It is now the season to be truly thankful
We do an excellent job in this nation of always reaching for more than we currently have. We strive to do better in our jobs, to improve on how we raise our kids, to eat better, live longer and to imagine, invent and innovate.
It is what has earned our country a prominent place in the global pecking order, as our consistent affinity for elevating and improving the world and economy around us has often been the model for other nations. Oh, we are not perfect, but we do continue to elevate because, as individuals, we strive for that elevation each day.
Of course, this is a time for taking a step back from all of that and focusing on the people and things around us that bring us joy, love and happiness. It is a time to be thankful for these things, to tell others how grateful we are for their contributions to our lives and to maybe, just maybe, understand that “the now” is every bit as important as “the tomorrow.”
With all that being said, I’m hoping you all will indulge me while I take a few minutes here to express thanks for all the things in my own life that cause me to be grateful.
• This. I’m thankful to have this space in the paper every week where I can vent away some things boiling up in my muddled mind, share some funny stories I’ve come across or simply talk about the emotional rollercoaster of helping to raise my daughter. Community news is my professional passion in life, and I truly enjoy watching our talented reporters cover local issues, and jumping in to help when they need a hand, but I need this space. It’s my mental-health retreat.
• I already mentioned her, so it would only make sense to express how thankful I am for my 5-year-old bundle of joy. She is smart, curious, funny and a little wild — and I’m grateful for the whole package. I’m equally thankful for her beautiful mother, who not only does a remarkable day-to-day job of raising our daughter, but she also fills my heart with love each day. She is a beloved partner, a mother I admire and a woman who still makes me lose my breath when I see her smile.
• I mentioned our amazing reporters and how grateful I am to be able to work with them each day, but I’m also thankful for all the busy bees at the Coastal Point. We have advertising reps who truly want our small businesses to do well, artists who utilize their award-winning skills to help communicate what our reporters and clients want to get across to the public, and photographers, digital and social media experts who pour every ounce of their hearts into what we try to get accomplished here. It is an honor to be on their team.
• I’m thankful for pie. On a related note, I’m thankful that more jeans are coming with stretchy waistbands these days.
• I’m thankful for the friends my family and I have made in this community. We’ve made friends with both “from-heres” and “come-heres,” and we’re grateful for all of them. Obviously, I’ll tell them that someone hacked my column and put this in here because I’ll never compliment them to their faces, but having good friends is a blessing in life.
• I’m thankful for the Baltimore Ravens drafting and developing quarterback Lamar Jackson. The young man is incredibly gifted, and he is elevating himself to superstar status, but I’m grateful that he has seemingly remained humble, deflects attention off himself and on to his teammates, and appears to go out of his way in public to engage kids who look up to him. I remember reading an article once about Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr., and he explained that he stopped to say hello to kids because it only took him a second to do it. That was the entire explanation. I feel like Jackson follows that same path — and that second can impact a kid for a lifetime.
• I’m thankful for our local first-responders. The increase in year-round population has put further stress on the departments they serve, but, at the end of the day, these departments are filled with individuals who care an awful lot about the people who live at, work at and visit this community. Complain about speed traps or loud sirens or whatever you feel like whining about — they are here because we are here. And I’m grateful for them all.
• I’m thankful for my beautiful mother, and that I get to enjoy another Thanksgiving with her this year. Her old man ain’t bad, either.
• I’m thankful to be involved in an organization like Ball 4 All. We aren’t curing cancer, and we’re not rescuing children from burning buildings, but I really believe in our mission — provide scholarships to local children so they can participate in organized sports, regardless their family’s economic situation. Playing sports can teach any number of life lessons for kids, and they aren’t sitting around playing on their phones while they’re out there playing. It’s a good mission.
• I’m thankful for you. Without you, I’m just another angry old guy yelling at clouds.
By Darin J. McCann