In the run-up to Thanksgiving, there’s been the usual press about the value of gratitude, about the positive impact being grateful can have on our mental health, on our happiness.

I’m lucky. One thing for which I’m grateful is that I don’t need to be reminded to be grateful for all I have. Regular readers know that, While I’m not immune to whining, or sadness, or dissatisfaction, I am, for the most part, simply grateful.

Above all, I’m grateful for my family. My family of choice – T, our kid – a better, more loving, more generous, more accepting family than which I simply can’t imagine. And, my family of origin – my Dad. My Mom died years ago, during my adolescence, but I continue to be grateful for her as well. I am, as we all are, very much my parents’ kid, for better and worse, and while the worse parts often are very live to me, so are the better parts.

I’m also grateful for my material good fortune. We aren’t fabulously wealthy, we don’t actually have a lot of things. A simple home, no car (thank God), and the stuff we need (mainly things with CPUs). But we don’t, we never have had to, worry about where our next meal will come from, about whether we can have a roof over our head.

I’m grateful for my physical safety. For a variety of reasons, I simply don’t worry it all that much. I don’t drive much (and while I love driving, I’m fully aware that it is, by far, the most dangerous thing I do regularly). I don’t worry about muggings or assaults – I live in a remarkably safe city, in a remarkably safe country, in a remarkably safe time. I worry about global events and their impact on our collective security, a bit, but more than that, I simply mourn that my kid won’t enjoy the same freedom to explore that I enjoyed. (I spent quite a while as an adolescent traveling in parts of the world that, at the time, were poor, but today, look very different as possible venues for an American adolescent’s journey of self-discovery.) And even as I mourn the changes to which I’m alluding, I remain enormously grateful for my remarkable exposure.

I’m grateful for my friends, both the ones who know of this blog and those who don’t.

I’m grateful for this blog, for the venue for self-discovery and expression it provides me, and for the loyal, thoughtful, supportive and kind readers and friends I’ve found here.

I’m grateful for my health, which, though it hasn’t been great for the last year, hasn’t been awful. And I have several examples of what awful health looks like far closer to me than I might like.

In short, I’m thankful. Here’s hoping you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

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