Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving as Americans reflect on the things they are thankful for, many will be counting among their blessings steady employment, good health, the safety of their family members and friends serving in the armed forces, and the very fact that they are able to sit down with their loved ones to enjoy the food on their tables. Many Americans this Thanksgiving find themselves struggling to get by due to the recession. Many Americans this Thanksgiving are without brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and friends who are either currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan or lost their lives in America's two wars. This Thanksgiving, despite tough times, there is so much to be thankful for.

Back in August, this blog surpassed the five-year mark. It's hard to believe that over five years ago, I began this blog as an outlet for my political thoughts and in some ways as a response to a fellow blogger, Nick. Since those early days of arguing with Nick and sharing my random commentary, a great deal has changed. I finished my undergraduate work, I wrote baseball commentary briefly for ArmchairGM, I spent a year documenting the filth that is Zeb Bell's radio show, and I took on the processing of the Stallings Collection at ISU. And, Nick abandoned the Republican Party, the very party he belonged to and argued talking points on behalf of back in the early days when this blog began. Yes, much has changed.

The last year has not been kind to me as I've been recovering from spinal surgery. Nearly 150 sessions of physical therapy, multiple rounds of steroids, and slowing down (almost to a stand still) has not completed my recovery and rehabilitation. Despite slow progress and a heap of discouragement, I am thankful that this past year hasn't been my complete financial undoing. That's more than I can say for many Americans facing health crises. Despite a very long road, I am thankful for a doctor and physical therapist who continue to travel this road with me. For everything this last year has been, I am incredibly thankful for friends who have been by my side, have offered their optimism in the face of my discouragement, and have been sensitive and understanding with me.

Somewhere between fifteen and twenty readers return to this blog every day. I am very thankful for those readers who care enough to read what I write, whether it be thoughtful political analysis or random drivel. It means a great deal to me that those that read this blog value what I have to say and appreciate the perspective I bring to various issues. It also means a great deal to me when my regular readers respond immediately to comments left by trolls and wingnuts who simply don't appreciate my opinion and make that very clear. I am thankful for the comments left on this blog, even those that do not agree with my posts and counter my arguments, because they keep dialogue alive here. For those of you who visit regularly, comment often or occasionally, and keep coming back, thank you.

This Thanksgiving, I hope that the thanks expressed here is thanks that those around me have seen in my daily actions. I hope that the principles and statements I impart on this blog are never hollow and that my sincerity is apparent. There may be times when the mock and ridicule associated with political disagreements appear to erase principle and sincerity, but I hope underneath the political jabs, my gratitude for the debate and discourse remains apparent.

Thanksgiving doesn't have to be about a feast with family or endless football games, it can be about whatever we would like. I'm taking part of this day to reflect on the things I am immensely thankful for and think we should each take a moment to do so. I am thankful for friends who have become my family and for family members like my kid brother who are my closest friends. I am thankful for friends who, even at a distance offer their support and advice without hesitation. I am incredibly thankful for those I love and those who love me. In this troubled economy, I am thankful that despite my physical limitations, I am still able to work and make a living. I am thankful that unlike millions of Americans, I have health insurance. My insurance may not cover much, but at the end of the day being underinsured is still better than being uninsured. Even in hard times, there is much to be thankful for.

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may you all take a moment to consider what you are each thankful for.

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