Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Thanksgiving Message

As many of you have noted, it has been quite a while since I posted anything new on the blog. I have tried to remain active on the Facebook and Twitter pages, posting anything I find interesting or unusual, but have not done much writing. There are numerous reasons for this and, initially, this post was going to be an explanation, almost an apology, for my lack of activity.

I have changed my mind.

I started this post while my wife, daughters and son-in-law were putting our Christmas tree together (yes, shamefully, we have an artificial tree, lol). I found myself just watching and listening to them as they laughed, sang and generally enjoyed being together here, all in one place, safe and warm inside on a gloomy and rainy Saturday in Central Texas. A fire was burning in the fireplace, hot chocolate was on the stove and Christmas carols were playing via Pandora. It was all so cliché that it made me pause. My wife was beaming, happy to have all of her little chickens here together, and this made me happy. It was a Norman Rockwell painting come to life and it was wonderful. I immediately closed the laptop in order to join them. Yes, I was derailed from writing a piece for the blog yet again, but it was ok.

I have been amazingly busy this year, and not all of my distractions have been as pleasant as today's, leaving me precious little time to write but I am blessed. I am working my tail off at work, teaching two courses while coaching the basketball team but I get to work with young people every day. I have endured skin cancer and surgery to remove it this year but have, for the moment anyway, beaten it and have a clean bill of health. Finances were tight this year as I had to give up football coaching, and the stipend that came with it (due to the aforementioned skin cancer), and pay for the wedding of my oldest daughter but have gained a son-in-law that I truly enjoy being around and, best of all, who deeply loves my daughter. I could go on but you get the idea.

I guess I could look at things with a more negative eye, and, if I am being completely honest, I have done so on more occasions than I like to admit, but I choose not to do that today. I am blessed and every single crazy busy day brings more blessings my way. With age comes perspective, I suppose. Could it be after forty-nine years I have grown up? Maybe.

I do hope to spend more time on the blog and in the field this year. That is the goal. I have not lost my passion for it or the subject matter discussed on it. I am quite optimistic that I will have more time for it soon. I have a year’s worth of topics lined up and just waiting to be written about. Somebody has to do it, right? I also hope to finish up my second book, this one a novel, this year. I’m actually quite excited about it and, if it comes along the way I hope it does, will share more about it soon.

In the meantime, I want to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. Do not forget to be thankful for what you have. The poorest among us has far more than most on this little blue planet. Try to remember that when times are tough. I have found the most grateful people to be the happiest people. Choose to be thankful. Choose to be happy.

More soon and my best to you all.

Mike

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