Thursday, November 25, 2004

Obligatory Thanksgiving Thankfulness.

I had a decent Thanksgiving. I really can't complain about it, except to say that it was kind of lonely. My brother and his wife came out with the new little baby. That part was nice. I got to feed her, and I love to do that, so it was a good thing. But the other grandkids didn't come out, and my sisters didn't come, so it was sort of quiet.

I'm strangely family oriented. I'm terribly anti-social, even in the context of my own family, but a holiday just isn't a holiday without all the fights, and nerves, and misery and joy of everyone being all together. What the heck is the point of a holiday, if there isn't anyone around to suffer through it with you?

Well, I guess this holiday does have a point. And it would probably be a fitting attitude adjustment to think about that point for a bit. So, here goes, things I'm thankful for this year:

- Unlike many Thanksgivings, we managed to actually have Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving this year, because my mother is actually relatively healthy and we aren't all at the hospital due to some illness or surgery. I'm thankful that, though she continues to have many serious health issues, my mother has spent far less time in the hospital this year than she has in any year since I was first in high school. That's such a gift that I can hardly contemplate its consequences.

- I'm thankful this year, that I managed to finish school and get my degree. I would be more thankful if I had landed a killer job, but I'm still very thankful for a little free time. I know that I have quite a future ahead of me yet, and that being able to finish college was a major stepping stone in making all of that happen.

- I'm very thankful for my family. I am thankful that Brianne came home; that I have gotten closer to Brittany and Jessica. I am thankful for the births of my great-nephew Ty and my brand new little niece.

- I continue to be grateful for my friends, many of whom I've had the chance to draw closer to this year. I've really begun to trust a few, select people in a way that I've never been able to before; and, I've realized that many of my friends are really "friends forever," though circumstance and choice have put space and time between us.

- I am thankful that, unemployment and all, I've managed to take care of myself this year. My basic needs are provided for, and the vast majority of my wants. I know that, on the whole of planet Earth, I belong to a select, tiny percentage of human beings who worry only about the most trivial things like homework assignments and what's going to be on television instead of the basic staples of existence.

- I'm thankful to live in a country with "the soul of a Church." It's easy to forget how many freedoms we enjoy here, and how fortunate and safe we have been for so many years. Though we are from perfectly safe, and even farther from perfection in general, we have been unquestionably and incredibly blessed.

- I am thankful to have found some measure of peace, and a shadow of salvation. I have been spared much trouble that I have very much deserved to suffer through. And I am beginning to see just how very much trouble I may eventually be spared yet.

There are a million things more to be thankful about. There are too many blessings to even begin considering them. I am thankful for my life, and the lives of those I love. I am thankful for the lives of those who I have not yet come to love yet, but will, in time. I am thankful for air, and earth, and water, and....well, there too many things to consider!