Ten things for which I am thankful 2018

As we approach Thanksgiving In this crazy modern world (and I know it is primarily an American holiday), I harken back to my youth, growing up in the 50’s a simpler, more peaceful, probably less informed time without the Internet, fake news, daily messages of violence, political/racial/religious hate, opinionated news media, constant war somewhere in the world, mass killings.

But were the 1950s really that great? Did we truly live a Norman Rockwell existence? There were the McCarthy hearings blackballing creative Hollywood “communists.” The cold war froze relationships between Russia and the USA. We lived in constant fear of nuclear war that would obliterate mankind, practiced hiding under our desks at school, built fallout shelters, and every day at noon and midnight the B-52s with those nuclear bombs inside took off from a nearby airbase rattling the dishes in our cupboard. We lived at ground zero.

Every decade has its ups and downs. Low points that everyone remembers and regrets, like Vietnam in the 60s for me and the military draft that could mean dying before you were old enough to drink, anti-war protests, Kennedy’s assassination.

But every Thanksgiving we would try to pause and reflect on the positive things in our lives for which we are grateful.  The 50s were a breather from the terrors of WWII, a time of unlocked doors, the birth of television, great prosperity, baby boomers, hot rods, flat tops, and sock hops. The 60’s were a time of discovery, race into space, the Beatles, personal freedom…the right to protest, challenge the status quo, free love, Hair. The 70’s brought us Punk Rock, Disney World, end of the Vietnam War, Deep Throat, the Godfather, Secretariat, Saturday Night Live, Elton John. The 80’s introduced personal computers, big hair bands, etc. You get the idea.

Today’s challenge…name ten things you are grateful for in 2018 (in the comments section). Could be big things that impacted the world or just your corner of it. Must be positive, not “I’m glad Hilary lost the election.”  Here is my list:

  1. My wife discovered cancer early and doctors were able to remove, leaving her cancer-free.
  2. My wife and I are finally seeing success in losing weight and keeping it off.
  3. Both our son and daughter found true love and got married this year. Both ceremonies went off without a hitch.
  4. We remain in remain in relatively good health and physically active, especially compared to many friends our age.
  5. We are retired and do not have to get up in the morning until we choose to do so (or to let the dog out).
  6. We are, at the moment, financially secure with a nice home in a nice neighborhood.
  7. I am free to pursue my “hobbies” of acting, music, and writing. This has been a good year for all three and I’ve even made a little money doing it.
  8. We bought our first new (used) car in fourteen years and got a hell of a deal.
  9. Because of the weddings, I got to see my brother and his family for the first time in five years; and my sister for the first time in 11 years.
  10. Thankful for those whose homes and lives were spared in this year’s California wildfires.

Happy Thanksgiving!