As Thanksgiving week dawns upon us, I think back over the past several months. I have seen things and people around me go from being oblivious, to being scared, to being quarantined, to being put on lockdown, to being full of rage, to being opened up in stages, to operating at some type of face-masked normalcy, to slowly being shut back down.
The media, politicians, sensationalists, and members of Lies, Inc. have exhausted numerous topics, and now there are reports of the “powers at hand” not allowing us to have more than ten people at Thanksgiving. The media, lawmakers, and The Man in the High Castle go a step further and provoke all the snitches out “there” to call in reports of gatherings more than that specified number.
Thank you, world. I am a thirty year old living in a kindergarten sand box, and the temperature around me feels like Fahrenheit 451. We are all school children who have washed onto the shore of some foreign island, and everyone is flexing, puffing out their chests, dragging their knuckles, seeing who is going to be The Lord of the Flies.
We exist in a poorly written script based in crayon and construction paper.
It’s 1984, yet it’s 2020, so we better prepare for Watership Down. Dystopia is no longer an emotion or a feeling. Our existence is dystopia. At least, that is how “they” would want us to live, considering it is quite difficult for me to assimilate to the biggest headline of the week. In today’s world, fact is hidden behind fiction, fiction is hidden behind doubt, doubt is hidden behind lies, and the lies are hidden behind a minuscule glimpse of the underlining truth.
So here we exist – at this point in time.
Holidays tend to bring out the best and worst in humanity, if this past year did not present enough moments for people to do exactly that.
With a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy one another as we exist in a Brave New World, we all recognize the fact that most of us have that one member of the family, close or extended, that thinks the holiday’s gathering schedule should revolve around them and them alone and if you do not adhere to that then the gaslighting narcissistic sociopath will create as much drama as they possibly can. Christmas will be different for these types of individuals because there are free gifts up for grabs.
I tend to ignore these types of people or call them by a wrong name similar to theirs to test them. I realize that some people could not exist if there was not some type of negativity or drama floating around as us normal people try to enjoy one of the most special times of the year. In the newfound stages of Covid, I cursed the toilet paper shortage. Now, I find myself wishing it upon certain human livestock running around on the Animal Farm because they deserve to smell according to the behavior that they constantly project.
I have discovered that life is too short to not enjoy time with your Monkey Wrench Gang while leaving certain individuals to their own devices. The only way to battle a narcissist is to lead them to believe they are getting their way and simply ignore them until they finally leave, disappear, or decide to grow up. They have, at best, until the age of eighty to hopefully mature and, sadly, some of them will remain grounded in a selfish mindset.
So what am I thankful for considering this past year the Twilight Zone opened up because us, humans, like to accelerate atomic particles beyond our understanding and open up portals which should remain closed, all resulting in Sharknados, Lavalantulas, and every bit of common sense being sucked away from us as we walk this planet?
Are you ready? Are you seated? Hold my hand! Let’s do this!
I am thankful for life. Common sense. God’s blessings and miracles. For finding favor in His sight even when the world wants to be somewhat negative and I am in the midst of battle. I am thankful for my family. For my aging mother and father, the greatest parents that a critical thinking rebel could ever ask for. I am thankful for a wife that I never have to second guess and for being able to watch her miraculous dream come true with every passing week. I am thankful for a son who is smart, handsome, brilliant, sneaky – yes, yet obtaining an imagination just like his father’s and is good at whatever he decides to put his mind to.
I am thankful for a caring, protective, diligent, and hardworking sister, who I would drop everything to be able to work with again even though those days are but a mere memory, a memory that only becomes sweeter to think back on as time passes by. I am thankful for an intelligent nephew who is in the process of slowly discovering himself, a young man that will adjust his Saturday morning schedule to come help his aging Uncle perform a chore-like task. He has never once called me by any other name except Uncle, and I take pride in that fact. I am also thankful for a loving, hardworking niece, who works the front lines of the medical field, has braved and survived Covid, and was able to grant me the prestigious title of being a Great Uncle in this lifetime.
I am thankful to be surrounded by other family and a choice group of friends, people I know I can confide in and get an honest response from. I am thankful that I am dedicated to them and that they know they can receive the same honesty in return from me and never question it. I will go to war for these people, and God hath no fury than an irritated yet honest writer who has an audience. I am thankful for an editor who I trust and constantly confide in through little talks, him silently working in preparation for future great things when it comes to him and his inner circle.
I am thankful for the ability to process information quickly and being able to transcribe those artistic ideas whether verbal, visual, or written. I am thankful for my unique gift, and I am thankful that I am strong enough to continue the journey in bringing my dream to fruition and not giving up, considering it would have been easy to do so long ago. If I ever start to think that my abilities are slowly becoming a curse, I am thankful to know that I am the only one that controls my perception, not the world. I may be in the world, but that does not mean that I have to be of it.
I am thankful that I work hard for the things that I acquire in life and am not one of those types of people that takes advantage of others in the present in hopes of receiving free things in the future. Toxic people, who act petty and are only in your life when it is convenient for them, need to be put far behind you in the rear view mirror. It’s funny for me to witness this pattern in life – when the work is hard and tedious, how many people show up to help you and know that there is nothing for them to gain? When it’s time for free handouts and little to no work – how many people show up then?
Carry on, V!
I am thankful for the warm cup of coffee that I currently sip. I am thankful to have a roof over my head, regardless of what shape the house and surrounding land is in. I am thankful for central heat and air. For refrigeration. For a soft bed, pillows, and comforter. For a shower, warm water, towels, and soap. For a half full pantry and freezer. For the banana I’m staring at. For socks on my feet. Worn out sneakers sitting at the back door. For all the hardships that are on the way. For all the mountain peaks that I’m going to be standing on before long. For my mountain house that awaits me in the near future. For the chipped plate I will eat dinner on tonight. For being able to wake up on Saturday morning and cook breakfast for my family while listening to Frank Sinatra.
I am thankful for being thankful in a thankless world.
Instead of giving you a challenge, telling you what to do, or issuing an hour long altar call, I’m going to let you decide how you are going to treat the upcoming holidays. You possess free will and can follow whichever thread to whichever parallel you so desire. What I can do is tell you how I’m going to treat this special season and go from there.
I am going to enjoy having Thanksgiving with my parents, at their house, at a house I grew up in, a womb that formed me, an ark that has been to hell and back and continues, to this day, to weather the storm and rising tides of life and shelter two precious pieces of cargo. I am going to enjoy spending this special holiday with my wife, my family, and everyone else between.
When I fix my plate, I’m going to absorb each dish I spoon onto it. The turkey is going to be juicy and tender. The stuffing is going to be moist and fluffy. The sweet potato casserole is going to be sweet and gooey. The green bean casserole is going to be creamy and savory. The corn pudding is going to be salty and crunchy. The rolls are going to be warm, soft, and flaky. The pecan pie is going to be sticky and nutty. (I feel like I’m describing a scene from some sweaty, bushy eighties porno – I’ll move on now.)
Thanksgiving night, I’m going to close my eyes as I prepare my mind for my eight hour shift the next day. I’m going to wiggle my toes underneath the comforter and they are going to be warm. Instead of thinking about all the things that are going wrong, I’m going to think about all the things that are going right. Instead of harboring on all the negativity the world is trying to throw in my direction, our direction, I’m going to think about all the positivity that can been seen sparkling between the dark corners of our universe.
Some people will tell you that, “things could be a lot worse.” From somebody who has been there, a somebody who has taken a bath in a sink, I will attest that there is a lot of truth in that cliche. There is only one way to show the world what you are made of – be yourself, be original, relentlessly pursue your dream, and acquire that which sets your soul on fire.
Hang a red cord above your door or out your window. (Thank you, Mom!)
Put a walking stick near the back door, just in case, and speak to the rock, don’t hit it. (Thank you, Dad!)
If you can read this, we are not done yet. We have just begun. (Thank you, Alan!)
Even in the midst of the desert, there is an oasis, and we will get there one day. (Thank you, Arrin!)
For some, that oasis will always be a mirage.
For some, that oasis is real.
What is it for you?
– Push Play Below for Personal Playlist Jam –
– Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers –
– I am thankful for each one of you –