Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tank Full

Thankful to be a girl, as opposed to being a guy. Girls have good girlfriends. My girlfriends are the bounce in my step. The lilt in my voice. My sounding board. My shelter and my amusement. Guys don’t typically have the same kind of closeness with guy friends. Some guys also have good girlfriends. This usually leads to their divorce!

Thankful for my freedom. Emancipation from a bad marriage. Free to do things without getting a second opinion. Freedom: knowing that living in this country in this time affords me choices and opportunities that women in much of the rest of the world do not have.

Thankful for having had the parents I did. While being the daughter of an absentminded (read as “self absorbed”) professor is not always an easy road, and sometimes tough on my overly sensitive days, both my parents provided me with opportunity, encouragement, strong roots and strong wings.

Thankful for the richness of experience that every day brings (though I am not always as aware of these gifts as I should be). Richness rooted in interactions: with kids and volunteers at Jubilee Reach Center and Heart and Home; interactions with dear friends, many who have been in my life through the major transitions and others who are additions to my new life; interacting with incredibly talented and supportive co-workers.

Thankful for my sister….out of all my parents gave to me and did for me, my sister is the most wonderful of them all.

Thankful for my son: I cannot imagine who I would be without having experienced motherhood. Andy is my heart, my pain, my delight, my angst, my amusement, my impatience, my fear and my hope. Wow. That’s a lot in a scrawny, scruffy, shy and talented package. What a gift.

Several years ago I challenged myself to come up with two lists: things I liked and things I didn’t. When I “finished” the lists I forced myself to double them. And then double them again. I haven’t added to the lists in many years. Maybe its time to do that again. But for the record, and since it is Thanksgiving it seems appropriate to provide the uncensored list of things I like.

Schnitzel and Noodles
(These are a few of my favorite things)

1. Music from a different time, whether the memories good or bad (Jackson Brown, Carole King, Neil Young, Jethrow Tull, Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Clapton, Carly Simon)
2. The Italian Riviera in the fall
3. Real people
4. My sister
5. A fire in the fireplace
6. A good book, so good that all other distractions, including housework and bill paying, be damned
7. Hostess gifts, received and given
8. Little note cards with simple, retro scenes
9. Tanning bed sessions
10. Christmas cards with personal family photos
11. Christmas letters giving all the details
12. Funky glasses, ties and clothes worn by architects
13. A child proudly, bravely sharing their talents and accomplishments with me
14. An unexpected call from a friend just checking in
15. Pulling off an impossible deadline and providing a needed service
16. Writing in Starbucks
17. Completing a challenging crossword puzzle
18. A new item of clothing in a smaller than usual size that feels and looks good. Clothes that are oversized so you have to buy in a smaller than your usual size.
19. Seeing clothes like those from my teen years in the overpriced teen clothing store in the mall
20. A fully loaded Starbucks card
21. Gift certificates
22. Heated leather seats on a clear cold night with the sun roof open
23. Having dinner ready and waiting without having had to give a thought as to what it will be or who will do it and when
24. A new roll of toilet paper recently reloaded on the rack by someone else
25. A gift bought in a store instead of ordered over the internet
26. Perennials popping up throughout the spring and summer just when I have forgotten they were there
27. The first forsythia blooms
28. The smell of paperwhites
29. A kind smile from a stranger
30. Men in pull over sweaters
31. An afternoon in the living room in front of the fire, throw blanket wrapped, alone in the house, reading a good book while drifting in and out of sleep.
32. Pants that don’t wrinkle or bunch at the thighs
33. A homemade gift
34. A little something brought back from a trip by a friend who got it just because she was thinking of me on her trip when she saw it
35. Finding just the right gift for a friend or relative
36. Getting past anger with someone
37. The awkward expressions of care and concern from my father
38. Real life items in miniature used for different purposes (miniature shopping carts used as desk caddies, model red wagons and children’s shoes used as vases in table centerpieces)
39. Cold, clear, clean air with no wind
40. Dreams in which my mother appears
41. Fresh fruit pie and cobblers
42. Men who look good bald or closely sheared or gray
43. Treating people who assist me with dignity, interest and appreciation
44. Being asked for the recipe
45. Women who age gracefully
46. Dark sunglasses on days I want to be invisible
47. Expressions of concern without prying
48. Successfully deciphering vanity plate messages
49. People who let you into the stream of traffic
50. Make over shows
51. Wreaths on the fronts of SUVs during the holidays.
52. Sessions with my therapist (most of the time)
53. Conversations with friends with young children, hearing about the latest things their children have said and done
54. People who ignore the cell phone ringing while they are presently engaged with me
55. Tapioca pudding, real mashed potatoes, olive/pimento cheese in a jar, meringue cookies, cheese grits, hot buttered rum, Chex football mix, Applets and Cottlets, Italian style pizza, microwave popcorn for dinner, Texas Toast, white turkey meat seasoned simply with salt and pepper.
56. A compliment from a stranger
57. Funny home video shows
58. When Andy talks to me about music and assumes I know what he is talking about
59. A compliment about my child
60. Morning love
61. Spooning
62. Being sincerely asked for advice and then having that advice followed
63. Colors
64. Eliciting laughter when being funny and clever
65. Enjoying a TV show with Andy
66. Chai tea
67. Thai and Indian food
68. People I know choosing the seat next to me
69. Peanut butter
70. Children’s art work
71. Turning up the radio loud when I am driving alone. Singing along to a good song when that happens. Believing I can sing.
72. Funny real life things that happen
73. Turning over a new calendar page
74. Being invited somewhere on New Years Eve
75. Long weekend trips with friends
76. Fishing when the fish are biting
77. Motorized boats with heads (bathrooms)
78. Waking up feeling healthy
79. Going for a walk alone
80. Going for a walk with friends
81. Walking with Mark
82. Seeing other couples enjoying each other’s company
83. When people speak fondly of their spouse
84. Doing Pilates
85. Watching people at airports (not as much fun now that families can’t go out to the gate)
86. When terrorists get caught
87. When friends accomplish wonderful things (Lola and Jerry’s marathon run)
88. Learning a new piano piece, playing the keyboard for myself
89. Good lighting
90. A clean bathroom
91. The feel of clean sheets after a shower
92. A clean refrigerator
93. A clean desk
94. Finally doing something I had procrastinated on
95. Marzipan in fruit shapes
96. Pollywogs half way between fish and frog (with legs and tail)
97. The taste of cold beer on a warm afternoon outside
98. Playing solitaire
99. Real mail: personal cards and letters
100. Biting into a lollypop after the shell has been licked very thin
101. People who like purple
102. Making it through the grocery store anonymously
103. Netflix
104. A medium length car ride (1-3 hours) alone with no traffic issues
105. Those synthetic fiber blankets that are very warm, soft and lightweight
106. Sleeping diagonally alone in a king size hotel bed
107. Getting ready in the morning in a hotel room on a business trip (alone)
108. Those containers of slime that make a farting sound when you push it down
109. Fresh flowers from the market
110. A massage
111. Having nicely painted toenails
112. Sushi Land with Andy and a friend of his
113. Some of Andy’s friends who humor me
114. Expressing myself in writing
115. Amazing Grace on the bag pipes
116. Ave Maria on the organ
117. Dance of the Sugar Plum Ferries on flutes
118. The Star Spangled Banner on the electric guitar Hendrix style
119. Interesting obituaries
120. Seeing my name in print
121. Recognition awards at work
122. Recognizing someone for a job well done
123. The sound of certain words like: pleasure, mango, trip, mitigate, polish, congratulations, valley, rococo,
124. Being let in on an announcement, like expecting a baby or taking a new job, before the word is out. Being trusted with a confidence.
125. A day off in the middle of the week
126. Having secrets, holding back
127. Being honest
128. Having someone agree with me
129. Reaching consensus after being worlds apart
130. Going through the closet and getting rid of lots of things
131. Putting on a coat and finding cash in the pocket
132. Finding a lost item
133. Little stick ‘em notes with funny sayings like “I don’t suffer from stress, but I’m a carrier” or “I like teamwork. It spreads the blame around.”
134. Slipping mildly foul words into a conversation to shock people.
135. Packing a light suitcase
136. Bringing home a heavier suitcase
137. Automatic checking deposits
138. Internet bill paying
139. Solving a problem
140. The smell of cedar and sandal wood
141. Having a prayer answered
142. Getting off a plane to weather that is significantly warmer than from where I came
143. Aquariums and zoos
144. The silence in the auditorium after a really great movie ends
145. Sandals
146. Wearing jeans on Fridays
147. BCCing some e-mails
148. Having a hand knit sweater to give
149. Having young adults treat me as a peer
150. Having friends of all different ages
151. Being busy at work but not overwhelmed
152. Meeting friends for lunch in the middle of my work day
153. Being the only woman at a table full of men at a client meeting
154. Having a semi-personal relationship with female workers in other engineering/developer firms who are also a rarity in the profession
155. Reading a book while sitting in one of those big comfortable chairs at Barnes and Noble
156. Fun book titles and opening lines
157. Book Club discussions
158. Talking about a book with a friend who has read it too
159. Getting a draft back with very few mark ups and a few “good”s written in the margin
160. Plays on words
161. Being heard in my normal tone of voice
162. Nicely thought out guest rooms
163. Big soft towels and other nice linens
164. Clean pot holders easily found where they should be
165. Matching cloth napkins
166. Chocolate with nuts: everything is better with nuts
167. Being complimented
168. Being asked for help
169. Olive green and Tuscany yellow
170. Pulling up a full crab pot with plenty of keepers
171. Wireless internet connections
172. Watches with hands (not digitals)
173. Comfortable lingerie
174. Business cards that catch your eye
175. White boards and cork boards
176. Sidewalk chalk work on my street
177. How blatantly guilty the dog acts when she is in trouble
178. The color of buildings in Italy
179. Orchards and olive groves
180. Hearing children talk among themselves when they don’t know they are being listened in on
181. Admission of doubt: from others; from myself
182. Having a strong opinion about something (like it when I do, not always when someone else does)
183. Honey Comb cereal
184. Bulleted lists
185. “Thank You”
186. “I’m Sorry”
187. Graph paper
188. Tracing paper
189. Vellum
190. Handmade special wedding invitations
191. My father’s quick sketches
192. Aerial photos
193. Good parking circulation
194. Finding a good parking space when the lot is crowded (Hail, Mary, full of Grace. Help me find a parking space.)
195. My brother and brothers in law
196. Discovering hidden stashes
197. Spreadsheet ease
198. Spiral binding
199. Passing along recommendations
200. Loaning and borrowing good books
201. Happy second marriages
202. Bachelors finally finding someone special
203. Dropping dinner off at the home of someone who needs it
204. Photographs of people (except myself)
205. Highlighter pens
206. Marking up a printed book with notes and ideas and highlighting things that catch my eye
207. Used book stores
208. Paying less than 50% of regular price for anything
209. A “+” instead of “-” in the portfolio balance column for change from last statement
210. Picture phones
211. Digital pictures received in an e-mail
212. A spontaneous hug
213. European cheek kiss greetings while clasping hands
214. Coffee dates
215. Stainless steel travel coffee cups
216. Pretty store shopping bags
217. Wood floors
218. Parties with themes
219. Seeing an overweight person out exercising (walking/running)
220. Matching all the socks in a load of laundry
221. Secret pierced navels (women who have it done but don’t flaunt it)
222. Hoods on clothing
223. Smiles
224. Laughter
225. Seeing a mountain from a far distance on a clear day, especially when it is sunny but there is lots of snow on the mountain
226. Side zippers on dresses
227. People who RSVP
228. The alphabet
229. Fun words to spell out loud like Mississippi and banana, l-o-double l-y-p-o-p, panama
230. Agreeing to disagree
231. Men with nice legs wearing shorts with sandals WITHOUT socks
232. Fresh, quality extra virgin olive oil
233. James Bond Movies
234. The Shawshank Redemption
235. A bunch of other really great movies and great books (see Lola’s 40 B-day list)
236. Wrapping paper
237. Win/win situations
238. No set meal times: no meals
239. Outdoor dining
240. Working (writing on work projects) in Starbucks
241. Levi jeans on well proportioned men
242. A clean car
243. Clear surface area on counters, desks
244. Classical music
245. Christmas carols
246. The right shoes with the right outfit
247. People in hats that look good in hats
248. The right hair cut on the right person
249. Subtlety
250. Curious cats (not stand offish ones)

1 comment:

This is me. said...

Thanks for stopping by my site. Sorry I missed your wine question. For future reference, though, Pinot Noir actually goes great with holiday dinners. Since all the sides are so heavy it makes for a nice companion - in more ways than one!!!

Love your list...especially 44. I look forward to reading more and making new friends!