This One Isn’t About Turkeys, Either

This one might be a little long, as I am one thankful mofo…

I recently wrote an entry complaining about life after college, and yesterday I posted about my love of scary stories.  So, in the vein of celebrating recent holidays after they’re over, and in the opposite vein of whining about stuff, I’d like to take a moment to write about some of the things for which I’m grateful.  These are in no particular order:

  • Except this one, which is first because it’s the biggest — My girlfriend Rachel, the beautiful and brilliant Scatterbrained Seminarian.  You could ask her how fixated I am on the importance of specific examples, and she’d tell you how frustrating it can be trying to talk to me if you don’t have any to which to refer.  And yet, as I’m writing this, I find myself at a loss.  I could point to ways in which she has changed my life, but it just wouldn’t capture how important she is to me.  Most of us don’t have memories from before we were four or so years old, and that’s because when we get a solid grip on language, we go from thinking in pictures to thinking in words; our entire scheme for understanding the world changes.  Rachel is like that.  The game change-iest of game changers.  My life is immeasurably better because she is in it.
  • My family — I am very different from most members of my family, in some ways or other.  I have been heard saying “If my family has a black sheep, it’s me.”  And I guess that’s true, but certainly not in the sense that I am in any way ostracized or looked down upon.  The old aphorism about family being the people who are always there for you and love you no matter what is (unfortunately) not true in every case, but it is resoundingly true in mine.
  • Rachel’s family — They are some of the most excellent people I’ve ever met, and they have been more welcoming to me than I could ever have hoped for.  I have never felt like an outsider among them, and that is rare and wonderful.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  • The Friday Night Crowd — You know, every item on this list so far could all fall under the umbrella of “family,” because there are many different kinds of family.  There are the ones you’re born into, and the ones you date or marry into, and then there are the ones you grow into.  I’m blessed to have a group of friends, many of whom all hang out together on Friday evenings, that have become like another part of my family.  The Friday night dinners (although they have not always been on Fridays) have been going on for the past six or seven years, and I’m grateful for the food, but I’m especially grateful for the company.
  • All of my friends — Sorry, I wasn’t trying to slight those among my friends that aren’t part of that crowd…  One of the lessons I’ve had a hard time learning is that friendships change.  (I don’t always do so well with change).  School ends, people move away, start doing other things, get new jobs, whatever.  The wonderful thing I have discovered is that there is something about friendship that stays the same.  It’s what allows us to “pick up where we left off” with an old friend whom we haven’t seen in a while.  And now that I’ve realized it, it seems laughably obvious — No, I wasn’t good friends with that guy in high school who now lives in Texas because we happened to live in the same geographical region — that’s stupid, because I live in the same geographical region as almost three million people, most of whom I’ve never met.  Duh.  Nice one, genius.
  • My health — I have mentioned on this blog (which is not a fitness blog) that I lost a bunch of weight a couple years ago.  This is not to say that I was in poor health before that, but I’m certainly in better health now.  I wake up feeling well most mornings, which is more than some others can say.  I came through a major surgery this past summer without much trouble.  I’m grateful that I can walk and run and breathe and get through my day feeling good.
  • The roof over my head, the food on my table — It’s easy to overlook being grateful for the things that seem so common and automatic to our lives, but these things are neither common nor automatic for so, so many people.  It can be a very rough world, and the thermostat that remains set at what I typically think of as a fairly conservative 66 degrees is actually a luxury by the standards of many.  I’m grateful that I know where my next meal is coming from and how I’m going to pay this month’s rent.
  • My job (and especially my coworkers) — I have a really good job, and I’m working for a really good company.  And you know how at every job there’s that one guy (or gal) who is a jerk, or lazy, or inept, or annoying?  Yeah, we don’t have one of those (unless it’s me, I guess.  I hope it isn’t me…)  Every single member of the team at our center is excellent.  They are hard working, caring, and talented, and working with them makes me want to be better and work harder.  I am thankful for working in a place where I feel valued and appreciated.
  • The readers of this blog — I’ve said it before, and I’m a repeater, so I’ll probably say it again: There are lots of other things you could be reading right now, and yet you’re on this site.  Thank you for caring and for taking the time.  I don’t write these for the page view stats, but the page view stats make me want to think harder, post more often, write better.  Thank you.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I’m over a thousand words at this point, and I’ve been trying to pare these things down lately.  So I’ll just say that I’m so very thankful for all the good things in my life.  Thank you for reading.  More to follow.


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