It’s much easier to focus on what’s wrong and not what’s right about something. To let perfect be the enemy of the good.
Thanksgiving is a perfect example. I’ve seen people complaining for years about how it’s just a time for gluttony, an insult to Native Americans, and it leads into all the greed of Black Friday. There’s some truth to all of these and other complaints.
But there’s so much to appreciate about Thanksgiving that is forgotten when focusing on such things. It’s a time for many people to enjoy spending time with family.
Gluttony yes, but also an opportunity to make great food and share it with friends.
It’s also a great day for football. I personally really appreciate it.
I know there are those who love Black Friday in the way a hunter loves the opening day of deer season. Not my thing, but I’m happy for people who enjoy it.
More importantly, Thanksgiving prompts all of us to think about our lives. Cliche though the idea is, it’s a great thing to simply think about what we’re all thankful for. If you don’t do that now, I hope you do that at some point. It will make you happier.
So here are some things I’m thankful for.
My parents. I’m especially thankful my mother has survived breast cancer and that it looks my dad will survive his cancer for many years.
My sweetie. I’ve a great sweetie who puts up with me, despite my abilities to dig myself into a hole by being mouthy. She rocks. She even loved that went I went to see Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood last December that I had them pose with no one in between them so I could caption it as a picture of her with them.
My kitty. She’s a really nice cat who needs more love than I can really give her at times, but she’s still always there purring when I fall asleep.
My job. Writing is hard, but I love it. I’m not successful enough financially at this yet, but I keep plugging away.
Brewbakers. This is a bar in Lenexa that lets me sit here for hours writing and doing my job. In some ways, it feels like my office. Tonya and the rest take good care of me.
My readers. I’m very thankful for those who’ve made it clear that as long as I keep plugging away and doing my best they’ll read my stuff. The most important one in many ways is Cedar Sanderson, who has twice been there with nice things to say at exactly the time I needed nice things the most.
A myriad of *things*. By things, I mean my car, my house, my computer, my scrolls, my books, and all the rest of my stuff. I’m wealthy indeed when it comes to that and I’m thankful for all of it.
Rush. It’s really hard to express how important Rush’s music is to me. It’s been there when I’ve needed it ever since 1980. It’s inspired me many times.
My other favorite artists, authors, and performers. Too long to list, but I’ve admired a lot of great stuff over the years. In 2016, my new passion is Tengger Cavalry, which is Mongolian folk metal.
The Dallas Cowboys. I’m not saying that because they’re doing so well this year, but because they’ve given me a lifetime of great moments, even if some of those moments were some of the saddest in my life. Really, I could just say football. Or frankly, sports.
The SCA. The SCA continually gives me great opportunities to grow. Whether it’s as a person, or a public speaker, a poet, or all the other things, I am much stronger. Also, some of the best friends I’ve ever met.
My friends. Very lucky here, especially as I’m a guy who’s never really been anything but socially awkward. I do better now, but it’s never been easy. Thanks for staying when I’ve screwed up.
There’s so much more, but that’s a fine list. I don’t know about you but seeing it laid out like that makes me much happier.
I often quote Wallace Stevens, “death is the mother of beauty.” The universe gives us bad things that we dwell upon, but that makes all of the good things so much brighter.
Oh, one last thing.
Thanks to all of you for reading this.