I have many, many things for which I am grateful. Despite my frequent whining, I am very aware of how fortunate I am. Here’s just a small sampling:
- I’m grateful for not only surviving the Planet Hellston project [editor’s note to newcomers: this is a reference to my last job, where I worked on a software project for a Fortune 100 oil and natural gas company for 1.5 years in Houston], but for successfully making it over the finish line. There are thousands of oil workers out there submitting their timecards and (usually) getting paid correctly thanks to me (and a lot of other people). I just checked the stock price of my client, and it’s higher than it was 6 months ago, so I guess I didn’t destroy the company. And Client-on-the-Right texted me Happy Thanksgiving wishes! <3
- I’m grateful for having the financial resources to take a sabbatical over the past six months. I feel so much better getting as much sleep as my body needs, eating nutritious, home-cooked meals, and not getting stressed out 20 times a day working with nasty or idiotic people. I’ve lost more than 10 pounds, my muscle-to-fat ratio is better, and I haven’t had so much as a cold since getting over the one I had when leaving Hellston. I also haven’t been irradiated or fondled by the TSA in six months.
- I’m grateful for wonderful friends who not only accept me but seem to actually like me (still not sure why). They listen to me bitch and moan, laugh at my jokes, build me up when I’m feeling down, keep my secrets and trust me with their own. Each of them has had struggles I’ve never had to contend with, yet have such gracious, loving, kind spirits it never ceases to amaze me. I want to be more like them.
- I’m grateful for the Free State Project, and for the hundreds of people who have poured their time, money and talent into bringing it to where it is today. I am so fortunate to live in a self-selected community of so many intelligent, open-minded, far-sighted people who were able to see that it would be worth it to undergo the short-term pain of relocating for the long-term gain of living in greater freedom amongst like-minded souls.
- (Hopefully this doesn’t sound like a repeat of #4; I think it qualifies as its own item.) I’m grateful for the community I’ve found here in New Hampshire, made up of both Free Staters and pre-Staters, where nary a day goes by that I’m not invited to at least one, and some days, TEN, social event or activism opportunity. It’s not just shallow “let’s party” community, either. I’ve had people rush over to help me get my car unstuck from a snowbank; help me move; offer me jobs; help me at my house with things I lack the knowledge or physical strength to do myself. And I’ve witnessed countless acts of kindness to others, including delivering meals to the sick, giving rides to the carless, donating money to help cover medical bills, and organizing wakes to memorialize the fallen. I’ve never experienced this kind of community in my life before; it’s beautiful and humbling.
- I’m grateful for music, and living in a time and place where I can access the recorded works of brilliant people from all over the world with the click of a mouse.
- I’m grateful for the Internet. Having the ability to almost instantly access, and contribute to, so much recorded knowledge is unprecedented in the history of my silly species. What a gift! And hey, funny cat videos are nothing to shake a stick at, either.
- I’m grateful for good health, and a body with all its parts in working order (as long as my supply of contact lenses doesn’t run out; otherwise, I’m SOL :-p ). Barring unforeseen circumstances, I should be good to go for the zombie apocalypse.
- I’m grateful for my car, the TANSTAAFL-mobile. No, seriously. It’s old and dented and has paint scraped off and, just in the past week, has started making horrible clunking noises when I drive it. But it gets me where I want to go, when I want to go, and let’s me listen to music while doing so. I don’t have to feed it, it doesn’t poop or try to kick me in the head, and it never runs away (although it has been known to hide from me in crowded parking lots). It also has a kickass collection of anti-authoritah bumper stickers and decals.
- I’m grateful for writers, actors and directors (using that word as a placeholder for the hundred-plus people involved in making most movies) for continually creating books and movies that entertain me, educate me, and, occasionally, alter my worldview forever.
- Last minute addition to the list: I’m grateful for Bitcoin passing $1000. In the immortal words of the Geto Boys: Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a boatload of food to consume with friends. Happy Thanksgiving!