Thursday, November 24, 2016

Qualified Thanks

It is that time of year when people count their blessings and look back. I think they even call November "Gratitude Month." Of course I have much to be grateful for. At the same time, the reality of my reality is that not everything is always perfect. I'm pretty sure that's what's called life. We can put on airs or try and make it look like everything is "just right," but, is it ever, really? The best we can hope for is 90% I think.

But 90% in middle class America is still pretty dang good. We are a country blessed beyond belief, yet still we find things complain about. Well, I am always seeking to find the positive in life, so here's a few things that I am thankful for but that come with qualifiers.


  • I am thankful for the heat pumped out of my howling furnace. The unit we have is 21 years old and when it fires up, it shakes the whole house. (C'mon over sometime if you don't believe me.) It needs a new "inducer unit." We're scheduled to get a new furnace on December 15th and I will be even more grateful for that. Until then though, I'm grateful for noisy heat.
  • I am blessed with a dog who isn't much to look at, but loves his "daddy" unconditionally. If you know Toby, you know he's a bear to groom, so is almost always in need of a trim. His breath could peel paint and smells like he's just eaten a dead carp. He has a fatty growth on his rear quarters that is benign, but gives him even more personality. But when the day is done, we love him and his quirky ways.
  • I am lucky to have two smart, beautiful children that have grown to become compassionate adults. All of this despite a son who jumps out from behind doors to scare his pops and a daughter who regularly rips his heart out with her tears. I thought parenting was supposed to get easier once you were past the physical needs. Anyway, I'm grateful for the practical jokes (I'll miss them some day) and the huge heart that brings the tears to the surface.
  • I am fortunate to have an imperfect wife who loves me despite my imperfections. Twenty six years in this business and we pretty much know what buttons to push and when to pull back. We're looking at a whole lot more together time in a year when Ben goes to college and that's okay with me. Grateful for my wife's patience.
  • I am forever grateful for my extended family in Minnesota. Like any family, there is a healthy level of dysfunction from member to member, myself included, but I love them, warts, tics and all. We've been through a lot as a family and when the going gets tough, we rally. 
  • I am blessed with a family of in-laws that comes with their own unique dysfunction - hey, it's part of life. They love us though, and I can't imagine a better set of in-laws to have married into.
  • I am thankful for the water that comes out of my faucets that are slowly gumming up because of the hard water. These are also on my short list to fix, but until then, every time I use them, I think of people all over the world who have no running water in their homes. It keeps me honest; keeps my first world problem real. (Nonetheless, if you have mad plumbing skills, lets have coffee soon.)
  • And last but not least I am grateful for this great country we live in. 2016 was a HARD year and it doesn't appear that 2017's going to get any easier. But I have faith in humanity that we, as people, will continue to care more for each other, and will continue to try and make a better America for our kids. We need to do it one person at a time. We need to quit bickering, finger pointing and dwelling on our differences and get down to business. 
So, that's just a bit of what I'm going to focus on today. Lots to be thankful for, none of it perfect, but all of it good.

And good is good enough.

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