Pressing Pause on “Unhappy” to Reflect upon Gratitude–Day 19 of Getting Dressed


I believe that
Freeing myself from
Yesterday’s anxiety and anger
Will leave more room in my head
For experiencing today’s joy.

It’s the emptying process
That can be so hard for me.
My habit is to love
Holding on
To the “bad” stuff by
Rolling mentally unhealthy thoughts
Down a thunderstruck hill
Over and over again
Until they become
Enormous solid snowballs.

That phenomenon,
Difficult and real,
Is part of my physiology,
Part choice
My obsessive personality
Is inclined to make.

In the meantime,
My plan is to cram my mind with
Thinking about the good
In my life that’s sitting
At the tip of my nose.

I press “pause”
On anxious unhappiness
To glance towards gratitude:

Last night I got about
7 hours of uninterrupted sleep
To help clear my head
To be better able to
Appreciate all the
Interesting possibilities
Today holds.

My 1925 water based steam heater
Has been working
Without a hitch this year!

The weather has had many moods
And is now colder again.
The boiler is temperamental
And hasn’t always
Functioned properly
Especially when
The temperature fluctuates.

But our house has remained dry,
Toasty warm and welcoming,
So far,
This entire winter
With no basement flooding

And completely absent of
Speech impaired, elderly repairman
Whose knowledge about this
Specialty piece is suspect,
At best,
Who mistakes my questions
About the boiler with
Interest in him
Followed up with grabby hands.

I get to reconnect
With one of the first people
I met when I moved to this city,
Almost 20 years ago,
Hugely pregnant and
Did not know anyone else
At the time
Besides my husband.

She was my “mentor mother”
Within a program designed
To help women navigate
Through the emotional ins and outs
Of having a first baby.

I had lost touch with her
Through the passing years
After the program ended.
But I always remembered
The volunteered time
She spent with me
Every week
Checking up to make sure
My daughter and I
Were doing alright.

Today, we will meet again
At a popular vegan restaurant.
Time to get my vegetables on!

That is all for now.
Making myself add more
For the sake
Of having a longer list
Will feel forced and


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