30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (PART IV)

I’m glad this deal is 30 Days of Gratitude, because I don’t think I’ll finish before Thanksgiving, which comes a little earlier this year. I have no excuse except outright procrastination. My life is not that busy or exciting, I just experience some…inertia…occasionally. At any rate, please peruse Parts 1, 2, & 3, then meet me back here. Enjoy. 

16 What about your body are you grateful for??

That’s a tough one because, to be honest, my physical body hasn’t been much to brag about. I’m overweight. I’m disabled. I don’t think I’m especially handsome. However, in the spirit of the exercise I will coax myself into positivity by acknowledging that I have a pretty decent head of hair. It’s not as wavy as it was in my youth, and there’s a whole lot more grey than there used to be, but I don’t think I’m in danger of going bald. So atleast I got that going for me, which is nice. 

17 What knowledge are you grateful for??

Knowledge is power. Isn’t that the old saying?? I don’t feel especially powerful, and my standard joke is that I used to be rather smart but I’ve gotten dumber thru the years. I possess alot of useless knowledge, which comes in handy if you’re playing Trivial Pursuit or somehow make it as a contestant on Jeopardy!, but practical skills are more helpful in the real world. There are lots of things I wish I knew – how to attract women…how to lose weight…how to fix a car…how to make a living doing this writing thing. However, the question pertains to knowledge for which I am grateful to possess. As citizens of The Manoverse may know, I have served on the board of directors of our local literacy organization for 15 years, and it’s a topic near & dear to me. My knowledge & ability to read is probably something I take for granted, but books have added so much to my life that I need to appreciate it much more. 

18 What piece of art are you grateful for??

I am certainly the kind of geek that would happily visit an art gallery & enjoy it tremendously. However, that doesn’t mean I’m particularly well versed about specific works or that I own anything like that. So I’m going to think outside the box. What is a piece of art?? According to my extensive research (😉) “a work of art is any work regarded as art in its widest sense, including works from literature & music”. Given those wide parameters I’m going to give you three answers. First, I’m not a photographer (probably one of the many callings I missed), but I do get an endorphin release out of taking a nice photo. Plus, pictures are a fantastic way to capture memories that one can appreciate forever. I regret that I’m not well traveled and haven’t had the opportunity to take cool photos of amazing places. Secondly, I’ve talked about my love of music. This isn’t the time to go into details about favorite songs or performers, but I am immensely grateful for music in general. And finally, y’all know I’m a bookworm. More specifically I have become an expert in tsundoku, which is a Japanese term used to describe a person who owns a lot of unread literature. An old friend once opined that I live in a library. Much like Ron Burgundy I have many leatherbound books & my apartment smells of rich mahogany. I waste too much time engaged on other time wasting activities and need to read more. When that day comes I am grateful to have a plethora of books to choose from, but in the meantime they sure do look lovely lining the walls of my humble abode. 

19 What touch are you grateful for today??

Physical touch is something severely lacking in my life. It’s not even about sex. Sometimes it’s nice just to hold someone’s hand or get a hug or give (or receive) a nice shoulder massage. Having said that, perhaps it would be wise to think outside the box. Anyone who has spent any time in church or who has read their Bible may recall numerous accounts of Jesus touching people or them touching his garments & being healed. He may not be physically on Earth at the moment, but I believe in the touch of God in our lives. That touch is God’s power contacting us to influence or change our circumstances in a myriad of ways. We can be touched thru prayer, reading God’s Word, or thru simple, ordinary, oftentimes unexpected interactions with people. I sincerely believe that God puts people in our path…maybe for a brief moment, sometimes for the long run…who guide us, comfort us, give us perspective, teach us, and help us thru tough times. I don’t pray or study my Bible often enough, and that’s my fault. Still, though my life is less than ideal & not what I dreamed it could be once upon a time, it is undeniable that I have felt the touch of God. 

20 Who in your life are you grateful for??

I’ve met a lot of good people in my life, but I want to focus on the ones who stayed. I was taught at an early age that if you can honestly say that you have one true friend you’re very blessed. We throw around the word “friend” quite freely, when the fact is that what we really have are co-workers, neighbors, classmates, colleagues, acquaintances, fellow congregants, people we happen to be related to, associates, pals, & buddies. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with any of that, but most of those folks won’t be anywhere around when you really truly need them. Truth bomb. The point is this: the only people you can count on is family. There is no one more important than your family. Since I don’t have a wife or children that means the three people I’m most grateful for are my parents & my sister. We lost Mom more than two decades ago, but her impact on my life is immeasurable. Of course that means her absence has had a staggering effect as well. I am fortunate to still have my father & sister, both of whom I speak to almost daily. 

Let’s take another time out & meet back here on Thanksgiving.