Like many of you, I’ve found it really tough to be thankful for 2016. Almost from the first day, this year has thrown so much bad news at us. It’d almost seem weird if we don’t all have some level of depression.
But today, at least in the US, we’ve set aside a day to give thanks. Even in the darkest times, there is still some light. Here’s a short and woefully incomplete list of things for which I am thankful. Some may be silly, some may be profound.
- I’ve discovered I really like Kettle Pepperoncini potato chips. Just discovered that this week, actually. They’re yummy.
- Of course, of course, I’m thankful for my friends. I don’t get to see any of them nearly often enough, but thanks to the miracle of always-on internet they’re never far away. My closest friends are close because they know me well, after having spent years, even decades, with me. And from them knowing me, I’ve learned more about myself.
- I’m thankful for video games. Much more involving than movies or books, games have given me moments of beauty, moments of sadness, and moments of triumph. Oh, that I could write as well as some of the stories that I’ve lived through and agonized over decisions for.
In particular, I’m thankful for Skyrim above all others. I’ve spent over 1,100 hours playing around in it, and the design of its open world has created some encounters that I’m sure were never dreamed of by its designers. I should write about those someday.
- I’m thankful for my dad, and my sister, and the family that surrounds both of them. They’ve all known me my entire life, have seen me through wins and losses, and never fail to help me when they can. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them.
- I’m thankful for computers, without which I may have had to get a real job. I like using them, I often like tinkering with them to see what else I can make them do, and I especially like showing other people how to use them or fix them. I love knowing things (I am a white male in late capitalist America, after all) but what good is knowing things if I can’t share that knowledge?
- I’m thankful for the weird people in my city, the ones who protest abuse and corruption, the ones who write and dance and sing and paint because they couldn’t not do it, the ones who think opening a business catering specifically to cats or selling that one delicious thing they know how to make is the best idea. The folks who glue thousands of things to an old car and drive around just because. I love you all, and this city, and the world, would be a poorer place without you.
- I’m thankful that despite everything, including (let’s be real) my own laziness and poor decision-making, I still have a roof over my head in a part of town I love. Next year I may have to leave this cheap run-down apartment in Sellwood, but for now, for today and the near future, I am here. It’s my base of operations from which I plan and dream and observe this crazy world. I’ve lived here longer than any other place in my life, and it, more than any other place, is home.
I could go on, but that’s a good start for now. I need to get showered and dressed and drive across the river to see people I love, eat too much food, and avoid talking about politics, in the grand tradition of our country.
Happy Thanksgiving to anyone and everyone reading this. May you always have a roof over your head, good food to eat, and friends and family that love you, until the end of days.