In light of most of my rants and ravings there is relatively little time where I am not grateful for what which I have been blessed. While there are many days where I consciously spend brain cycles recognizing how lucky I have been in my life, Thanksgiving provides a better time to share. Whether read or understood by anyone else, writing these down and having the opportunity to see the words helps solidify and deepen the appreciation I should never lose sight of.
I am thankful for many things – some personal and some a bit broader:
1. My wife – the most important person in my life. She is my best friend and she has provided me guidance, advice and support for almost 32 years now – despite me often pushing back or trying to ignore it. She has got to be one of the most caring and giving people I know and she has been an ongoing balance to much of the imbalance I’ve brought to the party.
2. My kids – they were a lot of work (as all kids are – if you do it right) but they have both blossomed into great, capable and caring adults. They are a source of both pride and ongoing discovery for me as they grow, learn and continue their journey thru adulthood and all that goes with it.
3. My life in general – I am extremely blessed for what I have. Yes, I have worked for it but there are many that work hard and meet greater challenges and have less. I want for little and don’t really have to think twice for anything I really need that I don’t have. I am blessed that when the unexpected comes up I don’t have to make the hard choices that many do. I can take care of my family as needed without much concern other than recognizing that I can’t fix everything. (sorry Erin…).
4. My health – yes, I’m getting older and there are aches and pains that come with that and I have had to have a few parts fixed so they will continue to work as I get even older. But I am healthy and my family is healthy. How does it go – when you have your health… – a saying that becomes more and more true if you look around and see what many deal with on a day-to-day basis. Anything I have pales in comparison so my complaints don’t really count for much.
5. It might sound strange but I am thankful for what lies ahead. We have planned well and have been pretty balanced in how we have lived life so as I look out towards retirement (not that far away) I don’t feel panic. We will be okay. I have a life partner to share it with, we will be far from destitute and we will have time to discover new adventures for ourselves.
6. I am thankful I have lived during a time where the change in this country has been dramatic. Growing up and coming of age when things like civil rights and equality for women had their roots, experiencing the impact of the war in Vietnam as well as Woodstock, JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, Jr. – it has all been instrumental in helping shape who I am today. It all helped my form a sense of conscience about we as people and how a society should be. It helped establish a view that we need to be aware of others and that we, as a society, have an obligation and responsibility to take care of others who need help and support. Not sure what happened to a lot of my peers but for me it is hard to ignore. And we had the best music.
7. I am thankful for this younger generation. While it is important to realize that my generation reared many of them and that is why much of the attitude and perspective is there, how refreshing to see a generation of young adults who are less bigoted and biased. There is a core of our society that truly doesn’t see people around them as less deserving or 2nd class because they are black, gay, a different religion, whatever. It gives me hope (and some solace) that my son will be able to live a normal life and will be able to marry and live without constant discrimination because he is gay.
8. I am thankful for this last election and the American public that made it clear it isn’t just about the economy and it isn’t just about the present at the expense of the future. Because enough of us cared about others and not just ourselves, we will have at least four more years of progress in rights for women, rights for our LGBT community, forward progress on our environment and global warming, healthcare rights and reform, maybe some fairness in terms of tax reform, etc. For those of us on the side that won, it was pretty much goodness and a break from having to worry about what progress we’ve seen being rolled backward.
9. From a different perspective, I am thankful that the likes of Romney, Ryan, Rove, Trump, Santorum, McConnell – the names can go on and on – were unable to really hide who they really are – which are pretty much self-centered shit heads and assholes – to the extent that it became pretty obvious and helped move the election in the direction it went. Taking nothing from Obama and the Democratic machine, the other side and their views of a “new” America, was so out of touch it became almost laughable if it hadn’t been so sad.
10. Lastly, thankful I live in a country where I can say and write all the things I have in this blog and not have to worry I’ll be in jail or shot for it.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.