The Purple of Life

She told me to hold on to the purple in my life.

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Location: Chicago, United States

I'm a 37-year-old editor and city dweller, wife and mother, moderately liberal and radically optimistic. I would fill my perfect day with a cup of coffee and the Op Ed section, a flea market and the playground, a run along Lake Michigan, a walk through the neighborhood with my son and my greyhound, a Cuban dinner and a bottle of red with my husband, and an evening flight to some European city. I wouldn't be picky about which one.

December 1, 2011

Snapshots of gratitude

On Nov. 1 (Will’s first birthday! Oh, still reveling in all this. And yes, his full name when he comes home will be William Jiho—I neglected to mention that in my last post), I noticed that a few friends on Facebook were starting a daily gratitude post for each day in November. I liked that idea, but I didn’t want to update my Facebook status every day. So I decided to keep a list in a notebook.
Of course, my life changed on Nov. 10, and suddenly I was overflowing with so much gratitude I could hardly see straight. But still, I kept up with the little ritual, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a snapshot of a month—who knew it would be the month everything shifted so amazingly?—and although I tend to be a person who’s usually mindful of her good fortune, I still appreciated the exercise of choosing one thing each night to record.
There are a few recurring themes in my list: Will, of course, and friendship, running, and sickness (it wasn’t my healthiest month). Also beer, apparently. Here it is:
11/1: I’m grateful that three of my editors are getting extremely well deserved promotions.
11/2: Grateful that Stella has grown to be able to enjoy and savor her walks! Gone is the super-spooky shy dog; now it’s all sniffing every blade of grass and greeting people with a waggy tail.
11/3: Grateful that my cold is almost gone and I’m able to run a fast three-miler again.
11/4: For the brilliant red and yellow trees that I walk under on my way to the train each morning.
11/5: For friendships that are 16 years old and counting!
11/6: For the discovery of new music—in this case, Milo Greene and the Civil Wars.
11/7: For being able to afford a doctor appointment and sinus infection meds, no sweat.
11/8: For living in a city where I can enjoy cultural events like the Chicago Manual of Style’s 100th anniversary (editorial geeks unite!).
11/9: Grateful for a good friend with a shared ethnic heritage.
11/10: For Jiho. A thousand times over, for Jiho. [Picture lots of little stars doodled around this one…]
11/11: For early Friday nights, cozy in bed with a book (preferably one from the Game of Thrones series).
11/12: For a sweet peaceful day spent largely with John: errands in the neighborhood (the notary!), Old Town School of Folk Music, drinks and dinner out in Lakeview, sharing a tender new knowledge of a little baby boy living across the world.
11/13: For my son, William Jiho. [This was the day we spoke with the pediatrician who reviewed Will’s files and made our final decision.]
11/14: For the sunshine when I walked to the post office to mail our acceptance package to the agency.
11/15: For the tears shed and sincere joy expressed by my friends when I share the news with them. Feeling overwhelmed with the blessings of friendship and not sure I deserve so much of it…
11/16: For beer, mussels, frites, and a good friend to share them with.
11/17: For a run when you just feel strong and good—even on a treadmill.
11/18: Grateful for a cozy evening at home: guitar, beer, pizza, movie. Him and me.
11/19: Lots to be thankful for today: Sleeping in, ballet class, brunch with friends, artists at the DIY craft fair, the online adoption community, an Italian dinner with John and our favorite bottle of Chianti (which we discovered in Rome!). Also, we’re lucky to have lovely neighbors!
11/20: Grateful for having cousins who are also good friends.
11/21: Thankful that I have the ability and talent to write—working on our first letter to Will’s foster family.
11/22: For having a husband who enjoys—and is good at—cooking.
11/23: For wonderful, supportive, thoughtful and kind coworkers.
11/24: For two beautiful Thanksgiving feasts, for two families that are growing, for all of my relatives who are so genuinely excited about Will.
11/25: For yearly traditions with Mom: Hobby Lobby and lunch!
11/26: For my parents-in-law. I want to be them when I’m older.
11/27: For the glow of indoor Christmas lights.
11/28: For being able to walk to so many restaurants and shops from our home.
11/29: For medicine and our easy access to it.
11/30: For 10 terrific years (today!) in the big, beautiful, brawling and never boring city of Chicago.
What a month.

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Blogger Betsy said...

Beautiful post! And I remember that tree!! Great pic!

5:10 AM  
Blogger tricoachgirl said...

Lovely and what a great idea! I'm curious what pediatrician you used?

2:50 PM  
Blogger kelly said...

So much to be thankful for, I love all the things you thought of - especially, of course, WJH. Congratulations again!

12:03 PM  

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