I hate to use the cliché, but I lead a charmed life.
It’s this time of year that always gets me thinking about this. For every little thing that comes my way, there are thousands of challenges I have been fortunate enough not to have to confront. There’s a lot of time I forget that. I’m not saying that I routinely have pity parties or anything; I’m just saying that I often neglect to think of all the good things I have.
While most people take Thanksgiving to write out their “I am thankful for” lists, it’s Christmas that gets me really thinking about it. Because, while I still have some ambiguous attitudes about religion, I do believe that we were given a tremendous gift in our Savior. That reminds me of the many other gifts I have been and am being given.
My family. I could never, in my wildest dreams have ever imagined being blessed with such a wonderful wife and three amazing children. I never planned it. It was given to me and I can think of no more wonderful gift than my family. My parents and brother, my cousins and in-laws – I could not choose better people to call family.
My country. I joined the Army in 1994. I served until December 2003. When I joined, I wasn’t thinking about doing my patriotic duty, I was thinking about how I could secure a decent life for myself and my soon-to-be spouse. What I didn’t realize is how innate patriotism was to me. I grew up in a very America-centric household (though I didn’t really comprehend that most of the time) and I am so thankful for that. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to serve my country in the capacity of a soldier and I’m glad that I get to continue to do so in my capacity as a civil service employee. I don’t just believe that this is the greatest country on the planet, I believe we are blessed.
The many things that have happened that prove to me that someone is out there watching over me and my family. Too many things to mention, but they include my job, my home, our friends, and the way that situations always seem to work out regardless of how much we worry about them.
It’s just a special time of year. A time energized by the joy of children and our belief in the inherent goodness of mankind. I hope we don’t lose any of that – joy, belief or goodness. They sure seem to be easy things to overlook lately.