Giving Thanks for What Makes My Life Better

20 Nov

Fun fact: Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s right up there with the Fourth of July, Patriots Day, and yes, my birthday. I love the good times with family and friends, the Macy’s parade, the big football games, and the turkey and gravy — especially the turkey and gravy. I still love Adam Sandler’s “Thanksgiving Song.” And yes, I also have a soft spot for that corny Nicole Westbrook song, “It’s Thanksgiving.”

But in all seriousness, I appreciate that Thanksgiving gives us the chance to hit the pause button on all that’s going wrong in our country and the daily annoyances and obligations, and to reflect on what we’re thankful for. With so much going on in the world, it’s easy to overlook the people, places, and things that make life better — the aspects of life that make us happy. Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to give them some much deserved attention.

When asked “What are you thankful for?” most people probably cite their family and friends, and their health. I know that’s what I say. But if we take a step back to think about it, there’s so much more to mention.

So in that spirit, here is a partial (and definitely incomplete) list, in no particular order, of some of the other people, places, and things I’m giving thanks for this year.

• Spotify

• Kaitlan Collins … and all the other TV, print, and online reporters who have the thankless job of covering the president* each and every day

• That no one died while making the movie Free Solo

• The Lone Bellow’s cathartic, uplifting, joyous live shows

• My dad’s decision to have knee replacement and cataract surgery earlier this year (and that both went well)

• A stable job, and a team — I mean, a #squad — I enjoy working with

• Creuza, whose biweekly housecleaning has had some welcome side-effects, including the belated purging of clutter that’s been taking up space in my apartment for years

• The Red Sox and their awesome 2018 season

• Optimism and a positive attitude

• The intimate experience of seeing Bruce Springsteen on Broadway, and being able to get so close to him before and after the show as he arrived at and left the theater

• The staffs at places like Comella’s, Johnny’s Luncheonette, and the Station Diner, who know me and what I like to order, and show appreciation for my being a regular customer

• Portrait Mode

• Lucky Brand jeans, which are cut in such a way that I can wear a smaller size and still be comfortable

Summer sunsets

• Brands that are smart enough to respond to customers when you mention them on Twitter — and those that are savvy enough to respond even when you don’t

• My garage parking spot

Horseshoe Bay beach in Bermuda

• Rooftop bars

• Brian Stelter and Dylan Byers, who write and edit two of my favorite daily email newsletters, Reliable Sources and Byers Market

Roots, which opened three stores in the Boston area this year

• Those times when my niece and nephews are in a chatty mood

• Warm, fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies

A Million Little Things, but especially Stephanie Szostak

• Gift cards that don’t expire

• The Blue Wave

• Drunken Salami in Michigan City, Indiana

• Perspective

• Services like Animoto and Shutterfly, which offer easy-to-use services that make it fun to preserve and celebrate my happy memories every year

• The Xfinity Stream app, which allows me to download and watch my DVR’d shows wherever I am

• Dunkin’ Donuts hot cocoa K-cups

• The genuine humility, restraint, and continued leadership of Barack and Michelle Obama

• The mac and cheese (with carrots and broccoli mixed in) at Trident Booksellers and Cafe on Newbury Street

• All my friends, offline and online, but especially the ones I don’t get to see or speak with very often, and the fact that those relationships still exist despite the absence and/or distance

What are YOU thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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