What I’m Thankful For

Today is Thanksgiving. As the name implies, it’s a time in which we all give thanks for the blessings in our lives.

For me, I’m thankful for Thanksgiving, because I had ancestors who were at the first one, so a case could be made that if not for that time, I wouldn’t be here.

Regardless, though, there are a lot of things I’m thankful for this year, and I want to spend a few moments talking about what I’m thankful for.

I am thankful for my family.  While this time of year is tough for me, it’s tough because I lost family members around this time of year. A lot of them. (Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death, and I still haven’t gotten over that one.) However, I also have family left who love me and who I love. I’m fortunate to have them.

I am thankful for being healthy. This time last year, I wasn’t a healthy looking guy. I was huge and just waiting for the inevitable heart attack that might well be the end of me. This year, I’m more than 35 lbs lighter, far more active, and still dropping weight. While I’m not as healthy as I was in high school, I’m still doing well.

I am thankful for the ability to get healthier.  Not everyone is blessed enough with a body that will let them train. Some people have to work against their bodies just to lose a few pounds. I don’t have any of that. The worst I have is a slow metabolism, and I can work around that, so I’m truly fortunate.

I am thankful that I have a line of work that I truly enjoy. A lot of people work jobs that they hate. They get up in the morning and just dread their day and have to force themselves out of bed. I don’t have that. I get up in the morning, ready to roll. I wait long enough for the brain to completely wake up, then I get to work. As a result, I have a reputation for being on top of things in the mornings, which is kind of odd for me based on my history.

I am thankful for living in a place where I have an excess of food, rather than famine. Look, I spend a lot of my time looking at obesity in this country and kind of shaking my head. Sometimes, by “obesity in this country,” what I actually mean is “the mirror,” but still. However, I’d much rather have the set of circumstances that would allow an obesity epidemic to what they have in places like Venezuela right now.

I am thankful that there are men and women who took my place in the military to keep this land free. I’m a veteran, though I did precisely nothing during my time in. I know it and I know that the Navy wasn’t sorry to see the back side of me as I walked away. But I’m damn thankful that there were people who would take my place and put their lives on the line when it mattered.

I am thankful for the many opportunities I have, both in training, life, and family. Not everyone has opportunities like I’ve enjoyed. I really believe that where I am, while not the top of the pile by any stretch, is still the result of both hard work and good fortune coupled with an aggressiveness to pursue opportunities. That said, I’m thankful that those opportunities exist. I know what I want out of my career and there’s still a long way to go, but I do believe I’ll achieve those goals because of what chances I’ve been given so far.

I am thankful that there are people out there who dedicate their lives to helping those who can’t help themselves. I’m not known for my sympathy for people who refuse to help themselves. But I’m extraordinarily thankful for those people who dedicate their lives and time to helping those who either can’t or just don’t know how to help themselves. My mother was someone like that, and I’ve known others who were as well, and I’m thankful that they’re out there, helping folks.

I am thankful for all the hardships I’ve endured in life. Life has sucked at various times. I’ve often wondered if there was any point in continuing because they were so awful. But I’m thankful for those difficult times. Those times helped me come to appreciate the better times for what they were. I appreciated them as truly blessed moments rather than something that was somehow my due. 

I am thankful that I have somehow found my tribe. When I was in high school, I hid who I was because I didn’t think anyone would appreciate it. So I hid and I pretended to be someone I wasn’t. I hid for years, trying so hard to fit other people’s notions. Then, over time, I stopped, and that was how I found a group of people that were pretty much like me. We’re scattered throughout the nation, but they’re my tribe.

I am thankful for the local friends I have as well. These people are my tribe as well, though they may not be my tribe’s tribe, if that makes any sense. These are the people I know I can count on through thick and thin, who have my back, but will also kick back and chill. You guys know who you are.

I am thankful for you. I write because I have to write. I’m a writer. It’s what we do. However, we also want people to read what we write, and that’s where you all come in. You click, you read, you sometimes comment, but you’re always part of what I do here, and I’m damn thankful for each and every one of you, those who spend part of their time listening to what I have to say. I’m so thankful for you all.

With that, I’m going to wrap it up for today. I’m thankful for so much that if I tried to put it all down, it would encompass another book. While I don’t mind writing another book, I don’t think that one would be a bestseller by any stretch. 

However, I am curious. I want to know what you’re thankful for. Tell me in the comments below.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

4 thoughts on “What I’m Thankful For”

  1. Well said, Tom. I’m most thankful for the fact that I **NEED** absolutely nothing. There may be things I want, but I certainly don’t need them to survive. Raising a toast to you, Jen and the kids. CHEERS!!

  2. I’m thankful for the family that never turned their backs on me. #truelove
    I’m thankful for the conversations we’ve had. No matter how trivial, they’ve all been fun. #tankslippers
    I’m thankful for the help when I needed it and the opportunity to help those in need. #cajunnavy2016

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