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100 Days of Gladness, Day 1

Shifting my gaze from grousing to gratitude

I’m tired of complaining. Tired of reciting the liturgy of angst, as my thumb swipes its way — bead by bead by bead — through the images, a digital mala that chants, “Like and Subscribe! You’ll feel better!”

I never feel better. It’s just nose candy only for the eyes. Doesn’t last, and I only want more, so I keep scrolling. I hurt, my head aches, I’m exhausted, my back is sore, and I can’t stop. I can’t. Next. Next. Next. Next.

Sometimes I get a chuckle out of it. Or something sweet that I send on to my wife’s phone.

But Enough. Today, it begins. 100 Days of Gladness. Why 100? I say, why not?

Here are my entries for today, Sunday, November 26th, 2023:

  • Got an inkling of how much I love my own family. For real. For no reason. That’s rare. Usually I’m mumbling dissatisfaction about squeaky doors, and dropping the stuff I was carrying, and having to wait so long for a download. But in the middle of all that, I got it that none of that is of any consequence whatsoever — next to the fat blessing of my own people.

  • Elena’s (our) niece, Jessica, (who on November 16th, after a massive heart attack, was not expected to live through the night, and who has been on life support for weeks), has been sitting up, even standing! She’s been talking, asking for a Coke, watching Seinfeld. You have no idea. A heart transplant is next, and “miles to go before we sleep,” but for today, we’ll take it!

  • Also today Elena and I took our dog (Ruby, aka J. K. Rarfling) for a walk and met a little doodle named Daisy. Full of love, that dog. And she was freshly washed. Gotta tell you, a freshly washed mid-sized doodle is really something.

  • We were invited over to a friend’s house, a friend we really love and respect. She made me my own special lasagna with almost no diary in it, and with extra spinach and I loved it.

  • I felt a little off tonight, and had to lie down. I did so in the vastly oversized dog bed we got years ago for a dog much bigger than Ruby. It’s so cushy, a four-inch-thick foam rubber covered in a soft fleecy something. I lay there feeling crappy. Our beloved Yorkie, Ruby, knowing when and where her services are needed, stayed right by me. I felt a little tiny kiss on my foot. Then on my elbow. And then on my face. And then she curled up by me until I felt better.

  • I ate one of the most delicious raspberries ever. I brought its sweet, small, soft, nubby cup of little fairy-sized flavor-pops to my mouth, and chewed it slowly — giving thanks to the thousands of people who had to cooperate so that I could enjoy this moment of pleasure.

  • And I had twenty minutes to meditate on zoom with my teacher, Anam Thubten, Rinpoche. This wasn’t just ho-hum, be quiet and fall asleep meditation. It was powerful. And we prayed for the entire world, for relief from suffering and the cause of suffering — for everyone’s happiness, and the cause of happiness. I was so grateful for that brief time with him.

  • OH! And Ruby (yes, the very J. K. Rarfling I spoke of before) got her very first piece of fan mail from one of my (her) followers. I couldn’t believe it. We all toasted her for it. By the way, she was so moved that she said anyone who sends her a fan letter (by snail mail) will be answered in kind. By her. Through me. I just have to get her a Post Office Box now. If you want her address, let me know.


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