Be thankful… especially when feeling blue.

This time of year, when the weather turns cold in many parts of the world, and the holidays are just around the corner, I can’t help but feel a little melancholy and nostalgic. Because I can identify no specific reason for my blue mood, I blame it on the blanket of grayness that hovers over Frankfurt.  I don’t remember feeling this ‘blah’ in the sunny days spent in Singapore.  Why does the lack of sunshine have such power over our moods?

Presently, with the damp, dark coldness outside, I have no desire to leave the warm but cluttered mess of my apartment, even to walk down to the festive Christmas market, which is surely one of the best things about this season in Europe. I have no desire to put on my yoga clothes and walk a mile, if that, to my yoga studio for a reviving Ashtanga class, although yoga always makes me feel better.  Instead I just want to mope around the apartment, feeling blah, listening to Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Portishead, Queen, etc.

But as I wander around my apartment, I see things that make me nostalgic and remember the past:  Kendo armor reminds me of learning to wield the shinai in Japan, in a children’s class where my husband and I were the only adults and the only ‘gaijin’; Reclining bronze Buddha reminds me of travels in India – the noise, the exotic scents, the people and their friendly smiles;  Is it possible that feeling blue is the catalyst to remind us to slow down, stop and observe.  Do we need that mirror of melancholy to appreciate all that we have, which we so often take for granted?

Instead of seeing my apartment as a cluttered mess, I should be thankful that I have a warm and cozy home.  Instead of complaining about the pain in my knee, I should be thankful that I can still walk, run, do yoga, or climb a mountain if I want.  Once upon a time, I was hospitalized, bed ridden and told that I would leave the hospital in a wheelchair.  As days turned to months in a foreign hospital, and as I was relearning to walk with major assistance, I remember wishing that I could walk on my own and I vowed that if I ever left the hospital, I would never just sit around and do nothing.  But that is exactly what I am doing on this cold, gray Sunday afternoon.  Instead, I need to be thankful for all that I have.

I am thankful for that accident and hospitalization, for without it, I would not be married to an amazing husband, who not only brews me a cappucino every morning and brings it to me, still asleep in bed, but who makes my heart sing whenever he smiles.

I am thankful for my friends.  This week a new friend and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch together while discovering and discussing our shared love of French macarons.

I am thankful for the soreness in my muscles, which remind me daily that I am still mobile, and not bed ridden, and that I can walk, run or do anything that I want in my life.

What are you thankful for?