A Gratitude Manifesto


I write down things I’m grateful for every few days or so.

I do it because my mind leans anxious.  I do it because, like everyone else, my future is uncertain.  And sometimes, when I find that I am just getting through the day – if there’s extra flesh on my arms or my bank account looks a little sorry – I think of what I’m grateful for.

I think of how my rent is cheap. I think of my Mom’s warmth.  I think of how I live in San Diego, where I can drive to the beach in five minutes, surf in the early morning, and watch pelicans dip down so close, I can see the patterns of their feathers.

For you, too.  Your heart is beating.  You get to drink coffee which is the single greatest beverage on this planet.  You can drink wine and beer, too, you lucky goose.

There are people out there who didn’t believe they’d find love again, and they just found it.  From their hospital beds, the dying are wishing they’d done things differently.  They’re wishing they could be your age again.  That they could beautiful like you are now.  That they could’ve let themselves be happier.

Someone right now is in profound pain.  But in a few months, maybe a year, they’ll be thriving.  They can’t see that yet, but it will happen.

People are searching for cancer cures, and searching through dumpsters to find their food for the day.  Teenagers are making their first “Before I Die” lists.  Technologies are being invented that will change how we live.  The world is wide.

Your laugh brings someone else joy.  You get better every day, whether you think so or not.  And every person you meet has a story like you do.

You have eyes.  When you open them in the morning, you can see a garden of roses.  Flowers, to me, always look like God showing off.  You can watch the sky change.  Stand on the pier and watch the orb of the sun drop into the ocean.

You can learn recipes.  You can make brownies and give them to a neighbor as a gesture of good will.  You can touch people.  Hug your Mom.  Pet your cat.  Make love (or not “love” or whatever).

The person you will be with, “the One,” is out there.  Maybe he or she is even dating someone else.  But they’re out there, and you’re allowed to excited about that.  You’re allowed to get excited about picking out china patterns and making dinner for someone.

You will see places and try things.  You’ll watch your face get older every day.  You’ll see movies that give you goosebumps and remind you of the magic that’s in the world.

If you did nothing else but recognize how much of a gift today truly is, you’d live it well.  That’s what I’m thinking about today.  I’m just reminding myself to be amazed at how my lungs fill with air.  To be so thankful that I can surf fun waves and make my rent.

I think we tend to think, “Today is just another day” way too often.  But it’s not.  We should live today like it’s the first and last of our lives.  Easier said than done, I know.  But practice makes perfect.

One thought on “A Gratitude Manifesto

  1. I am grateful for your writings for they make me think and feel things I ordinarily would not come up with on my own.

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