It’s been another tough year. COVID still impacts us in our daily lives. And since things have not yet returned to “normal,” many may wonder if there are still things to be thankful for. So with the arrival of Thanksgiving this year, I found myself asking this very same question.
Things to be thankful for
After thinking about it for a day or two, I believe that I and many of us have lots to be thankful for. What are those things? Here’s what I have come up with, including lots of things that we may take for granted:
- I am thankful to still be breathing air. Tragically, many of us are no longer able to do the same. COVID has claimed family members, friends, and people important to us.
- I am thankful to be among a group of people that have something to be thankful for. I am truly a fortunate person to be living a pleasant life with people I care about and that care about me. Uunfortunately, it’s not the same for many who are alone, lonely, and somehow forgotten.
- I am thankful for having a soulmate who loves me, offers support, and helps me recognize how fortunate I am. Most of you know that Kim also rides, and she’s the person in many of the photos I post on ADVRider and our Adventure Rider magazine. Whether it’s riding across the USA to Alaska, through many, many countries in Europe, Africa, and South America, and Iceland twice, she’s by my side. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “How did you find a woman like that?” My answer is, “I just don’t know.” And for finding her, I am beyond thankful.
- I am thankful for my past, present, and future. While the past is gone, it has not always been easy. But I have learned a lot. Interestingly, I am thankful for both my failures and successes. And when I think about it, I’m probably more thankful for my early failures. Those failures taught me how to do better. They taught me that my first impressions aren’t always correct. I learned it’s vital to look at the many sides of a situation before making a decision. Ultimately, I think my failures have made me a better person.
- I am thankful for having the opportunity to get an education and being “smart” enough to take advantage of it. Not “smart” as in learned concepts, but smart as having the ability to see the importance of learning as much as possible and to continue to learn more each day. My grandfather told me he made it a point to learn something new each day. Thankfully, his words stuck with me, and I try to do the same.
- I am thankful for the opportunity to work hard and be recognized and rewarded for my efforts. So many people work very hard but, unfortunately, find it difficult or are unable to be recognized and appropriately rewarded for what they do. I am truly fortunate to be one of the people able to achieve both.
- I am thankful for my health. I’m now pushing 64, and it’s the first time in my life that I am beginning to feel the effects of age approaching. I can still do everything I want to do, but I am becoming aware of a point in time that perhaps, in the future it may not be the case. So I am very thankful for my brain carrying transportation system’s (my body’s) ability to let me do the things I love to do, and sometimes even the things I don’t like doing.
- And for health, I just don’t mean physical health. Mental health is just as important. And while I still may be a bit “crazy” to some people who know me, I have (I think) all my mental faculties and can deal with life’s ups and downs. Unfortunately, many people aren’t as fortunate and suffer from things like PTSD, depression and dementia. I have family members afflicted with these problems, and I am so thankful to be free from mental illness’s horrific grip.
- I am thankful for finding motorcycling. While this bit of thankfulness can be somewhat materialistic, I know that motorcycling has helped me become a better person. Motorcycles have taken me across the US many times and to four different continents. They’ve allowed me to meet people from different cultures, understand a bit of their lives, and learn so much from them.
- Finally, I am so thankful for all the people I’ve met all over this planet because of motorcycles. These people have shared with me, taught me so much, and made my life so much fuller, all because of the simple opportunity that motorcycles provide.
So much to be thankful for
Well, that’s my list of things to be thankful for this year. Kim and I wish you and your family a very happy and “thankful” Thanksgiving. And for those of you not in the USA and not celebrating Thanksgiving on the same day, or don’t have a Thanksgiving holiday at all, we wish and hope that you have the opportunity for an enjoyable and loving “Thanksgiving” with the people you care about and care about you.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!