Sunday, June 22, 2008

21 Days of Gratitude: Day 7

I hurt. All over. My arms. My hips. My thighs. But I feel good. It's that good pain when you know you got it from being productive. I put in a few hours of yardwork today, wielding a weedeater, a hedge trimmer, a pruner and a rake. I tried starting the mower, but I guess I don't pull strong enough, so I left that to Gareth. Instead I tilled and weeded the flowerbed, all the while making mental notes of what still needs to be done.

Our yard is still a work in progress. There's just so much of it. But! I'm not complaining. When I see the size of yards in newer developments now, like the one going up across the main road from us, I give thanks that we have so much space between our home and our neighbors. The new houses are built so close together, one could literally jump from one rooftop to the other.

I would love a brand new house, but at the expense of our privacy? I don't think so. When we upgrade from our starter home, we'll still look for the same acreage and distance from my neighbors. I know land is at a premium now so it may take a while to find what we want, but we're in no hurry.

We live in a small, quiet multi-cultural cul-de-sac. Whites, blacks, Mexicans, Koreans and us. I know the families on either side of our house and a couple across the way. All friendly, but for the most part we keep to ourselves. It's not the best of neighborhoods. I can't even claim gentrification, because it's not the worst neighborhood either. But it's not bad. There are fancier neighborhoods in Federal Way. Much fancier. But for a starter home it's enough.

We have four bedrooms, a living room, a den, a dining area. The room off the den serves as our home office, where Gareth and I have our own workstations. It's nice to be able to share an office with him. Right now he's sitting behind me to my right putting the final touches on his revamped website, Skewed & Reviewed (

If we're not in the bedroom, we're in our office. If we're not in the office, we're chilling in front of the TV clearing out the DVR or catching up on DVDs Gareth has to review. If we're not in the house, we're working on the yard. If we're not at home, we're at work or at a movie screener. If we're not in town, we're on a weekend writing assignment/weekend getaway. Until I wrote this down, I wasn't aware we'd settled into this groove. It's nice. I like it. It's comforting.

Today, I'm grateful for the aches and pains I feel. It means I worked hard doing something I love.

I'm thankful for the great weather that I enjoyed, the fresh air I was able to breathe in great quantities as I labored under the sun. I feel like every improvement I make on our yard is an improvement on me. I am a work in progress.

I'm grateful that my asthma is under control and not once today did I need my rescue inhaler.

I'm thankful for this home I share with my husband and mother-in-law with plenty of room to spare for our many pets. Yes, it needs work, but don't we all?

Lastly, I'm thankful for the full weekend, that, while it's never as long as I want it to be, it was long enough to help me see just how fortunate I am.

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