Sense of gratitude continues

Published 5:19 am Monday, December 6, 2021

Nov. 16: I’m grateful for my animals. Foxtrot loves me and wants to be with me always. Whiskey and Tango have matured into good labs. Jarvis, Tigre and Parker love to snuggle with me as cats only can. I’m not sure the Harris hawks Bravo and Zulu actually like me, but the Kestrels certainly do. I also currently have parrots, quail, pigeons, Guinea pigs, frogs, turtles, lizards and isopods. They bring me joy.
Nov. 17: I am grateful for my staff. They care about the patients and clients and try to do their best. I have a good team. (We could use a couple more.)
Nov. 18: I am grateful for my best friends. There are two people who support and carry me through the tough times of life. Few are willing to see me as a person. I bring both strengths and weaknesses to a relationship. I am honest to a fault and do not like to play relationship games. I will help many, but I rail at being used. My friends force me into things that are good for me and know when there are things that are too much for me. There is often coffee involved in our chats.
Nov. 19: I’m grateful for good food with good friends. I am grateful that I live in a country that I don’t have to worry about being hungry.
Nov. 20: I am grateful to have friends in at least seven time zones. Friends who help me bear the weight of the world when I need it.
Nov. 21: I am grateful for coffee. It makes waking up and getting going worthwhile. When you are feeling down, the warmth and aroma makes you feel better. Coffee with friends is a pleasant respite. Coffee is even an excuse for friends to visit.
Nov. 22: I am grateful for Nature in all its many forms and ways. I have slept in a snowbank, climbed to the top of the main mast in the middle of a storm, puked over the lee rail, swam with sharks in the Caribbean, hiked in a deluge in Africa, kayaked off the coast of Alaska, kayaked white water in West Virginia, climbed to the top of a cliff, melted in the sweltering jungle, ridden my motorcycle in the fall and recently hawked in the woods. Being out in nature restores something to us. Something we need.
Nov. 23: I’m grateful that I can be present to help others. Exactly as I was sitting down to a lunch of cheese and crackers one of my mentees called about a staff issue. Although she is quite capable, she sometimes lacks confidence and the situation is legitimately scary. I was able to help he reframe things and we are working toward a solution.
Nov. 24: I am grateful for the kindness of others. Last spring a borrowed generator may have saved Matt’s life. Today I was offered two new falconry spots. It was a beautiful day to explore.
Nov. 25: I am grateful for Guardian Animal. All the animals got extra treats today. My staff works hard. We have a lot of extra equipment that I am proud of. We try to do the best we can and not do things we don’t need to. Of course, my brand of honesty and forthrightness is not everyone’s cup of tea. I am grateful that I am almost okay with that.
Nov. 26: I am grateful for falconry. Falconry requires training of undomesticated animals. It requires research, knowledge, patience and perseverance. (A good sense of human and humility helps also.) This grounding is good for me in my high stress life. It also comes with built in friends. Four texts alerted me to friends’ hunts and how their hawks were doing. (My hawks were overfed, so hunting was not going to work well.) Plus, I had a legitimate excuse to slip away to feed my hawks.
Nov. 27: I am grateful for the little things. Of course, little things are only little things to folks that can do them. Little things for me include opening a can with a regular can opener; diagnosing diabetes by looking at the animal and confirming it with blood work; working in a gunshot amputation emergency; convincing a hawk to work with me; and my writing.
Nov. 28: I am grateful for the clients who support me. I am often told that I am my own boss, but that is not true. I have two to three thousand bosses. Without them, I couldn’t do anything. I love watching generations of clients come in. I very much appreciate the ones that take time to write positive reviews. Reviews are the life blood of small businesses.
Nov. 29: I am grateful for my family. I been married for 42 years and we can still carry on a conversation. My spawn is finishing up college and beginning to look at future homes. They allow me to do all that I do.
Nov. 30: I am grateful for having the wisdom to learn that being grateful for little things, everyday things and normal things makes all the difference in the world.
When I started this more than a decade ago, nobody else did it publically at least. Then everyone did and now we are back to very few, but it is important. Be grateful for the little things, because tomorrow you may not have them.

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. GuardianAnimal.com 606-928-6566.