Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thankful

I have plenty, and I'm surely thankful for it.  I also surely wish everybody had what I have.

I'm thankful that my home's water and heat and preposterous amounts of computational power are all available anytime I want them.  I'm thankful for shelves full of books, for anytime I need to unwind and/or sharpen up my brain.  I'm thankful for a garage full of tools and scraps, for anytime I decide I need to create or augment or fix something.  Things!  So many things.  Perhaps too many.  But I'm thankful for having so much literally at my fingertips.  Kim wanted to remove an unusual-shaped security screw recently, and I didn't even need to leave my desk to hand her the tool and bit she needed.  Everybody deserves agency like that.

I'm thankful that I went to school before Columbine and all the shootings since.  Anybody who complains about the cushy lives of modern children callously ignores the truth that a generation has now attended school on a goddamn battlefield.  Kids get interviewed on the news after each of these commonplace tragedies, saying things like "it always felt like if, not when", and I'm at a loss to imagine something more heartbreaking.  I'm thankful that I still have a voice and a vote, I have a set of elected officials to harass, I have fists to clench and feet to march.  I'm thankful that I, that we, still have the chance to reverse insane mistakes and oversights that have been made.

I'm thankful that even as the macro scale of human society is thrashing around in chaos, cracks are forming in the corrupt disorder, and daylight is reaching some of the layers of dirty lies and secrets.  Whether or not we can figure out how to sustainably live in mega-societies, we may at least be fumbling our way through to exposing and removing toxins, both literal and figurative.  Hope is sometimes reduced to a terrifyingly small flicker, but I'm thankful that it feels as though it may be growing brighter.

I'm thankful that I have not gone numb; there is a paralyzing amount of worry to take on, and my wife and I each find it challenging to keep anxiety at bay.  But we've got each other, we've got supportive friends and family, we've got laughter, and sarcasm, and enough disposable income to drink the good liquor.  I truly am thankful for all the bright spots.  I married one, we've adopted some fluffy ones, and we're friends with and related to plenty more.  Speaking of which...

I'm thankful that this year, Kim and I got a new niece and a new nephew!  I'm thankful that they have committed and loving parents and grandparents, good stable homes and everything a person could want by way of family.  Right from the start, these children have all doors open to them, just as I did, and just as all children should have.

Clearly I'm ill at peace with the state my home planet and nation are in, but that takes nothing away from the things I am truly glad of and the real gifts that I have been given.  I am thankful.  As we all deserve to be.

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