I put my feet on the floor, first thing in the morning, and take a look at them.
They are not the most attractive feet. That’s just a fact.
I have big feet and skinny ankles and it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how much they resemble duck feet, but I try not to dwell on it. The point is, they are good, stable feet. They don’t hurt and they carry me on my daily walk, and I am grateful to have them — even if they are a little bigger and less attractive than they might be.
Then I get out of bed and have more to be grateful for.
I might be a little stiff, but I have no major pains. I feel rested and ready for a cup of coffee and, for all of that (especially the coffee) I am grateful.
Lately, my husband, Peter, had been getting up before me. But whether he is up first, or I am, Peter always has the coffee made. He gets it ready the night before, so I will never be without coffee. I tell people that I have forgotten how to make coffee, being married to Peter for almost eight years, and everyone assumes I am kidding. I am not. I honestly don’t remember how much coffee goes with how much water. They call this “learned helplessness” in psychology, and it certainly describes me. But Peter takes good care of me and makes sure I never run out of coffee, so I guess I don’t really need to know.
I have my coffee and Peter has his and we don’t talk to each other too much. I might be feeling chatty, but I know Peter is not first thing in the morning. If I ask him what he thinks about something, he will say, “I’m not awake yet.” So I save up all the interesting things I want to tell him for later in the day.
Instead, I drink my coffee and write in my journal and try to remember what it was I wanted to get done in this new day. I usually write down the things I am feeling grateful for — like my feet or my coffee or a good night’s sleep. I am grateful that I have fun things to work on and things to look forward to. I am grateful for my family and my health and having Peter here beside me (even if he is quiet) always making coffee for me.
Later in the morning, I will work to make myself marginally more presentable and do my pushups — which I always hate, but keep doing. But every day, almost without exception, I take at least a moment to remember how fortunate I am.
I think it’s good to start the day out looking at my feet on the floor. It’s good to be reminded how dependent I am on them, how often I take them for granted, how different my life would be if I could not jump up and go wherever I wanted. It’s good to be reminded that another day has passed, and my feet are one day older, even if the rest of me stubbornly resists admitting this.
For one moment, as my feet are on the ground and I am in that place that is not quite out of bed and not quite in, I remember how blessed every morning is and that, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to live out at least one more day and see my feet on the floor tomorrow.
Till next time,
Photos from this week’s column and podcasts of previous columns can be found at CarrieClasson.com.