While I sat on my porch this morning, it started to rain. Yesterday, it was 100+ degrees, so I was grateful for the rain. Before I completed my ‘thankful’ thought, the rain stopped. The little shower didn’t help my grass much, but it helped me decide what to post about this week – gratitude.
I’m not going to talk about the usual things we’re all grateful for, like family, friends, dark chocolate.
I’m going to talk about some things that have improved my life.
Now, I’m not of the generation where I walked ten miles a day to school in the blinding snow. We had indoor plumbing, a car, and a television – with three channels. I had many conveniences my parents didn’t have when they were younger. I bet my parents were excited about their first microwave oven or the snooze button on the alarm clock. People used to get out of bed the first time the alarm rang. Imagine.
Today, technological advances are happening at breakneck speed.
I’m thankful for my Kindle, my tablet, and my smartphone. The phone flashlight alone – wow. I didn’t realize the satisfaction of constantly carrying a flashlight in my pocket. Go find the flashlight and I hope the batteries work are phrases of the past.
Anything that helps me travel with ease is appreciated (wheeled suitcases) or anything that makes running less complicated (GPS watch) is advantageous.
I have a son and his wife in New Zealand, so I’m continually grateful for texting and Facetime. I miss mailed letters but I love that instant connection with my children.
All these noted advances make my life better and I’m grateful, but, as I sat on my porch in a musing state of mind, I came up with a list of things I really could’ve used a few decades earlier.
Five inventions, in no particular order, I never want to live without:
- Heated car seats. I’m always cold. When I’m inside during our hellish summers, I wear a sweater. I keep blankets near all my favorite resting spots. My last car had seat warmers and, foolishly, I didn’t realize the next car I bought didn’t have them. In my defense, it was June in Texas. I was more focused on the air conditioner. I miss my heated seats every winter. For my next car, I can compromise on the make or the color, but I must have the seat warmers. If you’re cold-natured, you get this. If you’re always hot, I hear they have cooling systems, too.
- Steam dryer. When I was young, my mother paid me 25 cents a piece to iron my dad’s shirts. This was back in the day when men wore suits, ties, and starched cotton shirts to work everyday. My dad was 6’4”, so his shirts were big. Back then, I realized ironing was never going to be my favorite chore. Until I got my steam dryer, I avoided wearing anything that was 100% cotton because I knew I’d have to iron. Today, my steam dryer eliminates most of the wrinkles. I still have to iron if I want nice creases, but most days, I can live without them.
- The word processor. During my college years, I remember typing a paper, due the next day, and I made mistake after mistake. Granted, it was around two in the morning (so, technically, it was due that day) and I should have started typing the paper much sooner. Remember the horror of footnotes? I was frustrated to tears. But now, oh my goodness, I love all the word processing capabilities of my computer. Every time I correct spelling errors, format text, or add media to a story, I give thanks for this function. I bet it’s the favored technology of all writers of my generation.
- Online shopping. I’m a tall female. This was tough when I was growing up. I was a rarity and my mother didn’t have time to sew for me. Shopping was a nightmare. Today, I still can’t find clothes in my small town, but I’m not such a rarity on the worldwide web. I can easily (maybe too easily) find clothes and shoes and any other products I can’t buy locally. Stores have even made it easy to return items. In the past, I dreaded this part of online shopping.
- Soft contact lenses. I started wearing contacts when I was about fifteen. I could only wear hard lenses because I had an astigmatism. I was so glad not to be a ‘four eyes’ anymore. This was in the days when glasses weren’t as fashionable as they are now. If you could wear contacts, you probably did, despite the pain involved. And wearing old school, hard contacts could be quite painful, especially in West Texas, where the dirt blew regularly. I frequently walked around with red eyes from dirt under my contacts. I still remember that particular pain. Heaven forbid, if you dropped a contact on the floor. I spent many a day on my hands and knees searching for that tiny piece of glass, and hoping no one would step on it. It was a distinctive crunch when someone stepped on your hard contact. It was also an expensive crunch. Today, if I lose my soft contact, I just grab another because I have daily lenses. Woohoo! And what else is great about daily contact lenses? I don’t have to clean them every night.
There you have it – the top five things on my personal gratitude list.
I’m a little lazy and I value my comfort.
That sounds about right.
Hope you find lots of reasons to be grateful today!