• stephanieraffelock

Ten Things That Make Me Happy & Grateful



This whole COVID thing has me down today. For a couple of months I was feeling pretty impervious. I had dinner guests. I went out to lunch. I went to the grocery store without a mask. Then along comes a new variant amid the ongoing political argument about to vaccinate or not vaccinate. How did this health crisis become so political? I keep waiting for that unifying moment where everyone comes together . . . but I don’t think that moment is coming.


I’ve always been a natural health care kind of woman. I eat well. I exercise. I take nutritional supplements. I’m strong, healthy and vital. But I know that the only way out of the COVID pandemic is to vaccinate our way out. If there was another way, I’d be at the head of the line. So, I get scared. I worry that not enough people vaccinate and that feeds the possibility for newer variants. I get scared that our economy won’t take another hit if we shut down. And I feel both sad and mad, because I want to be out in the world and not be afraid of whether or not I can get infected or infect someone else. We are, whether we admit to it or not, in this together. I wish we all had each other’s backs.


Today I decided that I needed to make a list of some of the things that delight me; the things that make me happy; things that I love and admire. I’m putting out this list because I think it will help talk me down off the ledge.


1. Today two teenagers from up the street are power washing our driveway and sidewalks. These enterprising young men, approached my husband a couple of days ago with a business card and a list of their services. They said that they both “wanted to be tycoons,” to which hubby replied, “you gotta start somewhere.” I love these guys. I love their industriousness and their hard work ethic. They’re great kids and they give me hope for the future of our country.


2. This morning I watered my garden and marveled at how many flowers I can grow in this hot climate. I’ve discovered Lantanas and Firecracker plants. Flowers always make me feel happy.


3. I got a couple of swordfish steaks at the market yesterday and I’m looking forward to grilling them for dinner tonight. I don’t eat swordfish too often because it has a high mercury content – but tonight’s the night and I am excited for the treat.


4. I ate a small bowl of Mt Rainer cherries last night after dinner. They were just perfect. How is it that such a small, round orb can be so very satisfying?


5. My puppy is becoming a dog and he barked when he saw the neighbor across the street today. It was his first real doggy bark and he was very serious about it. He makes me smile with everything that he does.


6. This morning I got to lay in bed and cuddle and be cuddled. I am so incredibly blessed by my husband’s presence.


7. The stack of books on my writing table is out of control. It’s so wonderful to have so many interesting things to read.


8. At number eight, I am starting to see that in spite of pandemics and politics, life is good. I have to remember to look for the little things and appreciate them.


9. Recently, I saw that my friend’s daughter was knitting – right now she's recouping from a broken ankle. Made me think that maybe I should pick up my knitting again. I used to do it when I watched television in the evening. I’m kind of inspired. Maybe I’ll start again.


10. I have the kindest, most thoughtful friends. We text each other. We call. We visit. We have supported each other however we could this past year and a half. And I know we will support each other in this current incarnation of the COVID, delta variant.


Ten things. That wasn’t hard at all. Now I’m going to go trim some roses in my back yard and appreciate the big billowing clouds that fill this Texas sky.


Stay safe. Stay grateful. Count your blessings. Some days we all have to work a little bit harder to see what’s right in front of us. Big hugs.

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