I looked at this blog a few days ago and said to myself, I have to stop writing about these Dateline and true crime stories that grab my attention. I’d rather do my own investigating instead of rehashing things on discussion forums everywhere. Besides, I’d rather write my own story. This is it.
Have you ever seen the movie The Cider House Rules? I wake up most mornings and say “Pete, you are a star.” It is hard to explain why. I am not bragging and I am only a little narcissistic. It is not intentional either.
I am thankful.
If I had a family I would be thankful for that. While I am always looking to change that, I am very grateful for the things I have. These include things that are not original, such as health, decent looks still, a modicum of wealth, and a very nice home.
I am a complainer, meaning if there is a crime or crummy merchant, or invasion of what I consider my rights, I will let people know. I’ve become very good at it–if I could describe my relatively short career I would describe it as survey research and customer satisfaction. I have the best education I could obtain in my chosen field and although retired still continue it today. I worked at the FBI. It is something to be proud of and an exceptional learning experience for the rest of one’s life — I worked in the director’s office and had a top secret security clearance.
I read a quote recently from Mark Cuban of “To me, my goal was to retire because I wanted my time to myself.” That is how I feel. But I would expand it to say I wanted the time for myself and the people I care about.
Back to my Thanksgiving story… while I am still a complainer, I have learned to manage it, do it less, and to rid my soul of what I for some reason need to do, in a more compassionate sense. I will say my peace and move on, for the most part. I will even pay for it and and then drop it, but it will never be outright complacency.
I have always felt that removing stress is important, and I would add that to the Cuban quote as well. I am grateful that I have learned to do that and treat others with respect at the same time. This took me a while. First I learned and expressed empathy, and that helped. Then I learned forgiveness, and that built on it.
Through the course of Covid I am well-equipped–I have high-speed internet, computers, videos, stores nearby, and a driveway made for ecommerce. I am content for periods of time writing, reading, and learning. While I refuse to be a “Mountain Man” in the derogatory sense I have heard, I can pass for that if necessary.
It is not feigned, I wake up happy. First, I sleep well; I would rather it is not alone, but I do. Then, it is usually sunny, sometimes it is snowy, and not infrequently, I have to do it with energy and rouse the elk out of my yard. Yesterday I mailed two very good letters and I received one saying a suit against me may be in the works. The latter was not a surprise and I know how to deal with it. I have more to do today. Tomorrow I will wake up write a review for my blog on the Michigan-Penn State game.
A few days ago I reread the introduction to The Prince of Tides for probably the twentieth time. I haven’t done that in a long time. And while my home is filled with books, I have not done a lot of reading them in a while either.
I have forgiven the sins of my family. It is a little late maybe, but I am thankful for it — my forgiveness, not the sins. My education, particularly in psychology and anthropology, helped me a lot, and I am grateful for that too.
A part of the dilemma, I found, was how to do it without blaming anyone. I mean, I did it–the gratefulness–and I earned it. It is hard to even explain it, or express it and at the same time I am doing it for them, or for you, or for someone else. That is the way I feel, and Happy Thanksgiving.
P.S. I lost 15 pounds and am on my way to my goal of 30. 60 and obese is no way to go through life. I did it by not eating pastries and not eating (as much) pizza and eating soup instead. I am upbeat about that too. It is nice to enjoy exercise and activity.