St. Theresa is the Saint of Little Ways. I try hard to be very mindful of the little things that I am grateful for throughout the day. The “little ways” in life seem mostly to go my way in the normal course of things. It is surely this notion that affords me my “glass is half full” attitude. I am just as certain that when all the “little ways” seem to be going against me, I’d like to go back to bed and curl up under the covers and sleep it off until tomorrow when I can begin anew. Sadly, or maybe luckily, that’s never an option.
There’s an old Willie Nelson song that begins with all the “little ways” going wrong for him one morning. His alarm clock didn’t ring. He’s late for work. He spilled his coffee. Another bill came in the mail. When he finally gets to the chorus, the kicker is that the biggest thing didn’t go his way either as he describes his lover leaving him. The song hits a chord with me because — yeah, my hubby left this morning… He did, but only to go to work as he does every day (thankful for his job in these economic times). But, seriously, it seems on the days when it goes wrong, it ALL seems to go VERY wrong. But, when it’s right — the little ways and the big ones — all seem to align and everything feels right. I am sooo thankful that mostly the little ways and big ways seem to go right for me most days… Truly! So, here’s a show of my gratitude for the little ways:
 Thanks for all the cars in the left lane miraculously deciding to go straight this morning instead of waiting for on-coming traffic to clear to make their left turns. Otherwise, I’d have been stuck behind them for at least 2-3 traffic light cycles. Seems a little thing, right? But, at that moment, when I realized I couldn’t get into the right lane and might be stuck in more traffic, already waaaaay too late getting the boys to school… You know I felt immensely grateful for that little miracle and actually said out loud, “Thank you God!”
 While I’m a bit ticked off that Miss Molly Box chewed the knobs off of the boys’ Etch-a-Sketch AND chewed the boys’ Home Depot tape measure to smithereens AND chewed the loose molding off the wall behind the front door… I’m thankful she didn’t chew Olivia’s beloved jean jacket up despite having pulled it down onto the ground and adding it to her newest pile of chew-booty! Olivia was already upset this morning when she realized that her European Biker Boots no longer fit her. She’d have been devastated if she lost the jean jacket in the same day. That’s a big little thing for me to be grateful for.
 I’m thankful for the cup of diet hot chocolate I’m nursing right now as I type. It’s a rainy and windy day and though it’s 60 degrees, it doesn’t feel like that in my soul… So, this hot cocoa is just hitting the warm spot and I’m really enjoying it!
 I’m thankful that it’s raining today! That’s an odd one for me, huh? Now the new grass seed I laid down the other day is being watered with no effort on my part. And, I can while away my time on the computer — before my services are needed as a parent-member at the school district — without feeling guilty about not getting out there and finishing the paver-in-sand patio I’m working on in the yard. Truth be told, my 46-year-old back and hands are a little sore today from the work I did yesterday.
 As you can gather from #4 above, I’m grateful for the rain taking over because I fall short when it comes to flora and fauna upkeep. I get it all in the ground but I’ve never been very good at consistently caring for my plants, flowers, grass or shrubs once they’re down. Thankfully, most of the time they seem to thrive despite my shortcoming. I do so enjoy spending time in my perennial garden and I’m always pleasantly rewarded with peace and tranquility when I care for my green friends. Still, sustaining the consistent, daily effort in the face of conflicting needs and schedules has always been a problem for me. (I once had a garden center owner refuse to sell me flowers because I was honest with him about this.) I’m grateful that mother nature kicks in where my nature does not seem able.
Little ways that make my day, my life, my world a bit more pleasant. Note, it’s not that all the little ways go my way or that some of the little ways don’t go south some days — like being late for school with the boys again, or Miss Molly Box’s digressions, or the rain (as a tree-hugger, I’m always happier with sunshine) — it’s just that I really try to appreciate the little ways that DO go my way. I find that makes me happier and better able to overlook the little ways that don’t. ;O)