“I don’t usually like to complain,” is a preface that I typically hear from complainers. So, when I find myself starting to use it I check myself and wonder if I’m really just piling on a general complaint. I like to think that I don’t, but I also recognize that most people who complain the most are those least cognizant of it.

This is the month of November, culminating with Thanksgiving. I could go too far with this, too Oprah-esque, and trivialize what I’m thinking, but I’ll take that slight risk while taking precautions to not go over the top. I think that, rather than running the risk of initiating a complaint for a few entries, I could devote a few extra spaces to “gratitude.” Plus, it’s an excellent writing prompt.

There are many things to be grateful for: family, health, love, a home, etc. And I am, truly, absolutely grateful for all these, especially as I look around at others’ misfortunes and mishaps. But that’s obvious. Or, at least, it should be. There are other things that are less obvious, even to me, that I should be grateful for.

So I’ll start by nominating our dog. She wags her tail and rolls over on her back to be pet on her belly. She walks alongside with just enough enthusiasm that you know you’re doing something good, but not so much that you’re being dragged behind. She still hasn’t given up on chasing the cat up the stairs — she is a model for hope, a patron saint for lost causes. And, as of this evening, she is developing a pace that matches my run, at least for short distances.

I didn’t know that I’d want a dog again, and I’m not sure that I’d want any dog, but I’m very happy that we have Maggie.


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