As a therapeutic exercise, I’m supposed to be writing down things for which I am grateful. Apparently, there is some science behind the idea that this will increase my well-being. Could be, what do I know.
Well, today is birthday number 38 for me (one of the least milestone-y birthdays one can have — at least last year I reached the age of Dennis, who is “not old”). And why not use the occasion to be public about my gratitude? Now, for some things, my gratitude is felt directly for a specific person or entity with agency. Other things are more nebulous, and there’s no one person to express gratitude to. So in that situation, obviously assume I am not thanking a god or cosmic consciousness or anything like that. I’m just expressing appreciation, aimed at no one.
I’m grateful that my family and I are largely healthy, sane, and safe. There are always crises and challenges, but we’re okay. In fact, things could get much worse for us, and we’d still qualify as “okay.” When I think about other places in the world, other zones of horror and fear, I remember that chance has placed me and my family in a remarkably privileged position. I cherish that, despite my more frivolous neuroses.
I am grateful to my wife Jessica for her devotion and kindness in regard to me and our kids, but also for her own courage and determination to carve out creative efforts and continue to improve herself. She’s a wonder. And also rather attractive, which, I’m not gonna lie, I’m really thankful for.
I’m grateful for the kind hearts and imaginative minds of my kids. My boy thought I seemed a little sad the other day (I was), and he made me a little Baymax paper doll to help me feel better (he also drew my Civ V map). I had never seen my three-year-old daughter try to draw people before, and my first example of her attempt was a picture of she and I holding hands.
I’m grateful for Google. I mean, really.
I’m grateful for the handful of people who follow my work in writing, music, and other endeavors. I worry too much about amassing more such people, as though some kind of universal validation for my existence will emerge, but I do need to let that go, and just be grateful that I can write and have people read, play and have people hear.
I am grateful for the weird, tumultuous network of family my wife and I now share, spanning the generations and the geography of the United States.
I am not the best friend in the world. I am insular and introverted, and I don’t do a lot of nurturing of friendships. Yet, so many friends have stayed nonetheless. I am grateful for that.
I am grateful to the staff of the local Starbucks that are all really nice, and have never given me any crap for sitting here for so long, nursing one drink as I browse and type.
I am grateful for peace and silence when it comes. Like right now.