I have drafts in progress reflecting on what I learned in 2015-16 and outlining my research plans for 2016-17, but today I realized that I wanted to resume my blogging practice (after a summer hiatus while I was teaching summer school and then visiting the Pacific Northwest) with a post about aspects of my life for which I am grateful.  These aspects are not in any particular order, though I put the glasses first because, interestingly enough, putting my glasses away in their case this afternoon made me think of my many blessings.
  • I have glasses and contact lenses. Though I have very poor vision without correction, I have access to eye care, so I can see clearly every day without pain or discomfort.
  • I have a lovely wife who goes on adventures with me and makes every day interesting. She is also kind to animals.
  • I have family members who love me and help me.
  • My grandparents lived till I was in my twenties. I was able to spend a lot of time with them before they passed away. I was able to keep some dear items that remind me of them, including plants from my grandpa’s garden and my grandma’s quilts.
  • I live with eight companion animals, who bring joy, affection, and a reminder of the importance of play into my life.
  • I can afford to provide vet care for my companion animals.
  • I have access to high-quality health care at a low cost, and sometimes for free.
  • I am physically healthy. I have challenges with depression and anxiety, but I am able to manage this with one medicine and with sensible and basic self-care. The medicine is affordable because of my health insurance. My medicine has only minor side effects, such as dry mouth, which do not have a significant effect on my daily life.
  • I have plenty of healthy food and clean water. I can afford to eat out and try new recipes and dishes. I can afford items I love to eat and drink, like fresh fruit, chiles, chocolate, coffee, and beer.
  • I have plenty of clothing, including special items like hiking shoes and rain gear.
  • I have a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood.
  • I have been able to attend college and pursue graduate work.
  • I work at a job that I find challenging, meaningful, and interesting. My work promotes my self-worth. I earn a comfortable income at my job.
  • I have been accepted as a member of the community where I work, and been given opportunities to help others.
  • I have had many mentors who have generously taught me. I have always had role models and mentors who believe in me.
  • I have opportunities to travel frequently.
  • I can afford to visit museums regularly.
  • I can afford to buy books.
  • I can afford to buy moderately-expensive works of art to decorate my home.
  • I can afford to spend money on celebrations for loved ones.

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