Posts Tagged ‘atheism’

Counting My Blessings

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

I’m feeling a bit blue for some complicated, personal reasons. It’s nothing I won’t be able to get over in time with my usual grace and aplomb. It really is a First World Problem. Nevertheless, I find it helpful to count my blessings. Well, blessings is the wrong word, since I don’t believed that anything is blessed. Count my perks? Enumerate the things about my life that I enjoy. We’ll go with that.

I have a loving wife. Somebody who’s there for me, even when I’m being bone-headed or pig-headed or just screwing up. The best part is that she’s my best friend, and I still get many years to find more reasons to love her. And maybe even create a few new lives with, to mold in my own image (stop reading this over my shoulder while I’m writing, darling&hellip)

I have an awesome family. And most of them are nearby. Almost every parent out their believes that their kid is the bee’s knees. I know my parents are. I feel very blessed to have (not-so) randomly wound up with Mom and Dad to raise. Throw in an awesome kid sister and baby brother, and it just sweetens the deal. Plus I have so many other fun, supportive, kind, caring relatives around. Then, I get to count my in-laws, too!

I have a fantastic set of friends. So awesome that they broke into my house on my wedding anniversary to leave Carrie and me a cake. So awesome that they’ll drop what they’re doing to play a few board games or go to the pub. So awesome that they’re willing to lend their singing voices to my latest hare-brained recording projects. So awesome that they let me help them move… well, I’m sure they’ll reciprocate someday when Carrie and I find some other place to live. And I’ve got plenty of opportunities to make new ones, too.

I have a job I love. I like what I do for a living, and am compensated fairly for it. I like the people I work with, and look forward to seeing them each morning. I get to write software for a living; that’s pretty cool. And it’s used by lots of people every day. I don’t work unreasonable hours and I don’t have an inhumane boss and I don’t have a dehumanizing commute. I have a say in what happens day-to-day.

I have a hobby that keeps me interested. I love listening to music and making it. If I get tired of playing or if I get blisters on my fingers, I can listen to records for a while. There is a nearly endless supply of the stuff to keep my ears occupied, and there’s a nearly limitless wellspring of creative energy inside me to keep me occupied for the rest of my life. This is also something I’ll be able to pass on to my kids someday, and that’s something to be excited about, too.

I live in an awesome city. Aside from marrying Carrie, moving to Seattle was probably the best idea I’ve ever had. I love living here. There’s so much to do, so many people to meet, and so many sees to see everything. Want to touch the ocean? The sound’s right here. Want to get away from the buildings and commune with nature? Half an hour to the east. Want to see a show? Pick from hundreds. Want to go to a bar? Close your eyes and turn in a random direction. The only thing I’d change is the luck of our baseball team, and even then I’d have to think about it. It’s kind of nice having underdogs to root for. Plus there isn’t anywhere else to go but up, really.

I live in a free country. Sure, I’m not satisfied with everything that happens. I really hate that civilians in other countries are killed in the name of my safety and security. I really hate that we won’t grow up as a country and allow loving, consenting adults to marry whoever they want. I really hate the bickering and infighting that I have to be exposed to in order to participate in politics. But aside from those complaints, it’s a nice place to live. And these things give me something to work toward to make my country even better.

I have my health. And it’s getting better every day. I’m eating right, and exercising, and I have no major complications or history of medical problems.

I’m satisfied with my place in this universe. It’s just staggering, really, the odds against me being here. And I don’t need a personal deity to make sense of it all. I’ve got a nearly boundless sense of wonder about the universe, and adding some supernatural factor just cheapens the experience for me. Instead, I believe in love and curiosity and peace, and that’s enough for me. I don’t have much time here, cosmically speaking. But that’s okay, because I can still do so much over this little chunk of life that my parents have given me.

I have a strong desire to make things better. Not just for myself. For everyone I know and love. I’m paid enough that I can spare some of what I earn for helping others, and believe I can really make a difference this way. I’ve got the urge to improve myself too, which means I am improving myself, bit by bit. I’m becoming a better husband, brother/sister/son, friend, coder, musician, Seattle resident, and passenger on Spaceship Earth one day at a time, slowly but significantly.

Not everybody has as much to be thankful for as I do. When I think about things this way, my silly little sadnesses feel a lot less significant. That’s the whole point.