THE FOLKS who research happiness say that regular reflections on gratitude improve one’s mindset. I wouldn’t mind an improved mindset, so I probably ought to think more often about what I’m thankful for. Many of my Facebook friends have spent each day this month posting about the things for which they’re grateful. But the best I can do right now is to offer this list today, Thanksgiving Day, about my gratitude, as I did last year.
What I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving:
- Cooper. The Durso cat turned 17 earlier this autumn. He surely has slowed down, but shows enough flashes of spryness to remind us of the sprigthly kitty he once was. He can be a colossal pain in the ass one minutes and a friend the next. (In other words, he’s a cat.) Cooper predates my marriage; he is as much a part of the family as my children. I’m thankful he’s still with us.
- Chip Kelly. Never mind whether the Eagles make the playoffs; the biggest indicator of the new coach’s success is that his team is relevant for the first time in a couple of years. (That Nick Foles has been fashioned into a legitimate NFL quarterback is a close second.) And, goddamn, they sure are fun to watch, aren’t they?
- My piano. Two summers ago I bought a used piano, and R. and I began taking lessons. We took a short break last summer and took it up again in the fall. The best way for me to express how playing the piano has enriched my life is to note that I wish I had more time to practice.
- AMC. Mad Men and The Walking Dead have become destination television for me; Breaking Bad, which I did not watch, earned itself a rabid following. The formerly fusty cable network, whose previous stock in trade was black and white movies, rolled the dice on smart, edgy shows packed with antiheroes, and won.
- Audio books. My love affair with listening to books continued over the last year. Most recently I enjoyed Sissy Spacek’s spellbinding narration of To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel that had somehow escaped my syllabi over the years. My God, what writing; every accolade ever tossed Harper Lee’s way has been well deserved.
- Pocket squares. We boys don’t have as many opportunities as the fairer sex to add some personality to our wardrobes. Inspired by, yes, Don Draper and Roger Sterling, I stash a hankie into my breast pocket each day to dress up the usual jacket and tie. Sometimes it’s a simple white square, other times a colorful splash spilling over the pocket’s edge. I’ll never be confused for Jon Hamm, but I do get a shot of confidence thanks to that small piece of fabric.
And you, friends? What are you thankful for today? | DL