The Grateful Eight – June 2020

Only one day late, which is pretty good for me. If you’re new, this is my monthly dive into gratitude, which is a big part of recovery from alcoholism and pornography addiction. I like it more than the flood of awards out there. I try to get it done on the eighth of every month because of the rhyming scheme, but it doesn’t always happen.

As always, I try to mix the obvious with the mundane and love to hear what you’re grateful for. I think when you sit back and think about it, you’re grateful for a lot more than you realize.

  1. Marriage – Oh, there have been plenty of times when I’ve fantasized about packing up the car and heading west to find my fame and fortune, leaving my nagging wife behind. But that’s usually after an argument, and most often after and argument where I was wrong. Yesterday, June 8, we celebrated our 17th anniversary. The simple fact anybody would be married to me for that long, especially with all the massive life changes and crazy events I’ve put them through is a testament to her… or an indication of an undiagnosed mental condition.
  2. Writing My Latest Book – The book itself is good (I think) but I realize just how valuable those three weeks in May when I was absolutely killing myself 12-15 hours every day to research and write it were to my mental health. I haven’t kicked myself in the ass to get something done like that in a long time. It felt like I tapped into a manic pace of working and thinking that I hadn’t felt since my days at daily newspapers. My body and mind could do this more than a couple times per year, but it was a great way to get through the quarantine.
  3. Outdoor Dining – For the first time since mid-February, I went with my wife, two kids and father out to eat a beautiful country inn about 20 minutes away for dinner Saturday night. They had outdoor seating, and thankful canopies, as a light rain fell for a few minutes in the middle of dinner. My 20-year-old daughter is living at her boyfriend’s house now so we don’t see her nearly as much and with my mom in LA helping with my brother’s new baby, it was a refreshing change to get to eat with just him. There was a lot of laughing, playful teasing, storytelling and great food. I can’t remember the last time I told my wife I had a great time going out to eat, but that was really something special.
  4. Finally Taking a Stand – I’m not going to make this political, but I feel so much better about myself for deciding I cannot support Donald Trump anymore. When all of the former generals and ex-employees (usually fired for standing up to him) came out a few days later and gave their first-hand accounts about his lack of leadership, I felt vindicated. This country needs a leader, not just a guy who has fooled the Cracker Barrel crowd into believing he has their best interests in mind. My natural instinct is to wait until the last minute to make a decision in almost any election, but I feel good for being on top of things here.
  5. Band-Aids – I don’t think I’ve put a Band-Aid on in six months, but I’ve needed two in the last 12 hours. First, my cat gave me a huge gash when I quickly tried to toss it off the bed in the middle of the night. I heard it making “Here comes the hairball” noises and my wife celebrated Kohl’s reopening by getting us new bedding, so I tried to get it off quickly, but it hooked one claw into my index finger and when I tossed the cat it just pulled a huge gash into the tip of the finger. I haven’t bled like that in a while. Then, about two hours ago, I was outside fiddling with the pool and stepped on a stick or something and put a nasty splinter into my fourth toe. I was able to pull half of it out, but the other half is still there. I have no idea who originally invented Band-Aids, but that person has had an impact on basically every life in the civilized world when you think about it.
  6. A Lack of Corporate Writing – I’ve seen my income take a pretty serious nosedive in the last 6 months. My biggest client out of Australia who I wrote corporate biographies closed shop. Then, COVID-19 killed off a major client for the time being and there’s just not a lot of work out there that pays what I require. That said, it’s been a nice break not writing about the business world. There is just so much BS about business that I think the world could have 25-hour work weeks and everything would be fine if pointless meetings, strategy sessions, and dumb reports were banished. I’m enjoying the break from writing about business.
  7. Road Trips – My daughter is constantly complaining after last year’s 28-day jaunt across America that she’s getting really antsy to take another trip (even though she and I went to North Carolina two weeks before the lockdown started) but knows we can’t since so much is still not open. I haven’t mentioned that I also haven’t saved, nor planned for a year. It’s not like I randomly stumbled on a free Haunted Cruise in Wisconsin or free Zip Lining in Idaho, but since she didn’t plan or pay, it probably seems that way. I always dreamed of that kind of road trip after taking a few with my parents as a kid. I’m so glad I got to do it with her, and that the rest of the family joined us for a week of it on the West Coast. I can only imagine the pain I’d be feeling now if I planned this trip for this year.
  8. Drumsticks – Not the musical instrument accessory, the ice cream treat. God Bless the bastard who invented those.

9 thoughts on “The Grateful Eight – June 2020

  1. Legos. They’re the only thing occupying my son for longer than a hot minute right now and so they’re pretty much keeping me sane while we’re stuck at home and I’m trying to work. He can spend a day on a big build, and it’s heavenly.

    I love drumsticks too, except they keep getting smaller. I feel like when I was younger they looked more like they do on the package and now they’re getting cheap on the ice cream. Relatedly, our grocery started selling Toll House chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, so I may be switching to those for my summer sugar fix. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember the Lego phase. It kind of disappointed me that they don’t just sell buckets of Legos anymore. It’s all about making something specific.

      Those cookie sandwiches sound good. They sell them at the local minor league baseball stadium, but of course that’s not happening right now. I gotta stop thinking about this stuff while I’m stuck at home with nothing good in the freezer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you. About 5 years ago my husband and I bought our kids a few sets in Germany and they gave us a gallon size ziploc bag over-filled with random blocks and pieces. I was amazed and said something like “Oh, they’ll love this” and the clerk handed me a second full, gallon bag. It was like winning the Lego lottery.

        Liked by 1 person

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