Shelter. When trying to think of things to be grateful for it can sometimes be easy to focus on the big or small things, or the odd things, and sometimes it’s easy to overlook the basic things. The things many of us take for granted home, food, clothes, etc. We don’t think about being grateful for these things because we always assume they will be there. For many, it is easy to forget that these basic parts of life are not a given for everyone.
Having lived before without some of the basics, and having spent a good chunk of time not sure that I would be able to keep others I want to make a point now of expressing my gratitude for what I have. I chose today to be thankful for my apartment.
I live in a small (although not the smallest I’ve seen) studio apartment on the north side of the city. At this point, I feel I’ve outgrown it a bit, and I plan to move when my lease is up next year. Despite feeling a little cramped lately, this has been a great place to live. I’m very grateful I was able to find a great apartment, in a very good neighborhood, and I was able (and have consistently been able) to afford it.
I’ve spent a good portion of my life not always being sure that I would have a place to live. After my parents divorced I lived with my mom and throughout the years the line between housed and homeless was a very thin tightrope we very carefully balanced. It wasn’t until a few years ago things finally seemed to level out. Right about the time I moved to Chicago, actually.
I had been looking for a job in the city for a couple of months, and I finally found one at almost the same time we found an affordable apartment for my mom to move into. It was a whirlwind couple of weeks, we moved my mom at the end of February and I started commuting to the city for work in March. I moved in the beginning of May.
It’s been a wonderful apartment. It has its faults, it has the quirks and hiccups you might expect from an older building, but it has running water and heat. It’s a shelter from the sometimes chaotic Midwestern weather. It’s a quiet place to hide when I can’t deal with people. It’s home.
Living in a large city there are almost daily reminders of how blessed I am, even so, it’s still easy for even me to forget. It’s important to remember how good we have it. Even when the hot water goes out in the middle of your shower it’s important to remember that you have running water (been without, not great). When the old building quirks make me want to pull my hair out and run away, I need to take a moment to be grateful that I have a warm place to rest and to call home.
What is a basic need that you are thankful for?