1. Morning walks. It was strange to walk again in the early morning after a three week break. It’s already getting light when I get up so to be at the river to catch the sunrise means leaving almost as soon as I get out of bed, which meant for my first week back by the time we got to the water the sun was already most of the way up. It also rained a few times this week, made a lot of our normal trails too muddy to walk. It was also so green and the river fast and full of snow melt.

We saw a new baby cow at The Farm which was scared but also very curious about Ringo. We walked through the corridor where the owls are nesting but didn’t hear or see anything and I’m not sure exactly where the nest is so didn’t really know where to look. Further down the trail we saw a wild turkey WAY up in a tree, all by itself. 

When we crossed to the other side of the river, there was a heron fishing for breakfast. Ringo gets very mad when he smells or sees a heron, so we couldn’t get too close.

We smelled a fox (they can be so musky they almost smell like a skunk) but all three of the dens we passed were quiet and possibly empty. There was a “committee” of vultures (I looked it up, and if they are gathered somewhere just sitting around, that’s what they are called) sitting in a tree next to the trail.

2. Healing. I am so happy with my progress, with all the things I was able to do this week and how good I’m feeling.

3. Health Insurance. I had met my yearly deductible so my surgery and all related costs were covered, which is a really good thing. I was curious so I looked up the bill and just my two night private room stay was $55,000!!! That doesn’t include the surgery or anesthesia or pathology or prescriptions or all the preoperative tests and procedures necessary. This makes me feel so lucky but it’s bittersweet considering all the people who don’t have good or even any health insurance or access to that sort of care, who’d have to go broke to have the surgery or have to “beg” for help by setting up a GoFundMe campaign, or have to decide they can’t have it at all because they can’t take the time off work or don’t have anyone to help them as they recover. 

4. The opportunity to opt out. I’m thinking today in particular of social media. Because I was recovering and had a lot of down time, I found myself slipping into a real funk because I was spending too much time scrolling. To have the whole world in your face all the time like that really isn’t healthy. For the weekend, I deleted my Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit apps off my phone (I never put Twitter back on after a longer break over the summer), and am only going to be on Facebook briefly to collect and share links for this post and my list tomorrow. Sometimes it starts to become too habitual and I need to take a break, and thankfully I can easily do that.

5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. No place I’d rather be, no one I’d rather be with.

Bonus joy: texting with my Mom and Chris and Chloe’, all the Instagram reels Shellie sends, some of the flowers Mikalina sent me at the hospital still going, making art with Janice, clean sheets, a warm shower, pay day, spinach and artichoke dip, the hydromassage chair, the pool, sitting in the sauna with Eric, naps, good books, good TV and movies, listening to podcasts, a new notebook which means picking out a sticker for the front cover, stickers, good neighbors, muffins, green grapes, how soft the new grass is (Ringo says it tastes really good too), other people’s dogs, down pillows and blankets, a good pair of scissors, spatulas, green tea, peanut butter, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep. 

4 thoughts on “Gratitude

      1. Writer McWriterson

        So, in 2020, I left Facebook. That has been a huge help to me, and I don’t miss it at all. I removed Twitter from my phone in February, which also helped. Because I suffer from anxiety, even reading something seemingly harmless can easily bother me. That happened to me on TikTok last week, which is my favorite social media platform! Instagram and Pinterest are my current favorites, and I’ve been playing Candy Crush, which I’ve discovered to be very calming.

        As far as blogging, Facebook used to pull me in like that. I also only check comments at certain times a day which for me is typically morning.

      2. jillsalahub Post author

        Thank you for sharing this, Kari. I took the weekend off, deleted all my apps from my phone, and have dipped in and out a bit over the past week, writing a lot about what I’m learning about the how and why and consequences of being involved or leaving it be.

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