It's rough out there, but still reasons to give thanks

As families gather across these fruited plains to rip each other apart for how they choose to live their lives, eat far too much food and fall asleep on the living room floor with a football game in the background before hurrying off to a department store to engage in fisticuffs with strangers covered in gravy and giblets, it’s probably a good idea to actually take a second and offer thanks.
Coastal Point •  Submitted

Even if that might seem hard right now.

There’s no question that times have been tough out there for the past few years. A sluggish economy has caused all of us to feel the pinch in some way or another, and many have been pinched to the point of suffocation. Unrest in the Middle East continues to put Americans in danger every day, and drug abuse continues to rear its ugly head at home, taking with it the souls of millions of people through addiction, and risking property and life through the crimes that often accompany them.

We just got through a national election that tested the spirit and unity of the American people, and there are still many out there who just can’t come to terms with the result, even though it’s high time they, well, come to terms with the result.

Plus, there’s the whole Twinkie situation.

Yet even though we live in perilous times, there is still so much to be grateful for. The Ravens, for instance, just beat down the Pittsburgh Steelers on national television, and I’m thankful that I can rub a little Ravens salt into the open wounds of my Steeler-fan friends for at least a few weeks.

And aren’t we all a little thankful for that?

I’m also thankful to be working. Oh, there are days (and this particular week comes to mind with our early deadline) that I would rather be hiding in bed with my blanket pulled over my head while I mutter ancient evil-preventing chants, but I’m grateful to have a job. To be more specific, I’m thankful to have this job.

Which leads me to my co-workers, who I am extremely thankful for, even though I don’t always show it on a day-to-day basis. It is a blessing to be able to work with dedicated, smart, creative people every day, and I thank them for their inspiration, as well as their continued friendship.

I am thankful for my friends outside the office, as well. Be they old friends who I’ve known since I was a kid, or brothers I served with in the Marine Corps, or guys I throw cards around with while telling dirty jokes and drinking beer, I’m grateful to have people in my life I know I can always turn to, and I like to believe they know they can always turn to me.

I’m thankful for my both my business and personal relationship with our publisher, Susan Lyons. After many years in this business, and having worked in many regions, I can assure you readers that you are fortunate to have this woman as the publisher of your local newspaper. Susan lives and breathes the Coastal Point, and I think the only thing she loves more than this paper, outside her family, is this community. Want to know the reason for our success? Susan Lyons. And every person in this office will tell you the same thing. We just follow her lead.

I am thankful for my family. It’s nice to know you have somewhere to turn when you just feel like curling up in the fetal position and sucking your thumb, and I know I always do — that is something to be thankful for more than just this time of year.

I’m thankful for my pups, Guinness and Bailey. Well ... no, no, I’m thankful for them.

I am thankful that we live in a country where I can spit out ridiculous thoughts and observations every week, and not find myself locked up behind bars for having done so, and that’s simply not the case everywhere else. Oh, I might get tomatoes thrown at me from time to time as I walk to my car, but that’s cool, too. Maybe next time, though, could you make it a Twinkie?

I’m thankful that we have those dunes at the beach. Yes, I know there were plenty of people upset that they hindered their view of the ocean from the boardwalk, but it sure was nice having them when Hurricane Sandy was spitting her venom at us a few weeks ago, and it’s sure nice having a downtown Bethany Beach today that doesn’t have a “No Wake” sign on Garfield Parkway.

I’m thankful for the police officers, firefighters, paramedics and service members who elect to face danger in defense of the rest of us. You help keep us safe and protected, and we should all be thankful for that.

And I’m thankful for my readers. Both of you!