Sunday, November 13, 2016

Gratefully Apparent

It seems that November is also Gratitude Month. I think they pretty much have a month for everything now. It seems that the NFL teams just finished wearing all the pink socks and towels for breast cancer awareness month (October), and now they're all wearing some sort of camouflage in support of our troops. These are all noble causes and I can't say that I disagree with recognizing any of them, it's just hard to keep tabs on what's what.

Anyway, as I mentioned, it's gratitude month. Each day of November we're supposed to find something that we are grateful for. I think this is some psychological trick to distract us all from the fact that winter is just around the corner, so we need to stockpile our good feelings, because darkness and cold is a comin'. Oh, yes it is.

The wellness center at my workplace even has a Facebook page that is dedicated to gratitude posts. It's been kind of fun, as each day they pick a subject with which to post a grateful picture. (Home, siblings, books, etc.)

So, in light of what has been one of the tougher weeks for me personally, based on the events of the election and some of the fallout and backlash, I'd like to stay positive and focus on some of the things that keep me sane and in the present.


  • My kids. My son just found out he scored four points better on his re-take of  the ACT test. This will help him in his college application process, but more to the point, it is a reminder of how much better students both of my kids are than me. Follow that up with the fact that my college enrolled daughter celebrated her 21st birthday by playing board games and buying pizza for her fellow players. Good friends and good choices. Again, my kids are making way better decisions than I did and I am extremely grateful for that.

  • My job. I am incredibly lucky to have always loved my job. Maps are my life and I thank God everyday that I have a job in something I actually went to school for. I have been blessed to be in mapping/GIS for 30 years this year. Plus I work for one of the top counties in the state of Wisconsin that has a great GIS staff and an extremely engaged and strong community. I love GIS!

  • Family. Just talked to Mom today. She's 83 and just got home from "work." She works a day or two a week at the monastery near her, answering phones and doing computer work. She's living with my older sister in a mutually beneficial living arrangement. Both help each other. The rest of the family is back in Minnesota and provide a safe network for my daughter at the U of MN. I am grateful that we all get along so well after all these years. Proof of a good upbringing by mom.

  • My wife. She is my sanity in our sometimes insane world. We are looking in the face of an empty house soon and as we have more and more time one-on-one, I feel like we're reconnecting in some really cool ways. And I'm grateful for that.

  • My church. Collective MKE is our name and we are a small home-based church. As weird as that may sound, it is something that I cannot put into words. I feel more connected to my neighbors and my God than I ever have. And I've been to every sized church you can imagine. Small is working right now and I am grateful for it.  

  • The weather. We have had some of the best fall weather that one could expect. I especially like the cloudless skies we've had and can't stop taking pictures of the sunsets. Every day over 50 degrees is one less day of cold that I have to deal with
  • My house. It's drafty, in need of a new furnace and a half dozen other projects, but it is my haven. It's where I'm happiest - as I'm sure yours is as well. It ain't perfect, but I'm grateful for it.
That's just a short list of the things I can think of at the moment. If we take a moment each day to think of what we have instead of what we don't, we'd all be better off. So that's what I aim to do.

Blogging off...

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