My editor insists on going to her day job as an English teacher, so please forgive any typos.
We are focused on things going wrong. This is probably an adaptation that keeps us alive. If I cross a particular street a thousand times, but get hit by a bus one time, I will remember the bus because it could have killed me. Our minds are advanced pattern-recognition machines meant to ensure our safety, even if this does tilt us toward pessimism.
It is fun to count the things that go right everyday, because they vastly outnumber the things that go wrong. Here is my list for the first few minutes of my day.
I woke up.
I live in a functioning economy and a time in history advanced enough to have air conditioning, a soft bed, and electricity. I also have hot water for a shower, though my wife says I should take advantage of this more often. I say that the idea of showering all the time is a conspiracy by the soap companies. I’m no sheep.
I did not deal with any violence in the night, from animal or person or weather.
I live in a stable universe where things stay where they are supposed to. I have never woken up in the ocean or in a black hole or nonexistent.
$30 bought me a pair of jeans that has lasted close to two years.
My wife and my children woke up today.
I have animals that I get to take care of. It is really weird that we get to have these other creatures live in our houses with us.
I have coffee on demand, and plenty of food to meet the needs of myself and my family.
I wake up energized and ready to go, and I am able to clean up the house first thing every day.
I have a house to clean up.
I have a toddler who I love, and makes cleaning up necessary.
This is just the first few minutes, and it is just scratching the surface. Today I have also gotten Max to a daycare that we trust and love without dying, my truck did not break down, and I live in an age where I can type something electronically and post it on the internet where people can read it. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback about these writings, and that makes me feel good.
I just mailed a huge (to me) check to the IRS, but I only had to do this because I have been making money. I have to save up a lot of money to send in January because I have been doing my taxes wrong, but I am happy I have learned how to fix this, and that I have the ability to fix the situation without it wrecking us. I am fortunate to get do this in a way that I feel helps other people. In a little while, I will go to the job that has allowed me to make money and help people, and I really enjoy being there.
These things are present everyday. Even when I feel like shit, at least I am here to feel it. I am very fortunate, and I try to remain grateful for this.