An author of one of those fluffy-little-books-that-have-a-lot-of-wisdom-in-them-for-such-a-fluffy-little-book recommends making a list of the things you'd be jealous of in your own life, were it not yours. The idea being that we take a lot for granted. Given my present circumstances, it seems like a good time to tackle the assignment.
Reasons why, if I weren't me, I'd be envious of me:
1. Her marriage, her only marriage, has lasted nearly fifteen years and is stronger for past struggles.
2. Her husband is a funny and thoughtful man. (He is! Yesterday he brought home a copy of the Weekly World News with a story about giant bats attacking airplanes, just to cheer her up. Now that's self-sacrificing for a man who teaches journalism for a living!)
3. She has beautiful children who worship the ground she walks on ("Oh, Mommy, you spoil us! You are the best Mommy in the world! Mommy, I luuuuuv you! Can I have a snack now?")
4. Her cat sits on her lap when she's on the computer.
5. Her library--she has exquisite taste in books!
6. Her monstrous oak rolltop desk.
7. She lives in the middle of nowhere, complete with birdsong, fields, woods, creeks, and wildlife. (She saw two humongous deer this morning on her walk, as a matter of fact, and an owl yesterday.)
8. She gets to stay home while her husband works, and he's ok with that.
9. She has lovely hair (long, dark--not really greying yet, soft, thick, and generally well behaved).
10. She talks to God as if He were a real person, one close enough to be vulnerable with and to be slightly (ok, sometimes more than slightly) sassy with.
11. She and her husband share most of their passions (books, spirituallity, books, chocolate, books, language, books, words, books, outdoors, books).
12. She has a solid family and good relationships with its members (thinking extended family, here: her amazingly gifted brother and sister, her parents and her grandmother).
13. She has good relationships with her in-laws and is sincerely fond of them (especially the two warped brothers-in-law and Lauren).
14. She has a quirky sense of humor.
15. Her friends are the oddest and most fascinating collection you'd ever wish to run across, and all of them incredibly exceptional people.
16. She has a lot of knowledge and curiosity; she's interested in and researches nearly everything.
17. She often has unusual insight into people and situations.
18. Her yard is full of flowers and huge, old trees.
19. She has a green thumb with houseplants (african violets, geraniums, cyclamen, orchids, begonias, ivy, anthurium).
20. Her writing.
As I'm writing this, I'm seeing that I really do take most of these things for granted most of the time. Furthermore, I'm finding it's the simplest things that give me the most pleasure and comfort when I'm down: the yard, the woods, the cat, the husband (I'll be in trouble for that remark when he reads this. Ah, well. It adds spice. ;) )