Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day 2011 here in the U.S.. Other countries celebrate a Thanks Giving Day of one kind or another in other months, of course, but tomorrow is our official day to give thanks.
On the one hand, I love the day: family, friends, food, parades (if I’m awake enough to see them). On the other hand … shouldn’t we give thanks EVERY day for the blessings in our lives?
Personally, I do give thanks every day. Sometimes it’s just in my head, sometimes it’s spoken or written to the person I’m thankful for or posted in a place where they can see it. And really, I think that’s the point of Thanksgiving Day: to proclaim a bit more publicly what we’re thankful for every day.
So what am I thankful for this year?
I am thankful for my health. I still have to medicate to deal with high cholesterol, I still get migraines, and I still carry tons of stress that results in aching shoulders and ground teeth. But I’m also 6 years cancer-free, and I do not take that fact for granted.
I am thankful for not only being gainfully employed in a climate where so many are struggling to find any work at all (never mind work that pays all the bills), but also for being employed by a company that actually cares about its employees. I am well aware that in a different employment situation, the personal challenges of this past year would have resulted in being handed my walking papers. Our company president and my direct boss are amazing and they’ve earned my loyalty. And my co-workers rock and roll. (Yes, I know you’re reading this, and yes, I mean it.)
I am thankful for all of those who willingly provide service to others often at the risk of their own health, safety or finances. I have cousins and friends among the firefighters, EMTs, emergency room and hospital ward staff, police, every branch of the armed forces (yes, including the Coast Guard and various reserves), and teachers who put themselves out there every day often to the brink of exhaustion in order to provide service.
I am thankful for the music that fills my ears, the moving images that entertain my eyes, and the words that challenge my brain, and for the singers, songwriters, musicians, actors, directors, artists, editors, and writers who create them.
I am thankful for Twitter and Facebook. Twitter has connected me to so many wonderful people, famous and not, who have livened my nights and expanded my horizons. Without Twitter I would not be enjoying interviewing folks like Lawrence Block, Linda Potievin, Jennifer Holliday, Burnham, Hollywood Ending, and Ellen Datlow. Likewise, I would not now have friends like Christie Yant, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Marianne Burnham, Desiree Russell, and so many others. Without Facebook, I’d have a much harder time keeping my family and friends abreast of where I am on any given day (difficult to keep track of thanks to the traveling nature of my day job), and my Scrabble skills would surely have atrophied by now. And thanks to both sites, I’ve been introduced to so much new music and new writing, I can’t begin to list it all.
And last but not least, I am thankful for my family and friends. I’m not perfect, I know, and there are times when you all scratch your heads and wonder “what was he thinking” as I repeat cycles I thoughts I’d broken out of ages ago. But you are there for me, even when I don’t think I deserve it. I know, whether I say it or not, how truly blessed I am in the mountain of loved ones I have caring for me both nearby and long-distance. There are too many of you to name, but you know who you are.