Giving thanks

The grand jury ruling in the Mike Brown/Darren Wilson saga has obviously been a topic of controversy and divide over the last 24 hours.  Naturally, pretty much everyone has an opinion about the issue, and such a polarizing topic is toxic is racial, political, and societal relations, as differing ideals can present scrutiny to those whose thoughts conflict with one another.

It’s also almost Thanksgiving.  That’s way more positive to write about, and really there’s nothing I can publicly say about the Ferguson case that will influence anyone’s thinking at all.  That being said, here’s some things I’m incredibly thankful for this year.

Most notably in 2014, I got married.  I’m very thankful to have found someone who I can always count on to be on my team no matter what.  Being with Haley is incredibly rewarding and it brings me so much joy knowing I have at have one concrete, definitive absolute in my life.  There’s still a lot of questions I constantly ask myself about my future, but the most important thing is I know she’s part of it, and for that I’m thankful.

I also got a new cat this year.  Her name is Pearl.  She’s probably the most aesthetically pleasing animal to ever exist, and I’m happy we have her in our lives.  I’m also thankful for our first cat, Ace, who I suspect is finally thankful to have a playmate and new friend.

I’m thankful for my family.  My mom and dad were awesome through the whole wedding planning process, and I’ll always remember how scared I was to tell them I wanted to propose to Haley.  I was a wreck and so worried they wouldn’t approve, but they are awesome and totally had my back.  The level of love and support my mom and dad have provided me has been a driving force in my life since the time I was younger, and I will always be thankful of them.  Being married also means I got a new family, and I’m thankful to be a member of Haley’s family as well.

I will thank my brother and sister separately, because Jay and Shannon are really an extension of my family, because our closeness in age means I consider both of them friends.  I’m thankful Shannon never gave into all the typical high school stuff and came out pretty alright (mostly).  Despite how awful of a person she is, she’s a pretty great human being.  My brother Jay, in addition to being one of my best friends, was the best man in my wedding, and went above and beyond when planning the bachelor party, giving gifts and support, and gave a pretty good speech.  I’m thankful I remain close to him even though I’m not that close to home, and I’m thankful he left his old, crappy job to become the coach of a young, crappy soccer team.

I also consider my group of friends to be the best group of friends in existence.  I’m sure you have good friends, but mine are better.  To put everything in perspective, our wedding videographer, DJ, and several guests said our wedding was “the best dry wedding they’ve ever been to.”  Haley and I made a choice to have a dry wedding, an issue we both firmly stood behind.  My friends enjoy drinking, so instead of sulking and complaining, or even leaving early, they ended up making the wedding reception amazing.  For that, I am thankful to you guys, and you know who you are.  In addition to being wedding MVP’s, I’m thankful my friends have managed to maintain a close relationship with me even though I’m not around.  Even though sometimes 400 text messages a day gets annoying, I’m always happy to read every one.  Don’t let them fool you, they are good human beings, as evidenced by the fact they actually take the time to read this thing, which I am also thankful for.

Finally, I think it’s important to thank God.  There’s a lot of good that’s happened to me in the past year, and I know He’s a big part of it.

I think no matter what, taking some time to really reflect on what’s important over the holidays, especially given the controversy in Missouri.  No matter how you feel about the verdict, we still live in a great country, and I think we should all be thankful to live in such a place.

And never underestimate the power of giving thanks.  It humbles you and reminds you of all the great gifts life has given you.

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