As I write this on the US Thanksgiving holiday I’m doing my best to try to look back and try to find what I can be thankful for this past year.
To be honest, it hasn’t been easy. As we grow more and more uncomfortable in Florida I’ve found that where we’re living has taken up nearly all my mental energy in the form of anger and depression. It’s going to be a little while yet until we can change that. In the meantime I want to look back at what has been positive this past year and what I am thankful for.
I’m thankful for my family
First and foremost I’m thankful for Joy and the three stooges (our 2 cats and dog). Somehow they’ve put up with me and my depression this past year and we’ve found more ways to enjoy our time together at home.
I’m thankful for my parents and in-laws. We don’t always see eye-to-eye but they have all been supportive of us over the years and for that I couldn’t be more thankful. Even though they’re all in Chicago most of the year now (when we moved here both of our parents split their time between Chicago and Florida) we even got to see my parents as recently as last week and it really was a great visit.
I’m thankful for the quiet year
While we would like to get away from Florida we have found comfort in the fact we’re no longer traveling weekly and we really don’t want to go back to that. As we look to move again we’re focusing more on the community this time so we can stop having to escape where we live to enjoy anything (a problem we’ve had since leaving Carbondale, IL almost 11 years ago).
For a while I think we were getting bored here but we’ve turned a lot of that around. It isn’t perfect, we miss a community and don’t feel at all welcome outside of our house here, but we’ve made the most of that and have found peace in the quiet right at home. For that I am thankful.
I’m thankful for what I have accomplished this year
Last December I switch roles at work from a software developer writing code to a software engineering manager who manages a team that writes code. As with any such transition there have been speed bumps throughout the year but largely it has been a successful transition. One year later I have a happy and productive team which just relaunched a product that had stagnated for some time prior to 2022. That feels good.
Outside of work I’ve also kept writing three posts a year throughout the year, journaled outside of that, read over 100 books and even built and launched a project called Kana to be able to work on WordPress sites the way I want to, without the cruft of other such tools.
During a year of transition and change I really have dome more than I would have thought and for that I am grateful.
I’m thankful for where we’ve come in life
It wasn’t until I was 33 years old that I first crossed $30,000/year in income (excluding my gap years before I went to college but that money went out as quickly as it came in). As a pilot and working at SIU it just wasn’t possible to do much better in those days. While we were happy during those years I also managed to build up various debts, including student loans, that I thought I would never be able to get out of. I was wrong.
Today we’re finally in a place, financially, that our only debt is the mortgage on our house and even that may be changing soon. We’re putting money away for later and not worrying about “that bill next week” when it comes up. For that I am very thankful.