Today is Thanksgiving. I try to be thankful every single day of my life. In fact, the last few months, when I lay down to sleep I literally lie there and think about all the things I am thankful about. I am not a religious man, but I suppose this is my version of prayer. Being thankful is a way to put things in perspective ultimately reduce stress for me. In my day to day work, I stress out a lot. I deal with clients asking for things that I think are crazy, customers complaining about this or that, blog comments that I’m shocked came from the fingers of another human being. But when I take some time to reflect, and stack all these things up against all the good things, all those negative stressful things seem smaller. These are the things I am most thankful for:
I’m overweight, but aside from that, I’m fairly healthy. It doesn’t limit me in the things that I want to do very much, although of course I’d like to lose about 100 lbs to be back to normal. I don’t get sick very often and when I do it’s not very severe. My cholesterol and blood pressure are OK for the moment. The tumor in my pituitary glad is benign.
To take a step back, I am thankful to have health insurance and live in a country with (despite all the problems) good health care options and facilities.
Another step back, and I’m glad I live in a time when most of the terrible diseases are either gone or under control. I will never experience extended excruciating pain, we have morphine drips for that.
I am thankful for my health.
I am not a rich man. It will be a long time until I have my student debts repaid. I still need credit cards to save me from bad situations and rough months. But I do OK. I support myself entirely. I have some savings that I intend to try to grow. I am able to do and have pretty much anything I want. I live in a decent apartment in Chicago. From a wider perspective, what amounts to a middle class existence here in Chicago probably puts me in the top 1% most wealthy people in the world.
What I really have going for me is my work. I work on the web. I am still very genuinely excited about the web. Just today I worked on some WordPress stuff (building an extensible theme options panel) and I was absolutely stoked to get it working and to finally understand that aspect of WordPress. Here it is a holiday and I’m “working”, but just because I find it all so entertaining.
On top of it all, I get to work from home which is awesome for many, many reasons including keeping the stress level in check.
I am thankful for my work.
I wake up, I have fun at work all day (mostly). I eat great food all the time. I see great music. I go to Badger football games. I watch a bunch of TV shows that I like. I see new movies in the theater. I do fun stuff to do with my friends. I do fun stuff with my family (last weekend we were in Wisconsin Dells at a resort).
It’s almost kind of ridiculous when I really think about it. Almost everything I do every single day is entertaining.
I laugh at people who are basically in the same position and me and mope around whiny and depressed. C’mon people. Take a look at what your life is really like.
As for me, I am thankful for my life.