This week marked the 12th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, and it has become an important day of national remembrance and gratitude. Gratitude is an instinctive emotion to express in the wake of adversity—in fact, in the days immediately following the 2001 tragedy, gratitude was found to be the second most common experienced emotion, after sympathy. The ability to appreciate your life circumstances is a powerful coping strategy during stress and trauma, and while we remember with such pain the events of that horrific day, gratitude helps us to heal a bit and gives us the strength to move on.
Here’s what’s on my gratitude list this week:
>> I have so many dedicated, generous friends who are raising funds for such amazing causes. It’s an honor and a pleasure to support them and cheer them on. Proud of you all.
>> I got to Skype with Ben, my college freshman! Even though we’ve texted and spoken and Facebook chatted, it’s the first time I’ve had a chance to see his beautiful face in almost three weeks. He’s so happy and ridiculously busy and I was so thrilled he invited me to Skype during some of his precious few free minutes. Now if only there was a way to hug someone over Skype…
>> What a treat it’s been to meet some super-nice new friends through my Facebook author page. I genuinely love connecting with a community interested in happiness and gratitude, so please don’t be shy—let me know you’re out there and what you’re up to. Promise I don’t bite!
>> We were blessed to be able to celebrate our 20th anniversary over two special dinners in New York City last weekend. The food was sublime at each in different ways, the restaurants were stunning in different ways, the service was warm and hospitable in both places, and we were pampered and spoiled with kitchen tours and other lovely amenities at each establishment. We are truly grateful to all the folks who had a hand in making our evenings so enjoyable and memorable.
>> Had a load of gratitude yesterday for our friend, Jerry, one of the talented and adorable characters who slices smoked fish at the appetizing counter at Zabar’s in Manhattan. Very long pre-holiday crowd waiting with numbers for their turn to place orders, and Jerry, slicer extraordinaire, winks at my husband when we walk in and asks him what’s on our list. He quietly sliced our huge order and we were on our way with 20 people still to go before our number would’ve even come up. We love to go in and shmooze with the slicers, and we’re always telling the guys how much we appreciate what they do and asking about their lives. Apparently kindness has its rewards!
>> Two heroic high-level techs at AppleCare who helped me get my music and photos from a very sick hard drive onto a new system, keeping playlists, albums and keywords intact. And to Cory at AppleCare, who wasn’t able to help me and had to hook me up with the specialists, but was the kindest, most polite person I’ve ever spoken to on a help line. I hope all these guys get to hear many other happy customers in the course of their work.
>> Very thankful that so far I’ve been granted the strength to deal with the school district to get my son the accommodations that have been agreed to in his IEP. It takes a special kind of strength and infinite patience to deal with continual ignorance and colossal stupidity, but I’m determined to push ahead tirelessly when it comes to my kids and their needs.