During my recent social media hiatus, one of the biggest things I noticed was how my sarcasm and negativity faded from my online persona. I hadn’t realized how bitter and nasty my online presence had become until I was away from it for a while. This really hit me on Thanksgiving when, instead of chatting about everything going right in my life, I wrote a stupid comment complaining about parade coverage on TV. I dabbled on commenting on it for a bit before just deleting it and staying away from social media for the rest of the day.
So after processing all of that, today I’m ready to talk about how truly thankful I am for a life I never could have imagined for myself. Let’s start with that parade stuff. I didn’t have to work a retail job I hate or, worse, miss a retail paycheck I desperately need. I got to enjoy the day with my family knowing my finances were taken care of. I did a little bit of editing and some novel work, but I did it on the couch in comfy clothes surrounded by family and food and booze. I get paid well to do something I love, something I’m good at, and something that people appreciate me for. I have a robust editing clientele that I adore and I’m working away on novel that is under contract with the same publisher that published my first two novels. And I get paid for this. and people read these books and tell me how much they like them.
That’s just awesome.
And let’s talk about that family I get to support with all of that dream money. When I couldn’t find the TV feed of the parade I was looking for (the NBC feed, FYI, who I think does the best job and the one I remember most from my childhood) we found a really cool 360 live feed on YouTube that I watched with the kids. They went nuts watching it on the iPad and the desktop and being able to move the camera around and get a 360 view of the parade and the city. I love their excitement and enthusiasm and how smart and energetic they are. They have made me a better person and will continue to do so well into the future I imagine. And while we were fooling around with parades and gadgets, my lovely wife was baking and cooking herself silly in the kitchen, making the house smell delightful. I do not deserve this woman and I am lucky to have her. She is my best friend, my partner in crime, my sounding board, my safety net, my drive to succeed, and the baseball bat upside the head before I ever do anything really stupid.
Later that day we got to spend time with my in-laws who love us and support us and are the main reason our house is as livable as it is. And I’m thankful for our house. It’s not our dream house, but it’s not a nightmare either. We have a great mortgage payment on it that allows me to take some career risks I wouldn’t be able to otherwise, and it’s big enough for all of us to keep us cozy but still provide just enough space to get away from each other when we need to. We have a great neighborhood full of great people in a great location.
The next day I was able to go out and spend a bit of money on silly things like video games and streaming sticks and superhero socks without wondering if we’d still be able to make our mortgage payment. We have a bit of money in savings for emergencies and enough resources between family and friends to ensure no emergency is truly devastating financially. That evening we got to spend time with my family who is always great about taking the kids and giving Becky and I time with each other. Growing up, my parents gave me free reign in the library to read whatever I wanted and encouraged me when I wrote weird little stories they never really got.
So yeah, I’m incredibly blessed. I realize I’m also lucky, but I think crowing about how lucky I am takes away from the effort and sacrifice those around me have made to help give me the great life I have. And if you’re reading this, you’re part of that great group and I’m thankful for all of you. Yes, even you.