No need to wait until Thanksgiving to express gratitude

It might be said that it’s too early for this, a Thanksgiving piece.

Not so. Every day is pretty much Thanksgiving for me. I’m one of the lucky ones.

Five things I am thankful for:

I have three healthy sons in their early to mid-20s. They’re good guys, smart, funny and kind. And I have a brother and sister who are supportive and dependable. In addition to the love that comes with being part of a family, we all like and respect each other.

Intimacy. By that I mean I have good, solid friends to talk with, go for a run with, or meet for lunch … and a wonderful, special woman for whom I give thanks every day. No mistake.

There’s no substitute, especially now, for having a satisfying job with health benefits. Security also comes from living in a safe neighborhood, in a country where we take so much for granted (today, of course, is Veterans Day). Most of the things that stress us out are “first-world problems” that half the world would be grateful to endure.

Every day I check the obits in my local paper (OK, the website). Not because I’m morbid, but because — unfortunately — it seems once a week I know someone, sometimes younger than I, on that page. My parents both lived to be 90, and I try to respect that genetic gift of good health by running and taking care of myself.

Ah, happiness … I think I’m happy in part because I don’t want much. I couldn’t care less about career status, nice clothes, a fancy car, a big house, all that crap. I know people who spend their lives chasing that stuff, and deep down I think many of them are miserable.

So I guess I’m also grateful for what I don’t have — and don’t want. This lets me genuinely and consciously appreciate small things like a good book, an act of kindness, an invigorating run in the woods, a quiet evening with someone I love.

Lately I’ve taken to quoting Lou Gehrig in his famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939 — minus the “bad break,” of course. Most days I do indeed consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.


About Jim McKeever

Writer, father, runner, advocate based in Central New York.
This entry was posted in books, cancer, family, Irish Investigations, running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to No need to wait until Thanksgiving to express gratitude

  1. markbialczak says:

    You are a good man, a good friend and a good writer, Jim McKeever. I am better for knowing you. Thank you.


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