The bad news surrounds us. Our fears are real and warranted about the economy, but so is the need for a balanced perspective. We approach Thanksgiving with many facing such hard times, but it’s important to look at our own lives and recognize the good things we have.
Here are some things that I’m thankful for:
I am thankful for the good news we get to print about the efforts of people in the community to help others. There are the disheartening stories of crime and human failing, but there are many selfless people among us who toil quietly, often without recognition or even want of attention. I am thankful for them.
I am thankful for my parents, who offered so much to me even when I didn’t recognize it and who gave me a comfortable childhood. I am thankful for the way they explained worldly things to me without trying to force me to see everything their way.
I am thankful for every day of health for my family, friends and myself. I know how quickly health can turn and I don’t take this for granted.
I am thankful for my daughter’s enthusiastic dialogue on the floor between one colorful piece of plastic and another, for her footsteps in the hall in the morning, for her head on my shoulder as we read books, for the big hug around the neck.
I am thankful for the times my wife gets truly tickled about something, for how she sees so many details that I miss, for every return to her or by her at the end of the day.
I am thankful for my wife’s parents, who have shown us so much kindness in so many ways, for their intense love of their grandkids.
I am thankful for the way my sister, Anna, and her husband, Jeff, make me laugh and thankful for my nice and bright nieces and nephew, Kate, Blakeley and Bryson and their parents, Lisa and John. I am thankful for a job, for each piece of mail that is not a bill, for those two familiar white trucks turning into our driveway, for the chance to work with Margie Richards, Ben Munro, Mark Beardsley and Teresa Marshall, for having Mary, Barry and Sandra Adams live close by, for my friends Alex Johns and Dean Bright, for my daughter’s pediatrician, Rajiv Setia.
I am thankful for people who submit thoughtful comments on our web site and include their real name, not hiding behind a veil of anonymity. I’m thankful for PBS, for NPR, for news that is thoughtful, thorough and civic minded.
I am thankful for pumpkin desserts, for 10 more minutes of sleep, for a good cup of coffee, for the end of winter, for those occasions when I feel inspired with a guitar again, for afternoons or evenings when I can watch Georgia football or basketball and escape into that drama, for the joy of discovering someone’s brilliance on a page.
I’m thankful when I actually remember things, because that’s happening less and less. I’m thankful to be alive and to draw in a good deep breath.
As I grow older, I like Thanksgiving best as a holiday. I need that reminder of all that is good, all the thanks I need to give.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.