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Thankful (#1172)

Topics/tags: Autobiographical, thankfulness, short, comparatively endnotable

It’s Thanksgiving. Two nights ago, the third of my three sons to come home for the holiday made it home. We sat around in the living room talking for a few hours [1]. It was a normal Rebelsky conversation, touching on a variety of issues, using a variety of dialects [2], and including the normal amount of jabs at each other. We shared things we are doing [3], joys, and frustrations. It made me so damn happy. I love the times we can be together, just talking.

With three children in three parts of the country, and with Michelle spending half her week in birdland [4], it’s getting harder to get us all together at the same time. Soon, they’ll have more significant lives of their own, and it will be harder to get all of us together. But it will happen.

In any case, I felt so thankful to be together as a family. I remain thankful two days later. I’m thankful that we got to hold another session of the legendary Rebelsky book club [5,7]. As always, I pushed the deadline for getting things read [8], and didn’t quite finish until midway through the discussion. I’m even thankful that we binge watched TV together [10]; it’s warming to be together in the same room.

I’m also thankful that my brother- and sister-in-law are driving in for dinner. It’s good to get the expanded family together even if the family does not expand all that much.

All this thankfulness, as well as the problematic holiday we are together for, has me thinking about other things I’m thankful for.

As I told my students yesterday, I’m thankful for in-person teaching and for the awesome young adults who I get to teach.

I’m damn thankful to be alive. I need to treat myself better so I stay that way. And I need to do so sooner, rather than later [11].

I am thankful for the people around me: Not just family and students, but friends, colleagues, folks I communicate with online [14], and more.

I’ve always enjoyed music. The pandemic led a number of great artists to take their live performances online. While there are times that I feel overwhelmed by the number of shows I can see, and there are other times I worry that I’m not supporting artists well enough financially or through appropriate attention, I am so thankful that I get to experience live music regularly, that I’ve found new musicians to appreciate, and that I’ve even become friends of sorts with some of these musicians.

In the end, I’m most thankful about those closest to me, my amazing and thoughtful and tolerant wife and the three young men who fill me with pride.

I hope my readers all have things for which they are thankful.

If we ignore all of the complications associated with Thanksgiving, perhaps we can appreciate a holiday whose primary goal should be to embrace thankfulness.

[1] Not the best idea for me, given that I need a lot of sleep and I had to teach the next morning.

[2] Two of my children appear to dispute the great vowel shift.

[3] Or not doing.

[4] My new name for Audubon.

[5] Middle chose book five of the Cradle series, which required us to read the previous books. I’m still not sure how I feel about the series [6].

[6] It doesn’t matter how I feel. The next book is book ten of the series along with an expectation that we’ll read the intervening books. At least I get to pick the following book.

[7] At some point, I’ll remember to make a list of all the books we’ve read.

[8] I look forward to next academic year, when I should have more time for reading [9].

[9] And exercising and thinking and more.

[10] Binge watching often involves other simultaneous things, such as conversations or, in my case, playing on the computer.

[11] I’d been doing well, but now I’m back sliding away [12].

[12] I realize that the Paul Simon song goes slip sliding away. I appreciate the variant.

[14] Some of them call themselves FANily because we share appreciation of some musical artists.

Version 1.0 of 2021-11-25.