December 2018: Gratitude

A whole year of gratitude.

I started this project for my friend Luke Haworth-Hoeppner, who passed away in 2016 in a car accident. Luke was my friend from college, and post-college we became writing and creative partners. I don’t know how else to describe our relationship but to say our writing often become inseparable. I still feel like sometimes I’m writing but it’s really Luke who is doing the talking.

One of the things Luke and I used to do was send lists of ten things we were grateful for to each other, as a way to fend off depression, but also to take notice throughout the day of little things. Cobwebs, leaves changing colors, smiles on stranger’s faces.

So, for Luke, I started noting three things every day that I was grateful for. Some big, some small, some obvious, some not. Some are profound, many are just things I wanted to remember for myself.

I’m still thinking about what this project has meant to me, and I’m sure I’ll write about that some day. In the meantime, here is my final list for 2018:

A stranger paying for my Wendy’s.
Finding bras that really fit.
Crimes of Grindelwald – the Wizarding World.

Neatly wrapping Jeff’s first Hanukkah gift.
Mugs greeting a tall stranger kindly.
Sleeping in until 10am.

Checking all the boxes on my daily grid.
The flicker of candles all over the house.
Seeing my favorite neighbors in the elevator.

Hearing the heartbeat.
Finding what does & doesn’t work for me at yoga.
Long, hard conversations about needs and shame.

Jumping in and trusting myself at work.
Working with Mugs by my side.
Taking time with my notebook at night.

Hanukkah lunch with Jeff’s family at Two Brothers.
Hanukkah gifts that made me feel known.
Stir fry with flank steak.

Amy Ruiz, super hero.
When reporters reply.
Going to bed early and sleeping in.

Making a collage zine to start the day.
Mid-day baths.
Thinking about names.

Reading Harry Potter most of the day.
Kornblatt’s for lunch, hotdogs & a jar of pickles.
Little basket of collage scraps.

Sweet, cozy Pocket Pub.
Himalayan salt lamp.
Illustrated wrapping paper featuring Mugs, Jane, and Austen.

Reading Harry Potter away from home, such a comfort.
A good, hard, all-day rain.
Great British Baking Show.

Sour Patch Kids.
Very healthy and normal lab results.
Fresh, clean sheets and blankets.

Steak dinner courtesy of Greg.
Cleaning the bathroom and kitchen.
Embracing the bump in a striped shirt.

Lavender milk bath.
Jane back to eating dry food.
A lovely, tender dinner with Patty.

A day spent thrifting; knitted baby booties.
Romantic date turned emotional healing session.
Kim Jong Smokehouse.

Buttery toast.
Kornblatt’s for breakfast.
Reading Harry Potter while it rains.

A really rainy day.
Pre-work couch chat with Kenya.
Going to bed early.

Mugs taking a walk in the rain.
Taking the announcement photos.
Jeff’s talent and skill.

Quiet mornings at my desk with the sunrise.
Post-work bubble bath.
Sleeping over at Jeff’s.

Mugs at work with me.
Bathtub drip fixed.
Burt’s Bees Mama Bee lotion after a bath.

Mugs digging to get under the covers.
Thrifting all the cardigans.
Listening to Petey Pablo on my last day working with Kenya.

Starting the day with a phone call and blessing from Ro.
Lunch with Jeff’s friend Josh and his girlfriend Sarah.
Late night GBBS in a pile on the couch.

Lunch with Laura and Jeff.
Power cleaning as the best medicine.
An aisle seat right next to the bathroom.

Shopping at Target with Olivia.
Giselle’s reaction to me having a baby.
Driving around with Giselle.

Christmas morning with Giselle and Ezra.
Christmas lunch with my mom.
Making time to journal on vacation.

Sparrows and thrifting with my mom.
Staying up until 1AM talking with Sarah.
Missing Jeff, getting to talk about him so much.

Shopping at Dime & Regal.
Sparrows, bookstores, Hopcat with Sarah.
Sweet, sensitive Javier telling me I am family.

Long talks with Ashly.
Watching TV with Giselle on the couch.
Giselle sucking her thumb in bed.

A safe flight home.
Seeing Mugs & the cats.
Sleeping in my own bed.

A morning bath with Sarah’s bath bomb.
Napping at Ro & Jim’s.
Mugs and Jeff cuddling.

A sweet + quiet New Year’s Eve.
Extensions on self-imposed guidelines.
A year to be grateful for.


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