I enjoyed John Tierney's article on the importance of gratitude. I've long thought gratitude akin to flossing, but good for my mental, not dental, health. Still, despite my best intentions to focus on the full half of the glass, I often end up wondering if organized religion would help. It isn't that I don't feel gratitude on a frequent, regular, and heart-felt-basis, but rather that I one-eighty out of it so fast there isn't even any danger of whiplash, it's quantum. I'll be awash in warm-fuzzies when, like an “I Dream of Jeannie” special-effect, I'm facing the exact opposite way in the space of one frame, wondering why it was, exactly, that I thought having kids was a good idea, or bemoaning no closets, or pining for a dishwasher.
The fact of the matter is I have oodles to be grateful for this holiday season. Two shining examples are the drainpipe on our washing machine and our propane refrigerator. Prior to the drainpipe installation, each load of laundry meant carrying three carboys full of water from the utility room across the house to the kitchen sink for dumping. I didn't feel sorry for myself, but did spend a fair amount of time thinking, “this is ridiculous.” In October, Aaron hooked up a drainpipe and hot water to the washing machine (which involved running pipe from the utility room, under the house, across the house, to the kitchen sink drain). Now, it is a joy to put in a load and forget about it as I corral, cajole, and care-take the kidlets, hanging the laundry up to dry after they have gone to bed. And switching from an electric to a propane fridge has meant we run our generator about 75% less than we did and can go away for the weekend without getting rid of all of the food in the fridge and freezer. (Talk about an ultra-ridiculous situation.) Enjoy your refrigeration, it is energy intensive, but think how differently you'd be eating without it.