I am thankful.

As I rode my Bianchi out in the flat Kansas countryside yesterday, I realized I needed to say this.  And describe why.

I am thankful to my friend Robin for telling me that ‘no one can take away my peace’, and that ‘I am responsible for protecting my peace’.  I haven’t been peaceful all the time this past month.

We took a truly ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to Europe with the kids this past July.  We saw stuff we’d dreamed about since gradeschool, where they make you study pictures of old churches and famous paintings and little cafes and those long sticks of bread and people who actually can rock a beret.

I am thankful for that time with my wife and three children.  We always get to have that set of memories; no one gets to remove that from us.  Seriously, we stood on the Eiffel Tower – at night, in the rain – and made an indelible memory together.

I am thankful for the health and ability to ride my bike, do pushups, jog (slowly), do pullups (right now 2 sets of 1 1/2).  I glare at myself for not doing these things more often, but I love that I still CAN.

I am thankful for my girl Angie – who has such energy and vision for this new graduate degree she’s working on.  Ask her about it; she’s loving it.  I don’t think there’s any way I could work that hard.

I am thankful that all three of our kids have a vision for what they want in their future.  I am thankful that they are taking responsibility for following their dreams and making them happen – and not waiting for someone to hand it to them.

I am thankful for my job.  To be employed, gainfully, isn’t a ‘given’ anymore.  To be challenged and to flourish with friends who started as co-workers is a bonus.  I appreciate being able to work hard when there’s work to do, and laugh heartily when we have a free minute or two.

I am thankful for having a true choice in my political choices and my spiritual choices – lots of places in the world just don’t trust their people with that kind of freedom.

I am thankful for all my relatives, many who I get to see quite a bit, and some that I don’t get to see.  All of them are really important; and I appreciate having them to cherish.

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