#30DaysOfThanks . . .

Something that has become a bit of an annual tradition for me here on the blog (save for last year - when I skipped due to business) is to consolidate the social media trend of "30 Days of Thanks" in to one, simple blog post that outlines the things that are most important to me at this moment . . . a snapshot of my life and the things I appreciate. 

Here, alphabetically, are the thirty things that come immediately to mind for me as I ponder appreciation:
  1. Adversity - What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? How about challenge makes you better? No. How about just enjoying the idea that we can't always get what we want - or need.
  2. Being a Father - I'll get the collective eye roll of everyone reading this but being a parent is the best thing I have in my life. I'm not perfect. I'm not even great. But I'm getting there.
  3. Bernie Sanders - Trite as this may by I think he's great for not just my own political thinking but for the larger conversation. He's not getting enough attention - yet - but it is coming.
  4. Books - I have recently resumed an old weakness . . . binge buying books. I promise I'll read them all, eventually. For now I just want them all around me now. NOW.
  5. Career - I don't talk, often enough, about work and how much I appreciate the opportunity to get paid to do something I love that is more thought than labor and fun than work. 
  6. Chinos - You may call them "khakis" but you're minimizing an entire category of pant . . . the cotton twill goodness that comes in near-limitless colors and styles. Screw jeans, go CHINO.
  7. Concerta - You  know what plagues my life? The ability to focus. I'm happy to say that I'm getting some help for that and it feels wonderful to be "present" all the time, for the first time.
  8. Expressions of Thanks - Every night before we eat dinner everyone has to declare what they are "grateful" for. Hilarity often ensues. But it is a good exercise.
  9. Family - I once felt time and distance left me with just my daughter as "family" today I am better connected to my family and a whole other, large, crazy group much closer to home.
  10. Frequent Trips to DC - One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to go to DC about once a quarter. Seeing family, seeing friends, being back near a place I consider "home". 
  11. Goals and Objectives - I am a slave to mine. The strategy of building them out, the pursuit of them, the nuanced validation of them. I appreciate the rails they provide my life to run upon.
  12. Graphic Novels/Comic Books - No, not for me. But my kid loves them and it has sparked creativity, reading, and passion in her. Hard to dismiss that. 
  13. Honesty - I'm direct and honest almost to a fault and, while I appreciate storytelling, the long con, and the hustle . . . I can't stand lying or people confusing "polite" with honest. Stop it.
  14. Hummus - I don't care what food and/or other, earthly delights come across my plate or palette . . . chick pea mashed with the other goodness that makes up hummus will never be overcome.
  15. Internet - It sounds cliche but, in my adult life, I've seen the Internet go from a slow, dial-up option on a desktop computer to the whole world, lightning fast, in my pocket. Impressive.
  16. Joshua Ferris - I am not entirely sure if one of Ferris's three books I read this year will be my "book of the year" but I'm pretty high on the guy. I hope he has 100 more books in him.
  17. Judaism - Being Jewish, for me, is about belonging to something bigger than me -a community as much as it is about G-d . . . I missed both for a long, long time.
  18. KMUW/NPR - I love very little more than being a snob for public radio. That I know much of the staff and feel "of" the station AND that my kid also loves the station . . . snob heaven.
  19. Learning - I am actively challenging my brain more lately than I have in a long time. Reading about topics out of my depth, discussions that push me, learning at work. It feels good.
  20. Mitzi - No. Not my mistress but I do spend every night with her. This is the greatest mattress of all time (GMOAT). Get you one. Sleep better. 
  21. Music - I spend lots of money on things vital and trivial. I feel better about paying for Google Play Music: All Access than I do any other money spent on the regular. Therapy and joy.
  22. My Morning Jacket - I feel like every year finds me, at this time, with a new "favorite" musician or group. This year . . . no doubt . . . MY MORNING JACKET. I love their groove.
  23. Penny Loafers - The greatest pair of shoes ever designed or sewn. Long, long may they live and forever may they rise . . . and diversify in color and leather style.
  24. People - There are billions of them on this planet. They have different backgrounds, faiths, values, morals, genders, wants, and needs, etc. I like that. It keeps us all honest. 
  25. Sacred Architecture - A recent fixation for me - the way houses/places of worship are conceived, built, used, and embraced makes me really happy. A healthy ponderance. 
  26. Sense of Self - I've bragged on my swagg many, many times but I am never not aware of how important it is to believe in yourself and carry yourself accordingly. You could do worse.
  27. SLF - I don't mention her lightly. She has been nothing but a blessing and a gift. I am truly a better person for having her and I can't really imagine not having her - at this point.
  28. Socks - I am obsessed (only word for it) with the various fabrics, colors, patterns, and style you can don between mid-calf and the tips of your toes. I'm glad to have the (affordable) addiction.
  29. Time - It is a gift and we squander too much of it. If you want to talk about getting up at 4:15 AM to go run or sharing custody where you have some evenings totally free . . . YES.
  30. Transparency - This is something I never used to put too much premium on but between my personal and work lives - I like the notion of knowing exactly where things stand. I'm lucky.
So - there you go. Thirty (of the millions of) things I am grateful for. A worthy, annual (if not daily) exercise.