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Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Oh, Ryan Justin, you are a sly one. On other social media platforms, which will remain nameless, I look at these “challenges” and click right on past. But you got me. A number of years back I began keeping a five item gratitude list in a little notebook beside the bed. The last thing I do each night is write in that book.

Forty? That’s all? (Thanks, my friend, this morning’s essay was a bit too much to take on before work and this is just what I needed)

  1. Sharing my home, life, and passions with aleXander hirka
  2. This rent-stabilized apartment
  3. Hot and cold running water
  4. My 9 to 5 job which hasn’t turned out to be a prison sentence
  5. Walking into certain church basements and seeing faces light up
  6. Watching slow, non-linear foreign films with aleXander
  7. My incredibly warm winter coat
  8. Free house concerts nearby
  9. Calls from women I mentor
  10. I never had or wanted to have kids
  11. I don’t need a car
  12. Long books
  13. My morning bus ride down 5th Ave past Central Park
  14. Having a good steam and sauna after working out
  15. I can walk without pain
  16. I had years living on my own
  17. A wee bit extra still in the checking account on payday
  18. I killed my credit card debt three years ago
  19. Vermeer
  20. My cat, JJ
  21. My other cat, Alice, who died two years ago
  22. Good coffee in the morning
  23. I’m a woman
  24. I can keep chipping away at my student loan debt
  25. Katia, who does our taxes
  26. Weekly date night with Robert
  27. My own office with a door that closes at work
  28. Anita Eppley, my mentor and long-time good friend
  29. That the elevator mostly works
  30. aleXander’s amazing art all over our walls
  31. I sleep well
  32. Friends in Cleveland who encouraged me to move to NYC
  33. Good health care insurance
  34. I don’t much care what others think of me anymore
  35. For
  36. I don’t have to take the subway to work
  37. Friday night meditation with friends
  38. Prayer
  39. Our comfortable bed
  40. A deep sense of well-being…….most days

What a great start to my day. Thanks, Ryan! And, yeah, I also don’t usually do this tagging business of other people so if it bugs anyone that I did, apologies. But give this a go; it’s such a great reminder that we have no idea most days how blessed we are.

Zulie Rane, Maggie Haukka, Stian Lu, Alternative Doubt, Mr Cab Driver, Natalie Fagan, Herapocrypha, Tina Viju, Stark Raving, Sarah Aboulhosn, Jessica Lovejoy, Zachary Phillips, David Thomas-Jensen, Andrea Coleman, Tarık K. Yanık, The Wicked Orchard by Sidra Owens,

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