I’m thankful that I take up more, now, for my own mental health and self esteem than I did in my twenties.
I'm thankful I did not give up when the many occasions presented itself for me to do so.
I'm thankful to have grown up and lived in the Southern countryside and to have learned respect for myself and others and to have seen many beautiful sunsets and sunrises and to have been able to ride the golf cart and four wheeler down dirt paths and on family farmland.
I'm thankful to have known three of my grandparents, who have now been deceased for many years now.
I'm thankful for a majority of the senior saints that have crossed my path and had an impression on my life.
I'm thankful to know how valuable the right moment is.
I’m thankful for the people who have read my writings or watched my short films.
I’m thankful that I’m not scared to put to words how I feel and share that with others so they do not feel alone, even when I tame or censor down what I really want to say just for temporary preservation.
I'm thankful to have once lived on a dirt road with an aunt and an uncle and a majority of my cousins and was able to have life experiences with each one of them and to have explored the family 'kicking grounds' as my father and his siblings did when they were younger.
I'm thankful for life, for love, for second chances, for third chances, and for the realizations I have had this past year.
I'm thankful I'm firm when I need to be (no pun) and soft when I don’t need to be (yes pun).
I'm thankful to have direction when I'm lost and to be able to wander when I need a little break or adventure.
I'm thankful for good parents, their unconditional love, their hard work ethic, their guidance, their strictness, their leniency, their prayers, whether they were answered or not, and their decision to create me, no matter how off-putting my imagination turns when I type that statement.
I'm thankful my first marriage failed so I could rediscover myself and find my soulmate in my second one.
I'm thankful to know where my boundaries are and be able to draw lines and never look back.
I’m thankful for the guardian angels that have watched over me while driving on the backroads and interstates.
I'm thankful for my strength, my courage, my faith, my never ending fountain of hope, my metaphysical lenses that I constantly wipe, and for the current perception I have mastered in trying to use and continue to work on with each passing day.
I'm thankful for well done steaks, loaded baked potatoes, sushi, ice cream, fresh salad, cookies, confetti cake, and breakfast foods, and knowing that me and my little tribe partake in breaking bread over the dinner table every night.
I'm thankful for my friends, my small circle, their random texts, the texts that they take too long to send to my phone, the texts that I take too long to send back to them, us picking up from where we left off, the memories they have given me, the smiles they do not see when I'm alone and think of them, the memories I miss making with them in the now, the times I giggle when I'm by myself and reminisce, and the warmness they give my soul that they may be unaware of.
I'm thankful to not be in the hospital, right now, at this moment.
I'm thankful to have a job in a great nation that taxes your paycheck to death and will continue to do so until all of us are no more.
I'm thankful I'm not a democrat.
I'm thankful that I hold my physical, mental, and spiritual selves in such high regard.
I'm thankful for home.
I'm thankful for places that are far from home.
I'm thankful for two healthy sons.
I’m thankful my dream of being a career musician did not come true because I really enjoy settling down during the week around 9 p.m. with my wife and watching a couple of episodes of Modern Family while snacking out.
I'm thankful for little bits of nostalgia that I experience from time to time.
I'm thankful for family traditions.
I’m thankful to have completed nine unpublished, fictional novels - endless journeys that continue to sit on my desktop, patiently waiting for the right moment while streaming services churn and burn and take off.
I’m thankful for days that turned to nights and nights that turned to days.
I'm thankful for honest laughs, real smiles, in-depth conversations, life altering occasions in nature's scenery, times when you see something that doesn't make sense and you leave it to the mysterious beauty called wonder, connecting with strangers, distancing oneself from negativity and narcissists, and always eating fresh desserts if they’re lying around.
I'm thankful anytime I leave a current job for a better one.
I'm thankful anytime I leave something worse behind me for something better in front of me.
I'm thankful I get a chance to better myself on a daily basis.
I'm thankful I learn from mistakes rather than repeating them.
I'm thankful for having a night guard to wear at bedtime.
I'm thankful for cold toilet seats, clean water, and a more than adequate roof over my head.
I'm thankful for Toyota Tacomas and Honda Accords.
I'm thankful for take out food when I do not feel like cooking.
I'm thankful for wintertime campfires and summertime breezes.
I'm thankful I have my life, a life that is not easy, a life that is only as hard as I make it, a life that is meant for me and only me, a life that only I could handle, a life that was destined for me before the forming of our nebulae, a life that has more pros than cons, a life that manifests more and more with each passing day.
I'm thankful for my editor slash agent who is also a Yankee.
I'm thankful for my sister and for not being an only child and for her having my back like I have hers, and for my only nephew and niece, who I get a chance to heckle at any moment's notice, and for one of them blessing me with the title of great uncle, a title I hold near and dear to my heart, and for us being able to gather and there not be any drama and for us not going year after year after year after year in constant strife and us carrying axes and grudges around until we all get dementia and forget who we were in the first place.
I'm thankful, even when I act like I'm not.
As one of my oracles once told me,
"It's not how many moments you have in your life... it's how much life you have in your moments..."
And I guess that thought never really hit me like it has until now.