Thursday, March 17, 2011


everyday i feel like we overlook 99% of the things we should be thankful for.  i too am so outrageously guilty of this.  bad steven.

that being said...with thanksgiving around the corner and love pouring in from all directions, i think now is a great time to feel this out.  let's hug this baby out.  let's talk turkey, life & the difference between loving something and being thankful for it.  huge difference!

not everyone knows my story and most could care less, but a huge part of why i joined the army was because i'd gone totally numb.  besides my perfect little dog, i was going thru my daily motions without really being that grateful for anything.  i wasn't grateful for my food, shelter, family (not enough!), my then girlfriend, my job, my clothes, my health, my friends, my church, my education, my nothing.  i had become so numb that i'd have been lucky to feel anything if i got run over by a mack truck with spiked tires and just married cans dragging along its tail.    i was near dead to the world.  i was miserable.

hmm...i sense a correlation!  epiphany!  i wasn't all that thankful for anything i had going on in my life...and likewise, i was dreadfully depressed and at times borderline emotionless.  me emotionless!  nuts!  i'm an emotional guy...but..(insert big-eyed pause)...i hadn't realized the fortune of my very own life.  is this starting to sound like a dr. phil episode?  oh no!  someone punch me in the face with infected brass knuckles!  better stay on point.

i guess now...being in my shoes, where i am...going thru the day-to-day challenges and frustrations of the military, my perspective has changed drastically.  who in the world cares right???  ha!  well...i care about you, so i'm writing this.  so eat it! i also like your face...but that's a whole 'nother note.  

the truth is that i think so many of us close happyness out of our lives because we don't open our hearts wide enough to see how fortunate we are.  seriously...if you read this, you're already more fortunate than 90% of the world (because you can afford the sweet technology).  ON PAPER.

the thing is...who cares about money right?  money doesn't help you realize how lucky you are.  it pays your bills and keeps you comfortable, but it doesn’t measure true fortune.  luck isn't derived from financial status.  luck is falling into a family who loves you inconditionally.  luck is finding the career that inspires you every single day.  luck is excellent, God-given health.  

so we have money...woo woo.  the U.S. has buckets of money to throw around in the air and dance in...and then add to the national debt...lol.  we make it rain!  and then add up our credit card bills.  dang!  i could be so gangsta!  oh wait...i am.  haha...

back to it.

the bit that i'm chomping at here is that the majority of us probably take the bulk of our lives' blessings for granted.  i for one took almost EVERYTHING i had for granted.  people included!  bad bad steven.  that's a terrible thing to do.  in army terms...this would be a perfect place to say, "beat your face private".  i needed to be shook out of this state.  do you?  


are you stuck like i was stuck?  if so, why not choose this thanksgiving to pull your beautiful little head out of the sand, wipe your crusty eyes and be TRULY thankful for what you have.

thanksgiving is not a day to celebrate a dumb bird's flesh.  

don't get me wrong...i can eat some turkey!  turkey lurkey!  but...i'm not getting 2 days off of work and traveling halfway across the country to worship some animal that doesn't even get a shoe box-sized exhibit at the zoo.  i mean...even the peahens and billy goats get space depending on where you are.  goats aren't even that cool.  they’re like an 8 on a 1-100 scale of zoo animal coolness.  

on with it.  i guess this is just me taking my experience and encouraging all of you to be absolutely thankful for what you have.  not just loving it.  love is good.  don't get me wrong.  you know me...i am the first person who'll step up as an ambassador of love.  sometimes i think i see in pink & red.  that's beside the point though.  the point is this:

take a second to acknowledge what/who you have and be downright grateful for it.  you can love someone on accident.  you can love people just by being your daily version of you.  being thankful though - takes effort.  it takes a conscious, acknowledged thought to be genuinely thankful.

maybe this year's the year we all look at how blessed we are and smile a little brighter.  if you have bad teeth...maybe scale it back a notch.  just kidding.  :)  seriously though.  for me personally, sometimes it takes someone who i love or respect to get in my face and say "steven...how can you ever be down?, look at everything you have!  look at your this and that and blah and etcetera".  it's true this.

sometimes we get lost in the blur of the day's motion and forget what we have.  that's just gotta stop.  if you want to really embrace this holiday...if you want to make it more than cranberry sauce (weird) and spandex pilgrim costumes (or am i the only one who has one of these?)...then take a step back and BE THANKFUL for what you have.  

if it takes writing it down...write it down.  make a list.  check it twice?  why not?  it helps me.  :)  the more i do this...the more i accept my blessings and cherish them, the easier it is for me to draw the connection line from gratefulness to joyfulness.  the more i find myself glowing.  do it i dare you.  i dare you so much that i would never even consider truthing you.  plus, writing it down is a better way to focus and take time to kind of...i don't know, dedicate your energy to center yourself on what matters most.  

so we must then wait no longer and make GREAT LISTS!!!  us listers will enjoy this.  many others will say, "oh, i don't have the time for that" (bah you!  go dive off a skyscraper onto a bed of sharp sticks!  jk)...but why not all take 5 minutes out of our busy lives and embrace what we've got.  some would say perhaps, “shake what our mamas gave us”?  oh no.  :(

okay okay…

without further ado, here is my list.  because i can't be some tie-dye wearing, ooey gooey hippy loudspeaker and then turn around and not complete the exercise.  

Things That I am Wildly Thankful For (2010 Edition).  

1.  a perfectly folded stack of t-shirts
2.  my family because they are amazzzzzzing (6 z's worth = highly impressive)
3.  the constant opportunity to grow at work from constantly wanting to chop my head off (literally)
4.  my unsquashable faith!  
5.  my cardboard consistency Kashi cereal that i eat 2x day even though i know it tastes like wet trash
6.  my body's ability to heal when busted, and the legendary 170 yr. old doctor who has helped me thru the process
7.  your face because i love the way it moves
8.  my electrifying sense of touch (yow yow!)
9.  long, crazy hair on a girl
10.  Christmas music because it makes me happy even when i feel like death itself
11.  painting because it helps me maintain sanity when the army makes me want to drink AIDS blood (too graphic?  sorrrrrrrry)
12.  under armour
13.  osu football even though they break my heart at least 1x every season
14.  1000x new friends.  man i never thought i'd love so many knuckleheads
15.  Andrew Belle's voice - this guy man...just brings me peace & hope & makes me feel like i'm slow dancing in a non-sticking vat of light blue cotton candy
16.  king gussie because he's the perfect mammal & he's my only son - likely forever
17.  airplanes

now, i only did 17 because that is my favorite number and anyone who knows me knows i could go forever.  students, lovers, fighters & friends...there is no limit to this exercise.  regardless of what master p or silkk the shocker say...i promise you there is no limit.  you can go up to 17,000,000 if you want, but i'm not responsible for your unemployment claims.  

now that i've dumped this heap of unfortunately sappy word syrup on you, i hope you share the love.  it makes me sad when people think of thanksgiving as a day to celebrate eating (we're not fat enough yet USA!?!?)...so this is our chance to turn it around and right the holiday ship.  

if you agree with anything i've said, or just want to do a list of things you're thankful for, i would positively encourage you to re-post this w/ or w/out my personal message.   but it's your turn to spread the thankful butter (no trans fat, low in carbs)...

show some love.  be thankful for what you have.  cherish your days.  it's not just about eating anymore.

i love all of you.  and your smiles.


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