Last Thursday we went on a walk through the neighborhood, me and my daughters, for the first time in a long time. We put on our sneakers one at a time, freshened our smiles, and headed out like conquering heroes. You know, until we met our first unleashed dog. Then we scampered away like mice (really, people should follow the leash law around these parts) and took an alternate route.
We breathed in the fresh air of a village that was just awakening from a long winter’s slumber. It was crisp and clear in our lungs as we rounded corner after corner, meandering as much as anything else from block to block in a relatively circuitous path. Surprisingly there were few others out and about on that glorious afternoon, under the shining sun. They were probably inside like some Ray Bradbury future, all huddled around screens instead of enjoying nature, which was fine by me.
Now, you know I’m not an outdoors type of person, but every once in a while it hits me, that bug, that desire to explore the world around me instead of being a sedentary creature. Not often, but it happens, and I am grateful for it. Here are two other things for which I am grateful:
1. I am grateful for opportunities. I’ll be the first to admit that it doesn’t always seem to me like opportunities are falling from the sky, but not all opportunities are professional. And while professional opportunities just aren’t coming, personal ones are appearing like woodland creatures in a sunny glade. Just having the chance to spend time with my children is a great opportunity that I treasure more than anything I could possibly do professionally. Just being able to say that I have two books published and another on the way is a great opportunity for me in so many ways, not the least of which is feeling fulfilled as an individual.
2. I am grateful for laughter. Someone a while back said that it was the best medicine, and I tend to agree. Whenever I’m down or feeling depressed something happens to lift my spirits, or someone says something hilarious and I can’t help but fall under the spell. While laughter can be forced, true joy cannot, and laughter spawned from true joy is utterly fantastic, almost magical in its spell. It’s easy to tell the difference when you’re attuned to the glory of that true laughter, in the freedom that lets you just give in to it. From early on I’ve loved watching comedians who are good with the timing of jokes, and that goes for regular folk too. Timing is everything, and the laughs will follow.