I was sifting through writing prompts online – again – looking for inspiration, looking for seeds for short stories, looking for ideas for blog posts and I came across “Write a list of at least 50 things that make you feel good.” I like the idea. I write about things that don’t make me feel good all the time. This is an invitation, and an opportunity, to turn my mind to the positive things in my life. But, before I do that – next – I want the start off with at least 10 things I am thankful for.
- God. I am liberal, or at least a lot more liberal than I am conservative, and I know there is a growing school of thought that says people who believe in God can’t be liberal, don’t care about liberal issues, or the people ho support them. But. I have been liberal y entire life, and I have believed in God my entire life. God has done so much for me, kept me through tough times and seemingly impossible situations. He has blessed me and taken care of me every day of my life. I am truly thankful for Him.
- My family. We don’t see each other as often as we should and we don’t call each other often, either. but, as my mother says, growing up I got to know what it is to have a family. And it shaped who I am in every way, and in every good way. I am in introvert. I could live alone for the rest of my life and I would not regret it. But, the one things I miss and crave, a little, and seek is my family.
- My job. I still have one. They kept me fully employed during the shutdown and I cant thank them enough for their loyalty and decency.
- My apartment. My fortress. At the end of every day, it is beautiful knowing I have an empty apartment to come home to.
- Solitude – which follows right behind. I am so thankful for all the alone time I have, and all the peace and quiet that comes with it.
- Mom. She is my rock, my real supporter. I feel better every time I talk to her. I feel loved and special and wanted.
- Niles. Gets me out of myself and out of my apartment. He is a genuinely good guy, with a great heart, and a really beautiful personality, and I believe God put him in my life to keep me from becoming a recluse with zero social skills. And he is talented. A real artist. You can see some of his work at https://www.nilespatterson.com/
- Ann. Another gift. Like Niles, she is the friend I wouldn’t have otherwise, if left entirely to my own devices. Making new friends as an adult is harder, and she made it very easy. A beautiful soul. A loving, caring woman. Bossy and hilarious.
- John. I should mention my immediate boss, the third gift. I was the best man at his wedding. He is the only boss I have ever called a friend and he has made my life at work as easy as he can. I don’t know what I would do without him, but I wouldn’t still be working where I am.
- Food, shelter, and clothing. It’s amazing how many times I am stopped, weekly, just realizing how blessed I am to have the basic necessities of life, to have never been without them.
- Health. I had a scare, a real scare, a few years ago – congestive heart failure – and I couldn’t get over how my body had betrayed me, not by getting sick or ill, but by giving me no warning signs, whatsoever. The doctors told me I had a heart attack a few years before the heart failure incident. And, I didn’t even know it. I am the kind of guy who feels perfectly fine one moment, then drops dead, no warning signs. I couldn’t get over it. But, I feel better than I have in a long time. My legs and lungs feel normal again. I don’t feel like I have a five-year death sentence. I am thankful that I can walk without stopping every hundred steps or so, that I feel normal. And healthy.
- My education. God let me get a degree in English in 2019, which is something I thought I would never attain, having thrown away the chance to do it right out of high school. I worked for it, studied for it, wrote for it, and I am proud of it.
God, friends, family, health. As I get older…