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  • Kristan Higgins

Gratitude, the Attitude

Updated: May 3, 2022

Some of my friends keep a gratitude journal, which sounds very lovely to me, and very old-fashioned—I picture my friend Nancy sitting in a pool of sunshine, writing with a fountain pen as the breeze caresses her tousled curls. Her handwriting is lovely, her journal is beautiful and contains odes to her daughter, muses about her travels, drawings of birds and flowers and, um, other pretty things. Nancy is like that.

Me, I’m more of a list-maker. I often do think of the things I’m grateful for, but I get superstitious. It always goes like this:

  1. Healthy children (please, God, keep the kids healthy forever and ever, Amen. Also, happy. And their future children, ditto. Amen.).

  2. Wonderful husband (Please, God, ditto, plus also that he never leaves me, Amen).

  3. Cozy home (Please, God, don’t let the house burn down or explode, Amen Especially if I’m the cause of the fire and/or explosion. Amen.).

  4. Lovely mother (Please, God, don’t let her fall down the stairs and break her leg and lie in a pool of blood for three days before I find her, because she’ll be so mad, and then I’ll never be her favorite, Amen).

So you can see, it does more to fuel my neurosis than make me grateful.

But the other day, I had a moment. It was the first day this year when I felt fall was in the air. Dearest was at school, Princess back at her college, McIrish was at the firehouse, and it was so peaceful and quiet here. The leaves are still bright green, and the wind was just enough to get a few quiet notes from the wind chimes. I was sitting on the porch—my outdoor office—and the hours of writing stretched in front of me.

It was one of those perfect moments that I want to press into my heart.

You, my dear readers, gave me the gift of this career, these moments of working on the porch, or in my office on a rainy day, or in my comfy chair with a dog at my side. And while I really did love being a cleaning lady, writing wins hands-down. Thank you. Thank you so, so much.


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