Thankful

Sometimes in life, it’s hard to find things for which we should be thankful.  In our daily pursuit of more, we often fail to take the time to appreciate what we already have.  We take this time of Thanksgiving to pause, halfway between the bustle of Halloween and the hustle of Christmas, and reflect on all the things we overlook every day of our lives, the mundane and extraordinary that we value so little, even as it sits right beneath our noses.

I, too, am guilty of this offense, of taking for granted the positive things in my life while focusing on all the things I wish I could change and of which I am unable to change.  In my defense, I’ve had a rough few years.  In a little less than three years, I have been treated for cancer, have lost my mother far too young, and am even now going through a painful divorce.  Still, on this day, if on no other, I look at what I have to be thankful for.

–I am thankful for my children.  The four of them are the foundation of my life, the primary reason I have for being, and the legacy I will leave behind when I am gone.  Even when they are not with me in person, they are always with me.

–I am thankful for my job.  Sure, like most people, I bitch and complain about my job, and there are things I don’t like about it.  However, I am glad that I do have a job in a time when so many people are without.  I am also thankful for my coworkers, who are a bunch of crazy, bickering loons, but they are my bunch of crazy, bickering loons.

–I am thankful for my friends.  Some of them, I have known since childhood and, even though we rarely speak in the course of our busy lives, we always pick up exactly where we left off, usually with crude humor and poorly-phrased puns.  Others, I have never met in person, yet they are as close to me as anyone could possibly be under the circumstances.  Old or new, near or far, they are all special to me and I appreciate them more than they know.

–I am thankful for the opportunity to go back to school.  It was a huge leap for me to make the commitment to go back to college, not knowing how it would work into my schedule and not entirely sure how I would pay for it and still not knowing if, at the end, it will pay off.  Despite my early fears, I have found school to be the one area of my life where I feel like I am making progress and instead of the burden I worried it would be, it has become the rock on which I intend to build the rest of my successes going forward.

–I am thankful for the characters in my head, waiting patiently for me to get back to writing their stories.  For now, they continue to lounge in the breakroom of my mind, sipping coffee and eating danishes, awaiting the moment when I will ask them to clock back in and get to work.

–I am thankful there is a new Muppet movie and, on the horizon, a Dark Shadows movie.  You have no idea how happy the two of these together has made me, even as I’m afraid of how the DS movie will turn out.

–I am thankful for my dad, who keeps helping me out in ways that I could never repay.

–I am thankful for my brother, who continues to make me proud.

–Finally, I am thankful for the truths that have been shown to me this year, no matter how much I wanted to believe the lies.  The truth has, indeed, set me free.

There are more things, I’m sure, but I’m exhausted after a long, thankful day at work.  In the meantime, I leave you with this in the hopes that it will pick up whatever slack I left.

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About Lee Smiley

I write things. Maybe you'll read them.
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