I read a story in the paper today where a doctor tells her account of her best friend, a stroke victim, and his ongoing recovery: you can read it here. So on a hot (30 degree Celsius) Queensland morning on the 24th December, I thought I’d write down some things for which I am grateful.
I am grateful all my limbs are in good working order. I am grateful I can run, and jump, and climb stairs, and play sport, and lift a spoon to my mouth, and type, and play piano, and sing, and talk, and catch a bus. I am grateful I can do all these things without experiencing pain or suffering (the stuff that’s not self-inflicted, I mean). I am glad all my teeth are in good working order.
I am glad I have a functioning brain. It currently shows no signs of disease or empty patches (as part of a study into tinnitus in which I was a guinea-pig, I had an MRI scan 2 years ago which came up all clear). I can think, reason, feel, joke, laugh, cry. Sometimes I can even synthesize information.
I am glad to be in robust good health with low blood pressure, to hear (mostly), smell, taste, touch, balance, and see. I am glad I live in a society that still provides universal health care and that I don’t need private health insurance to get emergency medical care.
I am glad for my education, my literacy and my ongoing studies. I am glad I live in a society mostly tolerant and accepting of difference, that is open and accountable to its members, and basically peaceful. I am glad I get to vote for my preferred government and that the process is not corrupt or dangerous. People often think Australia is racist, mean and phobic of success, and in many ways it is, but it is less so than most other countries. We are lucky to be here, and lucky to have civil and libertarian rights mostly upheld.
I am glad I and my family have the capacity and will to earn a decent income, that we can enjoy the fruits of our labours, and that our work is meaningful and satisfying. I am glad I work in a job and industry that I love, that I get to make music every day. I am glad for my students and their ambition and perseverance and commitment.
I am glad we (and the bank) own our home, our cars, and that we have the finances to keep these things. I am glad we have a full pantry and fridge and that we can afford to make dessert and buy Christmas gifts.
I am glad for my children and my wonderful husband and my big, generous family. I am grateful to my mum and dad that they have cared for my daughter throughout her transition from MtF. I am very glad for my neurotic dog and cat, who bring me joy every day.
I am glad every year I can give someone something to make this world a better place, and that as I get older, this desire grows.
And, finally, I am grateful we have the technology to connect with so many people from all walks of life through this medium, the InterWeb. So, to all my readers, I am grateful for your readership too! A happy Xmas to you and a safe and productive New Year.