One of my favorite traditions on Thanksgiving is going around the table and listening to everyone give thanks for what they are grateful for this year.
I loved this part of my family’s tradition. Unfortunately, the years have gone by since then. People moved away and more accurately, people have passed away. The times have changed and this year has changed the face of society. However, it is right that we give thanks. It is right that we look for the details behind our gratitude. So, please, if you will allow me the moment of sappiness, then I will begin.
I am thankful for what I have; the home I live in, the love I have in my heart and my family because without family, what do we really have? I am thankful for my dog. He is an old boy. He is 13 years-old to be exact.
We recently had a little scare with him but the old boy is going to pull through. His days of chasing squirrels are far behind him but the chipmunks will still temp him to come out of retirement. Brody the dog is older. His hips are arthritic but he lives happily and he is fed very well. He has all the love he can ask for, which is the least we can do because, well, if you’ve never had a dog or if you’re not an animal lover, you will never know how rewarding this kind of love can be,
I am thankful that I have managed to stay away from this virus that’s been going around. I am thankful that with all the shutdowns and breakdowns, and with all the tragedies and casualties, safe to say it; I am alive and standing.
I am thankful for the opportunities that have come my way this year. I am thankful for the programs that closed because they have given me the time to build my resume and create new ones. I am thankful for the education I’ve received. I’ve learned more about people this year. I’ve learned there are good people and bad ones and sometimes, the bad ones are the best friends to have. And sometimes, the good ones are the worst friends to have but either way, although my list of true friends is small, I am grateful for them all.
I am grateful for my DVR because I can record my shows and fast forward through commercials. I am grateful that my neighbor leaves me alone.
(I don’t like him very much.)
I am grateful for my morning drives to work because this allows me to prepare for my day. I can ready myself, create a plan, build a strategy, and send a special hello to the people I care deeply for.
I am grateful for my Sunday morning group which is better known as Breakfast with Benny. And I’m grateful for all those that come to this group because they have helped me reach a new level in my dream.
I am grateful for the friends I’ve lost this year because they taught me some valuable lessons. I am grateful for the presentations I’ve managed to pull off, because in spite of Covid problems, mental health challenges still need to be addressed.
I am grateful that I have chosen to continue instead of quit. I am grateful that I have this moment here, with you, each and every day.
I am thankful that I have friends, new and old, across the country and in different parts of the world.
I am grateful for the food challenges we’ve had throughout the year. Although the challenges were not too kind to my waistline and I’ve tasted things from pigs feet to reindeer meat, and rattlesnake, I can say I’ve tasted the hottest pepper in the world and even dipped it in hot sauce to ever prove one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt; I am still a kid at heart.
(I paid the price for the pepper challenge, by the way. And I didn’t cry so much as I just whimpered a little bit.)
I am grateful for the roads I walk along and the view from my window. I’m grateful for my memories and that I still have them because admittedly, age changes the way I remember them.
I’m thankful for simple things too, like homemade chili, stews, and good meals. I am thankful for sushi dinners and a good steak (a good steak always does the trick) and lamb chops as well.
I’m thankful for the roof on a building on Lexington Avenue, which is where I go sometimes when the tension gets too thick.
I am grateful that I can laugh. I can love. I can go or stay or create and build. I am grateful because even though times get testy, I have the ability and the wherewithal to recover and recuperate.
I am thankful to those that said I would never get this far. I am thankful to those that laughed at me or taunted me or gave me shit about the dreams I have. I am thankful for those that tried to pull me under.
Or better yet, I am thankful for those that tried to hold me back because without them, I might not have known what it feels like to be the underdog and defy the odds against me.
Not everything has to be so serious or intense. Even when times are tough, I know there is love in this world for me. I know there is beauty out there. I know this with all my heart and because of this, I’m thankful.
Bring it on Thanksgiving!
I’m ready for you.
PS: This is one of the challenges we did-