Adam Sig new 77

My mind’s been elsewhere lately. Impending holidays always seem to scatter the brain and cause the mind to wander. There’s preparations to be made and relatives to visit. Of course, there’s always the draining struggle between husband and wife over which grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, cousin twice removed will share their company during jubilant celebrations of holiday bliss.

This holiday, Thanksgiving, offers a different aspect. Unlike New Year’s when you moll over things to change in your life - typically done watching football with a bloated stomach from a week’s worth of Christmas leftovers and perhaps a slight hangover from the night before - Thanksgiving offers the chance to reflect on all the things you actually like about your life. During the daily tedium of everyday, we may cynically say these things are hard to discern, but with the mish-mash thoughts that holidays bring, it can seem easy, and sweet thoughts seem as natural as whipped topping on pumpkin pie.

The most important thing in my life, and I will thank any deity upstairs repeatedly for them, is my family who couldn’t be thankful for such precious gifts as children? My little girl and boy are the sunshine of my life. Every smile, every new development, every breathe is a joy to behold. My best days are the ones when I can spend time with them. Those moments when all the world melts away to nothing, and it is just us together, having fun and sharing love, those are the best days, the ones that really count above all else. I would trade anything for them.

The worst days are the ones when they are gone; when my wife takes them for extended visits to relatives or elsewhere. All the days without them are just days; calendar pages with arbitrary numbers swiftly stripped away to the next. The only thing that keeps me going deep down inside is the knowledge those days will come again. Thanksgiving is all about those times, building stockpiled memories for the lackluster days ahead.

I can be thankful for my parents, that they are healthy and have always been and still are there for me when I need it. I can be thankful for their apparent happiness, and that they can find reinstated joy through their grandchildren. I can be thankful my sister and her husband have a good life with two rambunctious little sons that remind me what it was like to be a kid.

I can say I’m thankful for my job. Even though I wish it paid more (who doesn’t wish that), at least I have one. There are so many unemployed people, so many who will only find Thanksgiving dinner in homeless shelters or through the kindness of soup kitchens and organizations dedicated to such philanthropic missions.

I can also be thankful there are people out there willing to help. So often, Americans are self-absorbed and more worried about getting that basement-bottom price on a plasma-screen TV they don’t care about those people who suffer. I could write more on that attitude, but I’ll save the change speeches for New Year’s (hopefully written without the hangover).

For me, the job is more than just a paycheck (not that it’s substantial). I am afforded the opportunity, as a reporter, to record the movements of history within my community. I am more than just a writer, I am a source of information for everyone. I am the gatekeeper of the past and the present. If I wanted to be someone with lots of money, I would’ve been a business major in college. I wanted to do some good in this world, not merely exist in it. Everyday, I feel I’m working for the common good and that is something to be proud of and definitely be thankful for.

There are tons of other things to be thankful for as well, both cynically and sentimentally. I can be thankful I’m healthy, everyone I know is alive and well, my friends are all chasing their dreams somewhere out there, Bush only has a little more than a year left in office, Armageddon is still being kept at bay and there’s a renewed interest in alternative fuels.

However, when I sit down at the table at my grandmother’s for Thanksgiving dinner, none of this will matter. All that counts is we’re all there, sharing our lives and a common bond of blood and love that binds us. The smiles will be as plentiful as the turkey and life, for at least one day, can be cherished without a hint of sarcasm. Maybe I’ll add a dash of pepper instead, just for good measure.

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