One of the things that I am most thankful for is that I am able to feel thankful on nearly every day, not just Thanksgiving. I feel that one of the great sadness’s of the day (and of the day, I don’t’ mean today, I mean this moment in time) is that few people recognize how great they have it in their life and more often than not, they are disappointed instead of being grateful. I hope that doesn’t come off as too judgmental but I am saddened that many people don’t appreciate all that life has offered to us. I realize that it all comes down to a matter of perspective and I hope that I can continue to keep things in perspective as difficult as it is to do sometimes.
I am so thankful that I am healthy. Yeah, I did pick up a few extra pounds this year (I don’t know when they sneaked onto my body but I know they are there now) but I’m not hurting and am still active pretty much every day. I’m confident that if I keep going in my active lifestyle while doing some due diligence in trimming down the food (mostly junk) intake, I will level the ship. I’m old enough (although I typically say ‘seasoned’ instead of ‘old’) to finally realize that I’m not that good looking (never really have been) so looking like a movie star (well, maybe a hulking bad guy) is not the point of my health focus. It’s about feeling good and continuing on doing the things that really matter to me like playing with grandkids (and now great-grandkids have begun arriving) and feeling comfortable not acting my age so I can do continued crazy stuff like hiking and biking in the mountains, caving (okay ‘spelunking’), canoeing, and pretty much pretending that I’m younger than I really am (not that I know what my age really is supposed to feel like). My intent is to continue on this path as long as I can.
I’m thankful than I can work. I appreciate my job. This is the first time in a decade that I’ve not worked in the retail world and I am very happy about that. Of course that also helps me to appreciate what some people have to do to service the rest of us while making ends meet. I upgraded my job this year and this is also something that I am thankful for nearly every day. A year ago I was not very happy in what I was doing and I took the initiative to change it. I am thankful most of all that I still remembered that I had the power to change it. Sometimes we forget that we have to change the things that need to be changed. I’m not saying it was completely easy and I’m not saying I was completely (or even moderately) confident but I knew deep down it was possible and the possibility is what got me to where I am today. We have too many voices in the world today shouting out that we can’t change our lives and somebody has to save us. When we believe those lies, we give up our power. I’m thankful that I still have that power.
I am thankful for the relationships I have. I’m glad that I enjoy coming home to my wife every day. I’ve learned over the years that not everyone does that so I’m very thankful that I’m happy in my home. We take many things for granted because we don’t realize how good our version of life is. For good or bad sometimes, we think everyone’s life is just like ours. Either we have it better than most others and since we don’t know that, we don’t treat that part of our life like the magic fortune that it is, or we don’t have some things as good as many others and we think that’s all the better it can be. In that case, we don’t know enough to require ourselves to make it better. I’m glad that I have relationships with my kids and grandkids – I’m not important enough to be in their thoughts all the time – and that’s the way it should be. I work to remind them I’m there and available and most of the time that‘s all that needs to be done. When they want me around, I’m there. My son, Ryan got married this year and wanted me to be involved. I was the music for the ceremony and I couldn’t have been happier. In that block of time, I got to spend some quality time with kids and grandkids. I was very thankful for those memories added to my collection this year. I’m also appreciative of my friends and colleagues – people I work with and others I know. I hope to be more aware of their needs and desires and hope to use those thoughts to make me better. And of course, other family members: my sister has hit a few bumps this year but, as always, is pretty positive. It was the first year without my brother in it – he passed away last year so he’s a lot farther away and harder to get to but he’s still there when I need to connect. Mom is still around and is going to be 90 in January. It could be sad that she really doesn’t know anyone or anything anymore (been fighting Alzheimer’s for more than 10 years) but she’s still happy all the time, is without pain, and actually recognized me more this year than last – any time left is precious time.
I have it so good; I really don’t need much else. I find it a little funny how tonight is start of the big shopping craze – Black Friday as it spills into before and after Friday. All the great deals being advertised and I don’t see anything I need to make my life better. Sure it’s supposed to be about buying for others but that seems to be difficult too. Everyone has so much and we are supposed to find more to give. Here’s where the being seasoned part kicks in. Growing up, we got one or two ‘big’ gifts and the rest of the gifts were mostly practical – things we needed. Gifts were few enough that they were all special. I think that’s part of the reason that gift cards are the number 1 Christmas gifts again this year. Sure they are convenient but I think they are best because we haven’t a clue what we can buy for people that seem to have everything. Relating back to some previous points I made, we don’t realize how much we have (which is a lot) so we aren’t as thankful as we should be (yes, I guess I’m a little judgmental here). Many of the people considered poor in this country have much more than most of the people around the globe. I grew up in a home that could be considered poor but it seldom felt like it was. I think it’s a wonderful thing to help people that have less but let’s all remember how much we do have as we strive to make the world a better place. Happy Thanksgiving.