Lots of material for me to pull from this month. The political climate is as toxic as ever. The country has an acute case of lead poisoning. (And boy, howdy, do I have thoughts on that.) It seems like the man next to you on the subway is statistically a sex predator. Plenty there to talk about.
But I don’t wanna. This is my favorite time of year and I’m taking a break from the negativity. (It may not seem like it at first, but you’ll have to trust me.)
I can’t say that I always appreciate the platform that I am afforded to talk to you here every month. I often think of it as a chore, not because I don’t want to do it, but because I don’t really enjoy writing and it is often hard for me to come up with topics to write about. I take it for granted that this column will be here when I’m ready to fill it. I take a lot of things for granted. Probably much more than I even realize.
You see this on Facebook or Twitter a lot this time of year. #Blessed. As in “I got that cute sweater I’ve been eyeing. Last one in my size! #Blessed” or “They didn’t charge me for the extra guac on my burrito! #Blessed” or “My eight-year-old just told Santa he wanted a semi-automatic rifle for Christmas. So proud! #Blessed” #Couldn’tHelpMyself #SorryNotSorry. People who have been so showered with blessing that they have forgotten what their blessings truly are. I’m guilty of it too. I can’t remember the last time I said “My life isn’t perfect, but I have been graced with so many wonderful things. I am truly blessed.” I do, however, remember the last time I heard it.
I have a friend. I say friend because we do not actually share parents, but the man is effectively my brother. His life is nobody’s idea of perfect. His family has faced difficulties both developmental and financial. Theft. Loss. Other things that I am not comfortable discussing, even under the veil of anonymity. His mother has overcome serious illness twice and his wife is currently battling. Job would look at this man and shake his head sympathetically.
And yet. When I talk to him, I hear no complaints. He is positive. He is happy. I am told that things could be better, sure, but there are people who have it a lot worse than he does. There is the occasional joke about how he knows that God won’t give him anything he can’t handle, but he wishes that God didn’t trust him quite so much. Even that, though, is followed up quickly with a declaration that he has it pretty good, all things considered. He is blessed. Imagine that.
I have considerable admiration for my friend. I am continually humbled by his optimism. His appreciation. His faith. It’s a little early for resolutions, but I’m going to jump the gun here because this is important. I am resolving to try to appreciate the many things that I have been given. To complain less and to thank more. To put things in perspective.
I have an awful lot to be thankful for. At Thanksgiving, definitely, but the rest of the year, also. If you are able to read this, then so do you. Let’s both try a little harder to remember that, deal?
Okay, I think I’ve said enough. I’m sure you have turkeys to buy and crans to stuff, or whatever. It will be December before we know it. I expect I’ll talk to you again next month. I look forward to the opportunity to be able to do just that. Thank you for reading. #Blessed