Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Once again, it is time to celebrate Thanksgiving. And, once again, it seems like it will be relatively quiet for me. But I do have a lot to be thankful for.
Full disclosure; I’m writing this on the Monday before Thanksgiving. I’m a little bit ahead (not as much as I would like to be) so this is forecasting rather than reflecting. Okay, so, my regular readers know that my relationship with my family is, well, let’s just say they won’t be inviting me for Thanksgiving. But this isn’t new for me, and frankly I know others are in the same shoes. When I was living in Rapid City, my very good friends used to invite me for Thanksgiving every year. The father made the most insanely delicious meat concoctions that were just unbelievable, and the mom made everything else and as delicious. It was fabulous.
These wonderful friends showed me what’s important in this world. As sad as I am that I don’t get along with my own family, they demonstrated that family doesn’t have to be genetic. I always felt guilty joining families for holidays because I truly do believe that holidays should be family events. I never want to be that person who interferes with family gatherings, but my friends made me a part of their family. I miss them.
This year, I will not be alone either. I asked my friend who has opened his home and taken me in what his plans are, and he said he was making a smorgasbord but had no plans insisting he would be here. I didn’t want him to be alone, so I suggested we should have Thanksgiving together. As it turns out, his daughter will also be here, so it’s looking like it will be the three of us.
As I am writing this, I’ve been having a rather difficult day. The title is being held up for the house, and now they are waiting on a signature and final approval from the seller, which is the city (or community) so it’s basically local government approval. I have several thousand dollars’ worth of furniture and appliances scheduled to be delivered literally tomorrow on Black Friday, but it looks as if I need to delay their delivery since I apparently will not have possession of the house in time. It’s very disappointing, but I am thankful that I will eventually get my house, and that I have furniture and appliances for it.
It’s been said, wisely, that happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. I’ve been struggling for several years. I’m driving an old and beat up vehicle that my friend (lovingly) pokes fun of, but it’s reliable and mine. I don’t have a home but thanks to my friends, I’ve never truly been homeless. I don’t have a full time job, but I have a job, and now I have funds to hold me over until I find something full-time (or until I make enough money in investments to bring in money as well). It’s easy to be upset that things haven’t turned out as I expected, or even as I believe they should have turned out, but I’m thankful for what I do have. I am desperately single, but I’m working to resolve that as I recently joined a dating service. I don’t have high hopes, but I’m thankful that I do have the resources to do even that.
As I’m writing this, the president has given permission to begin the transition for the Biden administration. This means that the president-elect will get funding for preliminary work that must be done, security briefings, access to government data systems and more. The presidential struggle will, no doubt, be a sore point for several Thanksgiving gatherings which is very unfortunate. I would hope that people would not allow political arguments to mar a family gathering, but like anything else we can find reasons to be thankful regardless of which side of the political fence on which we find ourselves. We are, regardless of the vote, still in a country that allows the vote. Sure, our candidate might lose, as mine did four years ago, but at least the voices of the people are heard. As national demographics change, many people find themselves uncomfortable, and yet, everybody’s voice is still heard.
Regardless of what is happening in our lives, there is always reason to be thankful. Today, in one of the oddest stories I think I’ve heard, a friend of mine had to go to the hospital to have a toothpick extracted from the bottom of her foot. I can understand stepping on a toothpick, but for the life of me, I cannot imagine how the toothpick could have been standing on end to actually penetrate the foot. I’m sure it was very painful, and yet, fortunately the medical professionals were there to take care of her. Tonight, her foot is in great pain, but thankfully, that means it’s healing. The Tao te Ching tells is of Yin and Yang, the light and dark principle and how each leads into the other. So, here’s a challenge; in the midst of any darkness, take a moment to look for the good, and remember that today is the day to celebrate the light principle.