Last night at the New Year's party I attended we all went around and stated what we are grateful for. We filled the room, making sure every person went, even as more and more kept walking in the door. As a group we were committed to hearing what each other were grateful for in that moment. There were quite a few of us there. So it took over an hour to hear from each one. It was so amazing to watch and listen to each person, young and old, pause and voice his or her gratitude. This is a practice that I am now used to and I am so grateful for that! Everything that is said is applauded, appreciated, acknowledged and mirrored into my own life. When the turn was mine, I said I am grateful for life, and the fact that I get to choose it every moment of everyday. And I so get that, and I am grateful that this is the way I choose to see life.
Today, I set out to visit an amazing friend in Joshua Tree. The first step was to get a ride from Encinitas to the San Diego airport, as those are the only rental locations open on New Years Day. I had just returned another friends' car to her the night before that she had let me borrow for a month while she was away. I am so overcome with gratitude for her and her sweet little hybrid car! She even offered to let me keep it for my last week in town, but I decided it would be a more suitable choice to rent a car. She loves her bike and plans on sticking to it this week, but I kept feeling that I better rent a car.
I am grateful that I have the will to make requests of my friends and know that is perfect if they say no, too. I am grateful for the friend that drove out of her way to pick me up and take me to get my rental and I am so grateful for the time that we spent together on that car ride south. I am head over heals in love with the Prius, but since I am no longer making an income, I opted for the cheap "mid-size" class car deal that I found. $45 a day vs. $11 a day was actually a really hard choice for me, but I gave in and chose the cheap deal. I signed the paperwork and the agent handed me the keys to my least favorite car!!!!!! An old roommate of mine had owned one of these cars, and it continuously was in the shop after being purchased brand new. I know that can happen with even the most luxurious of all cars, but I just really don't like this model!
I sucked it up and pulled onto the 5 north and as I was telling myself how much I hated the car, I realized how grateful I was to be driving any car at all. Grateful to be able to afford it, grateful to have a license, etc. etc. Then I got how grateful I was for all the cars I had driven previous to this one that had set my standards so high. I also reasoned with myself that this car must be good practice for India, shifting from luxury hotels and vehicles to a different type of comfort.
As I drove on, starting my mini road-trip, so much came up for me that I am grateful for. I thought back to the previous night and how much I loved every moment of it and not just the parts when I was laughing and being reunited with old friends, but also the parts when I was feeling awkward wondering if a "New Year's kiss" was going to happen and when the girl that had drank a little too much was trying to tell me the same story over and over again. I love it all. I am grateful for it all. Each moment is mine, and I get to make up whatever I want about it and then I can forget it too, because really what does it mean? And what does it matter? Does it matter if my version is right? No. Does it matter if your version is right? Nope. But, what is awesome is that I have this moment right here, and it really doesn't have to have anything to do with that moment I just had. If I did not like something when I was 11 years old, or 18 years old, that doesn't mean that I have to not like it right now. I can choose again. I might have even not appreciated something 20 minutes ago, and suddenly be in love with it now.
After a good bout of reflection, I was up for some music. I had grabbed the two CDs I had purchased on my last road trip to bring along for the ride and opened up the case to one to put it in. I attempted to slid the CD into the slot and it was not being received. I thought maybe someone had left a CD in there, but nothing came out with the eject and the screen flashed no CD. So, I tried again but the player was not allowing my disc in. I was in the mountains at this point in my drive and no radio was coming in. I even have a FM transmitter for my ipod, but could not get a clean signal to use. So, I chose silence. It may not have been a split second choice. It came after multiple attempts at my 3 audio options, but I did choose silence, instead of choosing to be angry at the broken CD deck. I am incredibly grateful that I have learned that skill. The skill to accept what is and then take it farther and choose what is.
It's life! Isn't it grand! And it's all mine!