The Gratitude List

Here is a list of the things I am grateful for:

I am grateful that I was lucky enough to be born, and born healthy. So many kids aren’t that lucky and it can be truly hellish for all involved.

I am grateful that when I was born, my parents lived in an affluent, safe country. A dice roll that I really couldn’t have done too much better on. I’ve always been lucky with the 1d20.

I am grateful to have fantastic parents that love and care for me. I think ‘nurture’ has the lions share vs ‘nature’. I think you ‘build’ good kids – their genetics are secondary.

I am grateful that I have siblings. Though I’m not super close to my siblings, it’s great to have friends along for the ride and I’m lucky they are so relatively close.

I am grateful to have had the luxury of a quality education. My parents put me through the best schools money could buy in my home town. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, and I really dislike the modern educational system for a couple of reasons – but it is hugely superior to no education at all.

I am grateful to have had a home to live in growing up, food to eat and clothes to wear. My basic necessities were always more than met.

I am grateful to have had a few really close school friends. As a 32 year old it is really special to have a half dozen gentlemen I’ve known since either kindergarten or school that I still have contact with. I’ll catch up with them all once a week for long stretches of the year.

I am grateful to have come from a home where my parents demonstrated a functional marriage to their children.

I am grateful to have have spent all of 2005 either in hospital, or at home recovering in preparation for my next surgery/hospital stay.

I am grateful that at times I wasn’t sure if I was going to live or die in 2005. This sounds overly dramatic, but prior to my illness I had lost what little focus I’d had as a young adult and was floating around aimlessly. I was not achieving, and I was wasting a quality education. I left hospital a few days before I turned 21 and I was a different person. I had developed some level of mental toughness, and significant perspective.

I am grateful to have met and married my strong, wise, intelligent and beautiful wife.

I am grateful to have and know my parents as an adult. Having an adult to adult relationship with your parents it an incredible thing. Sharing your hobbies with your parents is a lot of fun.

I am grateful that I have a healthy, spectacular baby daughter. She simultaneously changed nothing, and everything for our family. Many folks simply cannot have children regardless of their efforts. I often wish I could clone my daughter, a second child like her would be massively indulgent. I fear if I had a second child, that child would be a real pain in the ass to return balance to the force. (sorry non-existent second child)

I am grateful that I have a healthy, functional marriage.

I am grateful that I was introduced to music by my parents. I am unspeakably grateful that they all but forced me to attend 8? (I don’t remember) years of violin classes as a child. I didn’t enjoy them, but they gave me a musical gift. I sometimes feel like I have “an ear” I am not worthy of possessing. This was possibly the best thing I was ever forced to do. My poor parents must have sat through hundreds of hours of absolutely horrendous “music” performed by myself and my siblings. My parents are clearly warriors.

I am grateful that I have so many positive hobbies.

I am grateful that I was introduced to traditional karate by my father, and returned to it as an adult. Karate gives me a physical focus, and reinforces mental discipline.

I am grateful to be able to share my karate journey with my father. I saw him achieve his 1st dan black belt in Okinawa. He is about 200 years old. Pretty sharp for a 200 year old.

I am grateful that I am stronger every year than I was the last. It is slow going, and it isn’t easy.

I am grateful to have found work that I enjoy. I run my own businesses and work predominantly as a software engineer building web applications and websites for SMEs. I really enjoyed the first thing I put my mind to out of the gate. Very rare, very lucky, and yet another gift. I am also able to generate significant (at least from my perspective!) income from the profession I enjoy, and help other human beings in a meaningful way.

I am grateful that me and my wider family are healthy enough.

 

What a monster of a list. I could certainly keep going.

Thank you universe.