As I sat in the rather fancy Starbucks* less than a mile from my home listening to Al Green pumped through the surround sound speakers drinking my Grande Non-Fat with Whip 6 pump Mocha and falling into a state of self-pity I decided to close my $79.99 text book and put it away in my book bag by its $153.00 companion text (all purchased compliments of my high interest student loans) and walk across to the Walgreens to purchase my very expensive medication. As he retrieved it the pharmacist said, "Wow, that's some pricey medication." I winced swiping my debit card thinking - okay there is enough money in my checking account for this but maybe not rent . . . - when the pharmacist said, "well, it could be worse, without insurance it would be $400." To which I replied, "Yes, while I miss my old insurance, I'm thankful for this nevertheless." And I walked out of the store and began to think of how thankful I am indeed. And it sort of slapped me in the face, how dare I wallow in my self-righteous middle class self-pity? I mean yes I may have some sincere financial woes coming my way and really need a job, but for today I was able to purchase my medication (although my insurance's $2500 limit on med coverage should be up by now and I am just hoping they won't bill me later and this month I will begin researching low cost medication). Nonetheless, for 30 days I have medication.
I began to think about the multitude of other things I am thankful for - even just those I saw walking down 39th Ave. Like that fact that I have somewhere warm to walk to. I have food at home. I have insurance. I was not being attacked (by humans or wild animals - often an irrational fear of mine while walking day or night - oh of humans not like wilda-beasts). I am thankful for my coat and gloves. For the little girl in the winter coat walking ahead of me holding her dad's hand and licking a popsicle in 47 degree weather as her family walked into the MC Escher apartment building next door to mine. The boy in the fedora-like hat waiting for the #75 bus. For the Starbuck's* gift card that supplied my tasty mocha of utter perfection. For David Bowie's music that put a bit more pep in my step - because how could it not? - playing through my little MuVo mp3 player.
Here in my life of middle class wonder I am aware that the world is falling apart in many ways. That the economy is scary. The wars are scary. That there is so much scariness around. But that I have to see the little things. I have to be so thankful for them each step of the way.
Now, I have to study. I'm not as thankful for that, but I am for my education so I guess I should work on the attitude about studying.
*I know, I should feel shame, corporate coffee, but there was a gift card involved so I'll think of how they treat their staff well and do the whole fair trade coffee thing. If only the didn't make such perfect mochas . . .
6 months ago