When my friend Soph at Sophia Ismaa Writes tagged me with this, I had no intention of accepting the challenge. Not because I found it uninteresting but because there is nothing keeping me going other than the mere fact that my body continues to function well enough to keep me alive.
Let me explain. Although I have suffered plenty of physical and emotional trauma and tragedy and have (very infrequently, thank goodness!) been physically incapacitated or emotionally crippled to the point that I could barely function, I have never been so far down that I contemplated not carrying on. I have never needed to look for reasons to keep going. I like living, I love my life (all of it, even the hard parts!), and I am eager to see what each day brings. That’s reason enough for me.
As some of y’all have noticed, though, and as I have occasionally mentioned here, I’m somewhat of a rulebreaker. When presented with a challenge that is intriguing enough to inspire a response, I don’t hesitate to follow my own version of the rules. Which is what I’ve done here. Please visit Soph’s enlightening response to this challenge, especially if you’re interested in learning what the real rules are.
Thank you, Soph. Keep fighting the good fight, love!
A) Mention the person who nominated you (done).
B) List 13 things for which you’re grateful (see below).
C) Tag a few Bloggers (see below).
D) Display the picture (done).
1. My family, by which I mean my immediate and extended family and the few friends I have who I consider close enough to be family. Most especially, my wife, The Boss, without whom I would struggle to keep going.
2. The Girl and The Boy! No, they aren’t perfect. They sometimes make me want to pull my hair out, and I blame my mounting accumulation of gray hairs and wrinkles on them. But they are my greatest source of joy. Even on their worst days, they always manage to make me laugh at some point, and often I am so overcome by parental pride that I have to reach for the facial tissue.
3. My job as a County Probation Officer. It is challenging, stressful, and often extremely frustrating, but it’s not difficult. If I can hold on to this gig ’til I’m able to retire (and if I live that long!), I will consider myself one of the luckiest men on earth. Only 20 years to go!
4. Books, audiobooks, and ebooks. I enjoy fiction & nonfiction, especially literary fiction; sci-fi/fantasy; horror; history; world religions; mythology; good, thorough biographies of great historical figures written by top-tier biographers; and poetry, especially by Billy Collins. I don’t care much for autobiography/memoir but occasionally make exception for comedians who are also talented memoirists like Tina Fey, George Carlin, Amy Schumer, and Billy Crystal.
5. Music, especially rock & roll, hard rock, classic rock, alternative, adult alternative, classic country (1960s through 1990s mostly), alt country, and Americana. I love entirely too many bands & artists to even begin listing them here.
6. Blogging and my blog! I was shocked, awed, and amazed last year after I began blogging regularly to discover how deeply gratifying it is. WordPress offers such a safe, pleasant, and supportive community of Bloggers. I was surprised to discover that I have developed a strong enough bond with a few of the Bloggers I’ve followed for a while and routinely engaged with that I consider them friends and would very much like to meet them and have dinner & drinks together.
7. National and State parks. I love hiking and kayaking and still enjoy camping, though I don’t know for how many more years my aching, aging body will be able to handle sleeping on the ground. I am especially grateful for Tennessee’s numerous awesome State parks.
8. My health. It’s not perfect, but none of my ailments keep me from enjoying life and being able to work. Too many people I interact with on a daily basis do not enjoy the same relatively good health that I do, and their pain and suffering saddens me.
9. Financial stability. As government employees, The Boss and I will never be wealthy, but largely thanks to her capable management of our finances, we want for little, and in case of emergencies, my family always comes through for us.
10. Our house. Like my kids, it isn’t perfect, but it’s ours, it’s in relatively good shape, it’s in a decent neighborhood with very peaceful woods outside the back yard, and the mortgage should be paid in full by the time The Girl graduates high school.
11. My car. It’s a 2009 model with over 150,00 miles on it, but it’s still holding up pretty well, and the cd player still works, so I can listen to audiobooks during my hour & a half+ daily commute. The Boss’s 2013 vehicle will be paid off in a few months, and we’ll start saving up for a big chunk to put down on a new one for her, at which point her current one will become mine.
12. The hand that fate has dealt me.
13. Evan Williams and beer.
What are y’all grateful for?
Damn, I almost forgot! I tag:
Rachel Ann at Fitful, Fearful, Phantasmal because I owe her.
T at TShawWriter because I haven’t heard much from her lately and I miss her.
Winnie at Musings because she’s such a free-spirited thinker & writer.
Em at Earthly Brain in the hope that listing things she’s grateful for might cheer her up.