Every year around this time, I like to make a list of all the things I’m thankful for. One, because I think it’s an important tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday (in fact, I’d say it’s almost as important as the tradition of drinking wine all day while you cook).
And two, it’s the easiest column I write all year. The list just grows and grows the older I get. Loving husband, wonderful child, loyal dog composed of 95 percent fur, pizza that now comes with a hotdog-filled crust. I could go on and on.
But the thing is, it’s easy to be thankful for all the good things in your life. No one struggles to be thankful for having a roof over their head and enough money in their account to buy at least five pizzas with hotdog-filled crusts. So, this year, I’ve decided I’m going to be thankful for all the crappy things in my life. All the things that usually drive me frothing-at-the-mouth super nutjob crazy. Because if you can find a way to be grateful for sweeping up after a dog that sheds enough hair to fill the Atlantic Ocean on a daily basis, you have found the path to true happiness (or at least a path that doesn’t require wine for breakfast just to make it through the day).
So, for example, I am thankful for traffic jams, which give me a regular reminder that the zombie apocalypse is not yet upon us. Added bonus: When the zombie apocalypse does inevitably come, all our commute times will be cut in half. So, hey, a win-win.
I’m also beyond thankful that my toddler son’s lungs are strong and in working order, even when he demonstrates this by screaming directly into my face because his cracker broke in half. Because he broke it in half.
I’m also thankful that over the years I have amassed such a wide and diverse group of friends that when I scroll through Facebook, I get a wide and diverse viewpoint of how the world will end. Which will be, in no particular order, global warming, terrorists, crazy gun nuts, crazy anti-gun nuts, disposable Starbucks cups, orphan refugees, evil CEOs, evil poor people, robots, Millennials, the Koch brothers, the Clintons, gluten, aliens, that damn blue dress (it’s BLUE), women, minorities, gays, straight white men and robot aliens.
I’m thankful for cold weather, and in particular this icy blast of wind currently assaulting my face, because it reminds me I’m alive and if all else fails I can just lay down and hope to freeze to death because at least when you freeze to death, you feel warmth for a brief second before you shuffle off this mortal coil.
I’m thankful for the Kardashians for reminding me that I’m not the worst person on the planet.
I’m thankful for my student loan debt because…hmm…let me come back to this one.
I’m thankful my dog feels the need to bark at an unnaturally loud volume at anything that moves, smells weird, makes sound, doesn’t move, doesn’t make a sound but might be thinking of making a sound, etc. Because even though there is less than a 0.01 percent chance I will be murdered by the plastic bag floating down our street, if I ever am, he will finally be vindicated after all these years.
I’m thankful for people who are on a new diet and have to tell me about it in detail even though I didn’t ask (making sure to include everything that is wrong with what I’m eating) because somehow, it makes the deep-fried cupcake I eat right in front of their face taste even sweeter.
I’m thankful for my student loan debt because…education is…hmm…I know there’s a reason. Let me think it over some more.
I’m thankful I’m occasionally required to wear real pants because it makes me appreciate the magic of the humble elastic waistband all the more.
I’m thankful my son likes to wake up at 5:30 a.m. because there is something so satisfying about standing on your porch as dawn breaks and flipping off the rising sun.
I’m so, so, so thankful for extreme couponers at the grocery store because it gives me plenty of time to try to work out the details of how to get away with the perfect murder.
And lastly, I’m thankful for my student loan debt because there is a chance, thanks to my diet of deep-fried cupcakes and hotdog-stuffed pizzas, that I’ll die before the bastards are paid off.