My dad once told me that he thanks God every morning for all the good in his life rather than asking God for something more. Up until then I’d been a greedy little asker, but I’ve found the thankful approach to be far more satisfying. There are no disappointments, and there’s no better way to start the day than with a heart-load of gratitude, especially on a day that turns sour. I’m thankful that Rick is so solid and grounded; I’m thankful for my friendly new neighbors; I’m thankful for my Roomba robot that zips around doing the vacuuming so I don’t have to. I don’t always remember to start the day being nice and thankful — busy rushing around for strong coffee and a hairdryer and something that fits — but, when I do, it’s possible I may glow until noon.
Since positive thinking works so well in the morning, I’ve decided to start doing something similar each night before going to sleep. It seems like mining the day for something good once my head hits the pillow might be just the thing I need to fend off the midnight monsters that keep me awake. Like news that Joey may go to prison. Or, that I had no one to whisper goodnight to. I can feel very afraid and very sorry for myself in the dark of night, so I’m going to think of one good thing from my day and hang onto it. Then I’m going to carry it into my dreams.
My friend Bonnie and I have been taking an art class. We’re learning drawing techniques like shading and shadowing from a spunky young artist from Taiwan. Her English isn’t perfect, but she’s been open to learning new words like smudge and smidgen and curmudgeon and how to use them in casual conversation. Today we were doing contour drawings of a female nude model. Made of red clay, it perched on its little red clay stool on the table between us, leaning forward, elbows on knees. My perspective was from a side and rear angle. Fairly simple, but still, my rendering was a smudgy muddle of body parts. When our teacher passed by to assess my work — the form, the shape, the talent — she pointed to what she guessed (correctly) was the derrière and said, ”Is that butt?”
Today I laughed with a friend.
One good thing.
One very good thing.
The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction is available in bookstores and libraries.