I got my first and my favorite tattoo right after 9/11.
On September 12th I literally couldn’t sit up or get out of bed, lying there paralyzed by grief, anguish and anger. In the days that followed I joined my fellow New Yorkers as we shambled about like dazed sleepwalkers stunned by grief and disbelief. The next week I fly to San Francisco for work. I don’t know what was eerier – the empty plane or the unsmiling somnambulism of the usually chirpy stewardesses. At one point on the trip I burst into tears on the first floor of Nordstroms; some clerks launched into consoling me with a makeover and some free product samples.
I’d be thinking of getting a tattoo for many months, but couldn’t decide on what kind. I’d narrowed it down to getting a word scripted on the small of my back. Located as it would be on the tramp stamp site, I had to be careful not to pick a sentiment that might be misconstrued by future beaux or that would be pathetically ironic as I aged. I’d been leaning toward something sort of inspiring, maybe a Sailor Jerry-ish “No guts, no glory”. But in the post-September 11th landscape of heartbreak and rage I suddenly knew exactly to get.
In life, what message to myself would best empower me, inspire me, heal me? I plunked down my 80 bucks, lay face down, and had the pervasively pierced man permanently mark me with a single word: grateful.
There are so many things that bring women to their knees (violence, subjucation, rock stars), there is also much for which we should get down on our knees in gratitude. Despite the fact there’s a lot to gripe about (A LOT), it’s important we remember to focus on all the wonderful things and people that makes our lives immeasurably better.
No matter what, there is always, always, something for which to be thankful.
Some people make vision boards, others make entries in “Gratitude Journals” every day. Too lazy for all that, I still circle back to gratitude whenever I need to put things in perspective, to remind myself to live in awareness of how much in the world is just fucking GREAT.
This Thanksgiving, let’s remember all the wonders that can make our lives easier, better and beautiful-er. Here’s a partial and fairly random list of some of things for which I am truly grateful:
Black Spanx leggings
Meeting my husband
Marrying my husband
My husband putting up with me
Rock and Roll
The sound of rain
Everything about Christmas
Finding my birthmother
Discovering my new wonderful new brother, sister, nieces, uncle and aunt
Turner Classic Movies
Cab Calloway’s St. James Infirmary
Pride & Prejudice
My pink octopus chandelier
Savings in the bank
My new ring
My other new ring
The Mulligatawny soup at Hale & Hearty
The fact that someone thought to make this
Will & Grace reruns
Law & Order reruns
The Veronica Mars movie coming out
And corny as it might sound, being alive
I could go on (and on and on), but what I’d really like to do is ask – and share — what YOU are grateful for?