What better time to count our blessings but the national orgy of food, booze, and sloth? One that’s based on a false history involving dining peacefully while in reality White settlers were oppressing the indigenous Native Americans known as Thanksgiving. Don’t forget watching overpaid millionaires beat the hell out of each other on television, also while insulting Natives. (You finally ditched your racist mascot, Washington Football Team, but I’m looking at you, Kansas City Chiefs). Turkey Day proceeds our other orgy of consumption: buying stuff on Black Friday. But for many, it’s Buy Nothing Day. Also in protest, you can commemorate the National Day of Mourning. (Watch the Livestream at 1 pm Eastern.)
Now, I know you’re all saying, but Dude, what about your post “Gratitude Journaling: Helpful Tool or Waste of Time?” Well, maybe I wasn’t keen on that type of journaling as a panacea for all of one’s ills, but I’m no Grinch — I do have a heart. So lettuce begin, and pass the whatever I’m stuffing my face with (but not stuffing, because I gave up bread). Don’t worry, I’ll bike, walk, and yoga it off (as if).
President Joe Biden. We all know he’s not the Second Coming, but he’s a damn sight better than the last guy aka the Antichrist. I’ll refer you to the news for that list of positives. And if you disagree, well, consider this: some people think January 6 was a practice run for a larger attempted fascist coup of these United States that Biden, the Democratic Party, and even some sane Republicans are simply not going to let happen. Because patriotism ultimately does trump party.
Bonus: VP Kamala Harris was the first woman President of the United States…. EVER! True, it was only for 85 minutes whilst JB got his poop shoot peeped, but it’s a start. Not that I’m endorsing her.
Food, clothing, shelter, yada yada. While I’m not yet at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, I’m as far from the 1% as those billionaires are to opening a Starbuck’s on Mars. But I have enough to get by with some help.
Bonus: America. Yeah, I know I am not the biggest fan of her gummint, but she’s helped me out with for example health care this year. We can do a helluva lot better, but we could also do far worse.
Culture. Books, movies, television, music, art… these things make life on Planet Earth tolerable, if not downright enjoyable at times. One could say a lot about this, but music tames the savage beast, a timely teardrop falling down a film actor’s face, a well placed phrase can make someone’s day.
Bonus: Comedy may often get short shrift when it comes to the fine arts, because it can be crass, cruel, or just not that funny. But it is vital for survival, telling the truth, and getting us to take ourselves a bit less seriously…
Mother Earth. Probably should have started with this one, because we can’t be without it. And as a daily cyclist the last two years, and for many, many days before that, I’ve enjoyed her surface, mostly here in Austin, Texas. Anyway, she’s taken her licks, but still keeps on spinning, providing us with the air, water, food, atmosphere, and gravity we need to survive. And she will be here long after we extinct far from through pollution. I doubt technology will save us, because some kinds of it are a big part of the problem. But thanks, Mom!
Bonus: The Sun. Because Earth would be VERY different without it.
People. Yeah, it’s true that a lot of us are not living our best lives. I don’t have to mention any names; they occupy the daily headlines, or maybe that jerk in the cubicle or apartment next to you. Still, you gotta admit there are some pretty cool ones around, too. If you have a few in your life, you’re lucky. And if you’re one of them to somebody else, your friends and family are lucky to have you. What about the scientists who came up with the COVID vaccines? The doctors, nurses, and all those folks? How about your friendly (or grouchy) local bike shop mechanics? The list goes on.
Bonus: My blog readers, especially fellow cyclist bloggers. What can I say? Some of you have been most encouraging, others quite constant, and even the occasional note does a dude good. Despite my many failings as a blog reader and commenter myself, y’all are awesome. I wanna party with you people.
Animals. When a friendly and beautiful neighborhood Siamese cat named Handsomer or Claws) occasionally deigns to run out and greet me to be petted, I’m pretty happy, for those few moments at least. I met a friendly 8-month-old rescued poodle mix named Chico (aka Cheeks) at Yellow Bike Project the other day. He was delightful and so happy to meet me. Made my day.
Bonus: OK, yes, I eat some of you. You’re delicious and nutritious, what can I say? I tried not to, and I got anemia. I’m sorry (but also not sorry). Thank you for your service. I guess there’s karma involved, but why don’t you mind your own?
I guess this turned out to be a hodgepodge of ideas. The holidays are not all we were taught growing up. As for being grateful, that seems like a keeper. I’m sure I’ve left off plenty of things, but there’s always tomorrow to be grateful. I’m just glad I realized that you don’t have to labor over a journal to feel appreciative when appropriate, and to feel otherwise when it’s correct. Ready, set eat and spend! Or not…?
For what and whom are you grateful?
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