Things I’m Grateful For

I’ve noticed recently that I have a tendency to be somewhat cynical, particularly in my writing (no need to deny it, it’s true). While I’m perfectly comfortable with that fact, I also decided that it’s time I took a step back and made a list for myself of all the wonderful things I have in my life; a chance to “count my blessings”, as it were. Bearing in mind there will be a whiff of cynicism buried in this list (hey, I’m still a leopard), it’s at least a good exercise in being a better person. And so:

The Not Quite Comprehensive List of Things I’m Grateful For (In No Particular Order)

  1. I’m still relatively healthy (in spite of myself). I’ve tried eating better, exercising, and quitting smoking. None of the above of stuck. I don’t even drink water on a regular basis. At least I don’t drink (much). Despite all of that, I still have all my teeth and I’m not too grossly overweight, and I don’t have any major health problems besides a little acid reflux and bipolar disorder (and hey, I was born this way).
  2. I have the most amazing wife ever. Yes, I know, I talk about her a lot, and occasionally make mock, but she is an essential part of my life. The funny part is she found me. (A fact she never lets me forget.) We met having an argument about Shakespeare, and someday I hope to convince her she’s wrong, but today isn’t that day and tomorrow doesn’t look good either. But I love her anyway.
  3. I’m surprisingly grateful for my Not So Humble Sister. I say surprisingly because when we were growing up I was… less than perfect as a brother, and we’ve definitely become much better friends as adults than we ever were as kids. This may or may not have something to do with how difficult I am to live with.
  4. Speaking of family, I am quite grateful for My Not So Humble Mother. Not to do the whole “guilty son” thing, but I really don’t see her as often as I should. Even so I love her, New York accent and all. (Seriously, it’s something you have to hear to believe.)
  5. I have a pretty awesome set of in-laws. They’re the best kind of people to know: unique, special, and loving. They welcome everyone but they tolerate crap from nobody (including and especially me).
  6. I’m so very happy I don’t have to deal with other people’s children, and conversely that I don’t have to deal with parents of children. I know too many teachers. I hear the horror stories. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you and your children are the exception. I’m also sure you know who I’m talking about.
  7. I’m thrilled I was born in the U.S. Let’s face it, for all this country’s faults (and I do go on about them at length), it’s still one of if not the freest countries in the world, as well as having one of the strongest economies. It matters. A lot.
  8. This may sound condescending, but go with me a minute: I’m grateful to be a white male. I’m not trying to put anybody down, I’ve just been doing a lot of reading lately, and while I still would never go so far as to call myself a feminist, a liberal, or an activist of any stripe, I’ve at least come to accept that white male privilege is real and it exists. Should it? No. But as long as it does I’m not going to pretend I’d be happier if it worked against me.
  9. I’m grateful I’m straight, basically for the same reason. I’ve been married for going on a decade now, which is about a decade longer that homosexual couples have had that option. Does that make it right? Not a chance. But again, anybody who says they would rather do things the hard way is either crazy or lying.
  10. I’m especially grateful I’m still able to learn and grow. If you had told me five years ago that I would have admitted I’ve got it better because I’m a straight white male, I probably would have laughed in your face. At least now I can admit it, and that’s at least the first step toward working for real equality (my working definition of “real equality” may vary from others, but at least I’m open to the discussion now).

So there it is, a little something to brighten your day. If you have something you’re grateful for, feel free to share it with everyone in the comments below.


5 Comments on “Things I’m Grateful For”

  1. ashokbhatia says:

    An interesting read!

  2. utesmile says:

    Great you see those wonderful things in your life you are grateful for and tomorrow you’ll find another ten. Life is good if you see it with grateful eyes.!

  3. june bonsall says:

    I’m grateful to have a son who appreciates his mother so much. Really. I’m so very proud of you and Leigh! Your sister’s not half bad, either.

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