Dawn writes over at Tales From The Motherland. She decided to list 50 things she’s thankful for in ten minutes or less. I wouldn’t have known about it, but Darla at She’s A Maineiac and Susie at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride both decided to do it too. I foolishly got sucked into the feel-good blog party of the holiday season. If you have any idea as to the writing prowess and massive followings that Susie and Darla have, you’ll understand why I’m second guessing myself.
I wrote the list in ten minutes, but then took the liberty of going back to clarify what the hell I was talking about. If you’re in a rush, you can skip the why’s and wherefores and just read the underlined, numbered answers.
1. Family – they’ve tolerated me this long….they’re stuck with me now. Many of them have figured out that you can’t run away from DNA.
2. Friends – I have a few old ones and a few new ones. I try to keep the good ones and dump the fair weather variety, but sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s who until you get some crappy weather.
3.Potential – things can always change. Any life situation has potential to morph into a better or worse version, so I’ll hope and work for the better and try to avoid the worse. Feel free to post that on your Facebook page with a picture of a sunset.
4. Health – I’m not exactly the spry stud I used to be, but I’m still on the right side of the dirt.
5. Humor – I like to believe that I have a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at myself. I know for a fact that I have the ability to laugh at others.
6. The chance to make a difference – I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not Mother Teresa, but I like to believe that I’m able to make a little difference in peoples’ lives, and that means an awful lot.
7. Perspective – Hey, it’s in the name of my blog, I’m not passing up free advertising. Perspective gives me the ability to see things for what they are, and given enough time and clarity, to move beyond the fertilizer and appreciate the flowers.
8. Lucy the dog – She keeps me company when I’m raking leaves and shoveling snow. She protects my house from skunks and squirrels. Lucy has left me in the dust in the going gray competition, but I still reign supreme in the baldness category.
9. Time to fix things – Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I feel like I still have the time to fix things. I can still talk, and listen, and with enough humility, figure out where I’ve gone wrong and do something about it.
10. A chance to savor things – I’m learning to see the value in things. To take the time to accept the impermanence of perfection.
11. Food, glorious food – My love affair with delicious, wonderful food continues barreling forward despite my growing waistline and skyrocketing cholesterol levels. Be that as it may, food is best washed down with….
12. Beer – Frosties, tall cold ones, pints, growlers, kegs, brews, suds, ales, lagers, porters, stouts, imperial India Pale Ales, sessions, the list goes on and on. I’ve finally entered the world of brewing my own. My abilities as a brewer still lag miles behind my oh-so-refined palate, but I’m working on it.
13. Vodka – Yes, I drink vodka too. I’ll let you know if I start working on distilling.
14. Tequila – Give me a short, neat glass of reposado and let me enjoy the peppery aromas, the sweetness of the first sip, the smooth warmth across my chest as I swallow. I’m not sure if I need an intervention or a cold shower.
15. Blogging – The readers, the writers, the commenters, the strange, dynamic community of people I’ve never met in real life, but care for just the same. Actually, I did meet one of you, and that’s part of the reason she gets to be called “Darling”.
16. Donald Trump – He keeps me on my toes. He reminds me of everything that’s wrong with the country. He helps me to understand how “The Love Boat” was ever the top rated show ion TV. He also keeps me guessing about that orange fiberglass comb-over.
17. Internet access – Like many things I’m thankful for, I don’t truly value it until it’s gone. Luckily for me, my home internet service is sporadically provided for a fee by the good folks at Comcast, so I get to appreciate it several times a week.
18. The off switches on my TV, computer and cell phone – These switches are wonderful, yet often over-looked in their functionality.
19. The hope that someday I learn how to use them – Just because I know the whereabouts of those may power switches, doesn’t man I know how to use them – but I’m hopeful I’ll learn someday.
20. The chance that there’s an off switch on my brain – I’ve been dabbling with meditation and trying to sleep at night without the use of prescription meds or excessive amounts of beer, vodka or tequila. If I can shut my brain off, I think I could really gain clarity (or at least stop dreaming about people in donkey masks).
21. Scrapple– I just realized that if I think about certain processed pork products, my brain actually does shut off for a minute. Mmmm…scrapple.
22. My Lovely, Long-Suffering Wife – I know I already covered friends and family, but my wife is in a category all her own. If she actually reads this post, she’ll likely appreciate getting the props she deserves, (but she’ll also likely have a problem with coming after scrapple). It’s not a ranking, Sweetie!23. My memory – I forgot why I wrote this one. I had something really funny or beautiful or deep to write about my memory, but I’ll be damned if I can think of what it was.
24. Podcasts – I love me some podcasts. I’m sick and tired of the massive library of music available to me in my car, but the podcasts rarely disappoint. I started with Serial, and I’ve become a loyal follower of Joe Rogan and a few others.
25. Sarcasm – It’s in my veins, and without it, I’d be even more shriveled up and sad looking.
26. Beauty – I don’t really possess much of it, but I’m surrounded by it. You should see my wife – Yowza!
27. People with bad taste – Bad taste is critical for those of us with impeccable taste. Without bad taste, we’d all be the same, and that would make it tough for me to feel superior to others.
28. Male pattern baldness – Without male pattern baldness, I’d have to struggle for hours teasing, combing and applying any number of expensive, potentially carcinogenic products to my luxurious mane before leaving the house every morning. My lack of hair also exposes my glorious, smooth scalp to the world. It’s okay to stare.
29. Disc Golf – My son, who I’m already thankful for in both the family and friend categories, has turned me on to the game. Unlike traditional golf, the courses are largely free, the equipment is inexpensive and there is no use of little electric carts. Even if you suck, and I do, it’s still a nice walk in the woods.
30. John Lee Hooker – I’m not always as thankful for John Lee as I should be, but I had some blues on while I typed that, and it seemed like a tip of the hat was in order.
31. Seat warmers – My car has seat warmers. I once thought it was the silliest, most frivolous option one could get in a car, but as winter looms, my tender cheeks look forward to that warm embrace.
32. Grandkids – These things are great! Mine are fun and come in handy, like when I need a smile or someone to bring me another beer.
33. Coworkers who see what I see – Sometimes work can provide you with such surreal things that you cannot believe your eyes. Were it not for my colleagues, I might just chalk some of this stuff up to hallucinations.
34. Coworkers who don’t see what I see – This crew is important to me too. I need to realize how clueless some folks can be while still leading productive, normal lives.
35. Cell phone cameras – Without cell phone cameras, we’d all be at the Fotomat booth down in the Shop N Save parking lot waiting for our prints so we could go to the post office and mail them to Instagram.
36. Ice makers – This one might be a little bit of a reach. To be honest, I’m pretty good at pouring water into ice trays then popping the cubes out just 12 hours later.
37. Comingled recycling – When I was a kid, we just threw everything away. Then we started recycling and trash got complicated. The were bundles of newspaper in one spot, cans over there and bottles in yet another location. Thanks to advances in sorting technology, we can just about throw all our crap in one place again!
38. “Fargo” – I’m so very thankful for this “place”. The movie and TV shows have showcased actors who transcended everything else I’ve ever seen them in. It’s the best show on TV and I cannot get enough of it. I’m supremely bummed that it just ended, but I’m confident that there’s more coming.
39. The magic of self-editing special memories – This may or may not be the memory thought I had back on number 23. I’m truly thankful that my memory is able to save precious points in my life while smoothly leaving out icky little details which could take away from the poignancy of the moment.
40. This is harder than it looks – That’s not really something I’m thankful for, but it’s the truth.
41. The Garden State – I’m thankful for Jersey. You got a problem with that?
42. New family – I’m getting new family all the time. A kid gets married – Boom! Instant crew of aunts and uncles and one or two funny looking nephews. Unlike old family members, I get a grace period in which to learn names.
43. Cat-like reflexes – Were it not for my cat-like reflexes, I might not be here today. Just the other day I fell over a log while disc golfing and nearly brained myself. Sadly, the reflexes did me little good, since I was unable to rotate my body one way and my tail in the other, since, you know, I have no tail.
44. Incredible good looks – I realize that I noted earlier that I possess no beauty, but many people will testify that I am ruggedly handsome. While my good looks are not of much value in and of themselves, they do occasionally provide me with a few extra seconds to come up with an answer, while the person asking the question is mesmerized by my chiseled cheek bones and dreamy eyes.
45. Delusional thoughts – See number 44 above.
46. 10 fingers, 10 toes – Not only was I born with a full complement of digits, I still have all of them left, ever after more than a century of slamming car doors, operating power tools and flipping people off.
47. Boxer briefs – A man of my years can truly appreciate the winning combination of support, fashionable appearance and upper thigh coverage
48. The clearance section – Not only does the clearance section give me the best value for my shopping dollar, it also provides me with the best place to look for my wife when I’m lost in the store.
50. Shitty counting skills – …and we’re done.