It occurred to me the other day that I have an awful lot to be thankful for. My life is far from perfect, but many of the things that I complain about (and I do, often) are pretty minor compared to the good things.
So although I don't normally write Thanksgiving entries, this year I think I will.
First, some stuff about America, just 'cause it's on my mind: I'm thankful that I live in a wealthy and more or less enlightened nation, where I can take for granted things that are unheard-of in some parts of the world. I have safe running water, warm shelter, a plenitude of good food, and all the electricity I want. I live in a place where freedom of the press is one of our most cherished institutions; hearing a radio piece about press issues in Pakistan reminded me yesterday that that's really something to be thankful for. Yes, there's a whole lot about the current US situation to complain about, but in a lot of ways, we've got it pretty good here, and I'm thankful for the good things even as I object to the bad things. (Um, and of course I don't in any way mean to suggest that the US is better than other places; there are other places that have these good things too.)
Now some things that I'm thankful for that are more specific to me and my life:
I'm healthy, both at this particular moment and in general.
I have a day job that pays more than I ever expected to make, and that I'm good at, and that I often enjoy, working with smart and fun and friendly people who mostly like and respect me, at a well-known and nifty company that gives amazing perks and is mostly aligned with my moral compass.
I have a volunteer job that's something I always wanted to do, all my life, and I get a certain amount of respect for my work there among a community that's important to me.
I own my own home, in a nice neighborhood, with friendly and mostly quiet neighbors, and am well on the way to paying off the mortgage. And I have a great back yard.
I live in the area I like best of all the places I've been, with great weather and a culture that fits my head.
I've recently had quite a bit of three of my favorite things: Warm sunlight on skin; warm water on skin; warm skin on skin.
And, most important of all, I have a wonderful assortment of friends and lovers and family. Among them are people I love talking with, people who create really cool art in various media (including words), people who can make me laugh, people who can make me think, people who comfort me when I'm sad or distressed, people who hug me, people who snuggle with me, people who sleep with me, people who sing with me, people who play games with me; people who write me email and forgive me for being bad about writing back; people who call me even though I rarely remember to call anyone; people who've put me up on their couches and in their guest rooms; people I've stayed up all night with; people I've known for decades and people who I feel like I've known for decades even though we've just met; people who can make plants grow and people who can make computers go; people with great ideas, people who tell great stories, people who cook great meals; people who I care about, and who care about me. I often pause and wonder at how an introvert like me ended up with such a plethora of way cool people in my life; I don't know how it happened, but it's the best thing about my life.
I've been astonishingly lucky in all of the above, and I am most grateful for all of it.