Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you - to my friends and foes alike. I hope you have a wonderful day of family and fine food. Perhaps we will disagree again tomorrow but for today, I wish you the very best.

My mother, who is the most cheerful person I know, always says that if you feel down, you should make yourself think of five good things you're grateful for.

Here are my five for Thanksgiving Day:

I'm thankful for my family and friends. I'm thankful that Mom is her perky little self at 86. I'm thankful that I'm a mother-in-law and that I really like my daughter-in-law and I think she likes me too. I'm happy that Lisa and John are doing well and seem to be enjoying their life together. I'm grateful that I have many close friends who mean as much to me as family. I'm even grateful for the friends who aren't friends anymore. Misunderstandings have occurred and diverging paths were taken but the memories of the good times we had together can never be erased.

I'm thankful that I have a job. It is amazing how changed circumstances serve as a reality check on situations we normally take for granted. A year and a half ago, I was down to my last unemployment check and had no prospects. Thank God, a position came open in the Prosecutor's office. It was a familiar world of legal papers and law enforcement and working with people I already knew and liked. Looking back on jobs past, I feel fortunate for the years at at the Sheriff's Department and City Hall, working for men like Dallas Winchester and Tim Roberts, who were friends as well as bosses, and where going to work every day was fun.

I'm thankful that I'm relatively healthy at 60. Even though, I will admit that I was grumpy when I was diagnosed as diabetic and when the doctor told me to avoid all white foods as well as most fruit. I told him I thought it would be easier to give me a list of foods I could actually eat and he said, "green vegetables are good." That was not a thankful moment in my life. But, over all, despite some aches and pains, I have no major complaints in the health department. I'm also thankful for the improved health of others I care about who have had medical crisis lately.

I'm thankful for the personal computer which makes both work at work and work at home so much easier (I am old enough to remember carbon paper and trying to erase oh-so-carefully so there wasn't a big ugly blot on a letter or report and typing manuscripts over and over rather than deleting and replacing). The computer opens up entirely new worlds of communication so that you can now read newspapers and blogs from all over the world and and tap into opinions and stories you'd never have been exposed to. You can easily stay in touch with friends and family. And from my end, it also allows me to share thoughts in a freer way than writing for an organization. On computers, you can entertain yourself by playing games or watching video clips on YouTube or Crooks and Liars. If you miss almost anything on t.v., you can usually track it down on the computer. You can look up information on any subject you're interested in. You can listen to any song you want to hear or burn cds with only your favorites on it - mixing up Barbara Striesand with AC-DC and Elvis with Toby Keith.

I'm thankful that the Democrats took over both houses of Congress. Not that I have absolute, complete faith in any political party but I hope the Dems will take the country in a new direction where workers are given a little fairer shake and corporations are taken down a peg or two (or three). I hope we'll start bringing our kids home from Iraq sooner rather than later. And I hope from now on, we'll always have divided government. Too much power in the hands of one party has not turned out to be a good thing.

No one gets out of this world without some scar tissue. We've all won some battles and lost some. We've all been hurt and felt as if we were treated unfairly at times. But we've also all had our joys and triumphs. Most of our glasses are either half full or half empty at any given time but which one of those perspectives you concentrate on will determine what kind of Thanksgiving you have......on this day and every day.