Thankfulness the best response to difficult year

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Abraham Lincoln first instituted  the day of Thanksgiving during the Civil War.

Think about that.

During a time when brother was fighting brother, when the nation faced its darkest hour – the horrible reality that it might crumble from within, Lincoln recognized that we always have reasons to be thankful.

It has been a hard year for our nation, for our neighborhoods and for myself personally.

So, in the spirit of Lincoln’s example, I am going to share some of the things I am thankful for this year.

 

Abraham Lincoln first instituted  the day of Thanksgiving during the Civil War.

Think about that.

During a time when brother was fighting brother, when the nation faced its darkest hour – the horrible reality that it might crumble from within, Lincoln recognized that we always have reasons to be thankful.

It has been a hard year for our nation, for our neighborhoods and for myself personally.

So, in the spirit of Lincoln’s example, I am going to share some of the things I am thankful for this year.

Firstly, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work at the East County Californian as editor. Getting to know this community better has been a privilege.

I am thankful for this community that has welcomed me with open arms and shared their stories with me and my writers. What a wonderful place to be journalists.

I am thankful for the staff here at The Cal, and for all the people I work with. Life is better with people, and work is better with great colleagues.

I am thankful for my copy editor.

I am also thankful for coffee.

I am thankful for my grandma who has so graciously helped me through the last year as I transitioned to San Diego State University to finish my bachelor’s degree. She has been a champion of my higher education and I am extremely grateful.

I am thankful that one is never too old to be a student. God has opened the door for me to continue learning in a classroom setting and I recognize that not everyone has that opportunity.

I am thankful that I will graduate without any debt, even if that means burning the candle at both ends for now.

I am thankful to be employed. There are 6.7 million Americans who are not this Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for my two youngest siblings – it is a joy to have people to come home to.

I am thankful that my parents are alive and well. Not all of my friends can say the same this year.

I am thankful for my nephews and their beautiful mother; I am thankful for my brother-in-laws; I am thankful to have grown up with brothers and sisters who turned into friends.

I am thankful for friends who have forgiven me this year. Some of you could have walked away, or let me walk away, but you made the effort to make amends – some of you were even brave enough to confront me. I am a better person because of your faithfulness. Also, it is nice to still have people to drink with after deadline. Here’s to not burning all our bridges.

I am thankful that KYXY 96.5 started playing Christmas music two weeks ago. I may be alone in this, but I have been needing a little Christmas in my life – and I have been singing Christmas songs on my own since July, anyway – so the timing was not a day too soon.

I am thankful for the guy who rents the space above our office. I am not sure if he even reads this paper, but he is a good neighbor, and those are hard to come by these days.

I am thankful that, occasionally, the daily grind of life backs away and lets adventure take center stage.

I am thankful for the street by SDSU with the four trees whose leaves actually changed color this autumn. There is nothing like a little foliage to make a casual stroll home from class seem magical.

I am thankful for the cooler weather.

I am thankful for our figherfighters and emergency responders who work so hard to keep our communities safe.

I am thankful to live in a Navy town where some of America’s finest filter through, stationed in our beautiful city for a time, short though it usually is. I have met precious, precious people this year who serve our armed forces and I wish them and their families safety and peace and joy this holiday season, especially those who will be separated by deployments in the coming months.

I am thankful that my mom still saves me leftovers and my dad still drives out to help me change flat tires when I get them.

I am thankful that my car is usually in good, working condition, even if it is not this week. I have lived the MTS life and it is full of woe. Hopefully, our leaders in local goverment will better prioritize public transportation this coming year to help mobilize the thousands of San Diegans who depend on our buses and trolleys.

I am thankful Juwan Washington is back in the game. The Aztecs have needed him.

I am thankful for breath in my lungs, sounds that echo through my ears, sights that fill my soul with wonder, smells and touch and sense. I am thankful that I can run again – may I never take health and ability for granted again.

I am thankful that God, in his goodness, has taken care of me. I do not deserve any of these good things. Though we shake our fists and demand answers for the state of our country and the stubbornness of our fellowmen, answers for the hurt and pain and evil in the world, our requests seem out of place.

That any of us are given a single breath, a single day on this earth is a miracle.

If God is good enough to give us life, surely he will redeem the narrative of human history – and I am thankful for that hope.

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