Just Go Left

What Gatsby has Taught Me About Gratitude

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For the last year Kyle and I have shared a queen sized bed stuffed into a 300 square foot bedroom. We have also worked semi-opposite schedules: often acting as ships passing in the night until the weekends. It’s chaotic. If one article of clothing is on the floor the whole room looks like a complete disaster, there is constantly dog hair all over the floor and don’t even get me started on our bathroom because I literally can’t even.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that all of this is temporary; that one day we will have a space to call our own and as we sit on our porch sipping cocktails we will laugh about the tiny bedroom we once shared. But for now? It feels never-ending…..like a life-sentence without parole.

Gatsby has recently started doing this thing where he jumps up on the bed in the middle of the night to snuggle with us. Endearing right? Well yes, until you factor in all 6’3” of Kyle, all 93 pounds of Gatsby and the queen sized bed we’re now all stuffed into like sausage into a casing. Oh, and they both snore. I have woken up many a night at 3 a.m. to a big, white dog wedged between Kyle and me; both of them snoring into my ear.

Sometimes it’s so cramped I have to seek refuge downstairs on the couch where I get only three more hours of sleep before the alarm starts blaring and it’s time to start my day. Half-awake I crawl back upstairs to the bedroom; the promise of a hot shower waiting at the top. Quietly, I open our bedroom door where I find Kyle and Gatsby, fast asleep together amongst the chaos of our tiny little room. When he hears me, Gatsby will peek his little head out from under the covers and look at me like “oh hey there mama, where have you been?” And suddenly, it becomes less about the chaos and more about the fact that my whole world fits into that queen sized bed in that tiny room….and suddenly the clutter, the crazy, the tired are all replaced by gratitude.   

I’ve found myself saying “thank you” more because Gatsby is in my life. When I buy his (very inexpensive) food (that lasts me a whole month) I say a silent “thank you” for a dog with an appetite. When I give him his monthly heartworm pill (just one pill, Warner took 4 pills twice a day), I say “thank you” for a healthy pup. When he climbs into bed at 3 a.m. I say “thank you” for a dog who loves us so much he just wants to be near us. And, at the end of a very long day, I say a big “thank you” for his sweet little face waiting at the door to greet me.

Warner taught me that life is precious. Gatsby has taught me to appreciate all the blessings in my life, and to express my gratitude for them. I find myself not only choosing joy but when I find it, saying “thank you” for it. I am so incredibly grateful for my little family; but especially for that big white dog who finds so much joy wedged between us in that tiny little room.