Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving thanks

Another Thanksgiving meal is in the books. Or digestive tract. Or whatever. It was good. We had most of my family there, roughly 30 people. I made mashed potatoes, both regular and some with wasabi. I highly recommend the wasabi variety. Rachel made 7 pies. Turns out we were so full from the dinner that it was about 4 pies too many. If you want some of the leftover, let me know.

As I sit here watching the waning moments of another lopsided football game, I thought I'd jot down a few things I'm thankful for. With the economy the way it is, the chaos in various places around the world, and so much general uncertainty, it's easy to fret rather than feel grateful. Yet in a year in which I've lost my livelihood and most of my savings, those things seem trivial when compared to all that I have to be thankful for. So here's a not-nearly-comprehensive list of a few things that are top of mind.
  • First and foremost has to be my dear wife. Like any couple, we've been through our share of ups and downs. Through it all, she remains loyal and loving and more concerned about my happiness than her own.
  • My kids are three of the most wonderful little people in the world. Being away from them five days a week reminds me of how precious they really are. A big hug from a little child has to be among the most underrated things in the world.
  • The Fat Cyclist--seems silly, but it's true. Because I happened upon this blog a few years ago, I've been introduced to some great people, a network that ultimately resulted in finding my new job. Thanks, Elden!
  • My health--on every ride or ski, I'm reminded how fortunate I am to have the health to enjoy the things I do. When I get home, I'm reminded how fortunate I am that my family is in the same healthy condition.
  • I've also got great friends. My Boise riding crew are some of my favorite people in the world. I wouldn't enjoy life nearly so much without them and already miss seeing them on a regular basis. By the same token, I've been welcomed by some great people in Utah. On Wednesday, I had no fewer than three people (who will be neighbors once we move) ask me when we were moving in and offer to help. And then there is the blogging community--several of you have been shockingly generous in a variety of ways even though we may have not even met.
  • The mountains. Some people like the beach. Some people, bless their hearts, like the Midwest. I'm a mountain person. I've always known it, but living away from them for a few years reminded me how important they are. As I think of the best times I've had, most of them have taken place in the mountains. I feel fortunate to have them right outside my door.
  • My family can't be beat, either. Despite me being the odd man out, my brothers and sisters are the best. And my parents are always there when I need them and can usually offer advice in the trickiest situations, having in most cases already dealt with something similar. My sister and brother-in-law have let me live in their home during the workweek the last six weeks, and I couldn't ask for better hosts. It's made dealing with being away from my family that much easier. I'm also fortunate to have great in-laws. I get along well with all of them and feel doubly blessed to have married into such a great family.
  • Finally, without waxing too philosophic, I feel fortunate to have been born when and where I was and to have had so many opportunities that the vast majority of humanity never has or will. The relative prosperity that we enjoy is unlike that in most of the rest of the world or any other period of time. I can joke all I want about being overweight, asthmatic, or unemployed, but the reality is that I've got it pretty good.