November 24th, 2016

Cool Moose

Thanksgiving 2016

I don't typically make posts, of any length, of what I'm thankful for when this particular holiday arrives. I wouldn't say it's a daily occurrence, but I am frequently mindful of how fortunate I am in life, which in a limited fashion makes this holiday seem a little superfluous. I have a job that provides for my family and allows me to lead a lifestyle I am incredibly happy with. I married an amazing woman who, as I've stated on Facebook on a few different occasions, makes this agnostic almost believe that the two of us were put on Earth for each other. I also feel blessed to have a wonderful son who brings so much to my life that it feels silly to attempt to list it all. In short, In the ways that truly have meaning, I have just about everything I could ask for in life.

And, I will never retake any of it for granted.

This is because my life wasn't also this good. In fact, at this exact time 10 years ago I was, without doubt, at the nadir of my life. My first marriage was in shambles, and I was spectacularly burning out in my professional life. The stress, which had been inducing regular, intense headaches for some time, ultimately weakened my immune system so much that I ended up in the hospital with viral meningitis. I was absolutely miserable.

At that time, if you had told me where I would be 10 years later I just would've looked at you, shocked, jaw agape, with a gobsmacked expression. The life I have now would have seemed like some sort of fantastical invention created for the express purpose of calming and soothing me. Yet, it still wouldn't have made me feel better. From the perspective of that time, I would have found two elements absolutely distasteful: the end of my marriage, which I was still fervently fighting to save and repair, and a custody arrangement where I didn't get to see Manchild on a daily basis.

Well, I'm not satisfied that I don't get to see him everyday, but I've made my peace with it and adapted. It's a good thing too, because that is what allowed me to find TeenLitGirl and forge the life we have together. In every way imaginable, my life is markedly better than the one I was living at the end of November 2006. Hell, I'm even taking better care of myself through more regular exercise and heathier eating.

The point is that I'm thankful not just for what I have, but also for what I've gained. Yes, where I am today is due to my own efforts and hard work. However, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that luck played a role too, as well as the fact that I am playing this game on the easiest possible setting. I will never take what I have for granted, and I will continue to be thankful, even if I don't publicly express it every Thanksgiving.