck turns around, or a biopsy comes back negative, or a loved one soldiers through a tough stretch and falls into feathers - I am extra grateful.
And, when bad things do happen, I don't ask my God to "take care of it," because my God is not a genie or Samantha from Bewitched. I just ask for strength.
Here's another
We count our blessings, I shared with my God, but we take them for granted, too. We get used to our blessings. If too much goes right for too long, complacency is what happens next, when we are surprised by things that go wrong and maybe even a little pissed off.
And so, my God, I wondered, how shall I say thank-you?
A few minutes into this pre-dawn exchange, a siren rose, and was followed by another. We are a tiny town. We rarely have sirens – or, as Officer Bubba refers to them, si-reens – and it seemed appropriate to pause. 

Was this my Steve Martin sign? Well, maybe not, but I've decided to make it one. 
Because, while I don't feel guilty about my good fortune, I am wondering about someone in my town, right now, who is in enough trouble to warrant police attention. It's not me.
According to my God, that is because gratitude isn't always about what is, as much as what isn't. 
To wit:
I am not in enough trouble right now to warrant police attention. 

Nor am I without power, or a laptop, or heat, or food.
I didn't leave the door open last night and lose the cat.
"You'd better not lose me."
Or wake up with a hopeless problem
None of my children called to tell me they were laid off or ended a relationship
My parents are not sad or unhealthy
Nobody I love was diagnosed with a terrible illness.
My friends are not in trouble with their lives.
I didn't hurt someone's feelings by mistake.
Everyone I care about is in a place where I can reach them
I am not starting a day of things that will test me, or my character, or my sense of humor.
There is not a single abusive person I must deal with in my life.
I am not going to a job that I hate.
A Mummy to be grateful for

Gratitude is sometimes what isn't.
And so, I plan to show my gratitude this week:

I'll smile at a nervous teenager in a new job.
And show an elderly person kindness who doesn't expect it.
I'll buy a card and send it to someone who is down but doesn't know why
And listen to someone carefully enough to hear what they aren't saying.
I'll tell someone out of the blue, not that I love them, but why.
I'll remember that up or down, everything is right now.
I'll say to young parents who are teaching small children to respect others: "Nice job. Really."
And let someone go in traffic
I'll answer the phone when a friend or family member calls, no matter what.
I'll look harder, hug and smile more. 
I'll seize moments I often let fly from my life, forgotten.

It is against the law to include fewer than two pictures of 
Gus in any post where he is mentioned at all.

I'll remember it's the tiniest of unasked for gestures that make a person know they have been noticed, and heard.

To my husband, children, friends, family, and with all my heart, to readers who have found this blog Worth Mentioning, it's not enough, but just the same...
Thank you.


  1. Well said and well written. All of it. Thank you for sharing and for the reminders of how important it is to be grateful for what we do have.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Andrea, I really, really try not to take the things that are so right in my life for granted but every once in a while I count those negatives that I'm not dealing with too.

  2. Let me say that, as distant and virtual as our friendship is, I'm grateful to know you and have you in my life. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    1. I had started a post before this one about the people who made such a difference in my life or in others this year. I went with this one for now, but you were in the top ten as I was drafting it, for all you've done to encourage and support me and my peers in our group. Back at you.

  3. Hi Susan! This is such a LOVELY way of expressing your gratitude. I firmly believe that it is the little things that make up our day (that we sometimes remember and sometimes don't) that create a life of meaning, purpose and happiness. You've said it so well. Thank YOU. ~Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy, I plan to follow through. Of course, I'll have to ask all those nervous teenagers how long they've been on the job, or find someone teaching those manners, but I plan to notice good people trying hard better than I usually do.

  4. Absolutely beautiful post for this Thanksgiving week. I love your perspective here, and we can't be reminded enough! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  5. Thank you Lana...I wish you a happy week of great memories in the making

  6. What a beautiful post! It's nice when we realize just how lucky we are!

    1. I agree, Rena. And I'm planning to show my gratitude this week. In the parking lot at the supermarket today, I let someone take a perfect parking space, and praised a stranger on her patience when someone almost backed into her and she didn't lose it. So far, so good!

  7. As always, you are an inspiration. Love and gratitude, Kris.

    1. I love you, and why? Because I always, always, always learn something from you. Big or small. Thank you for dropping by.

  8. What a lovely thought...and so many wonderful gestures. Thank you!