That’s Gratitude for You!

I have not posted anything new on here in a while. I do, however, occasionally make additions and revisions on existing articles.  Today being Thanksgiving, I thought I would reflect on what I feel thankful for.  It’s something that a lot of people do as part of their dinner festivities.  Since I live alone and have no immediate family nearby, family holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, are just regular days to me, nothing special.  As I have spent 45 Thanksgivings in New York City, most of those were spent alone in my apartment.  A few times over the years I had dinner with friends at their places, other times a group of us will go to a restaurant.

I am the type of person who doesn’t complain or dwell on what I don’t have but always appreciate what I do have.  We should all be mindful of the fact that however bad off you think you are, there are always others who have it much worse than you do.

The thing that I am most thankful for is the fact that I am still alive and active. I have survived 71 years plus of life, whereas so many of my friends and acquaintances did not make it this far.  I survived the AIDS epidemic during its heyday in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when so many were not so fortunate. Up until the last decade of so I have been blessed with good health all my life. I was never sick outside the common cold.  I’ve never even had a headache.  I never missed a day of school due to illness.  I must have a natural immunity to the flu virus, as I have never had it.  Typical to aging, my short-time memory has suffered in recent years, but I still have my wits about me and I can retain prior acquired knowledge and trivial facts.  I keep my mind sharp by doing crosswords and other puzzles, and writing is a great mind stimulator.

I am thankful to have a roof over my head.  I’ve never had a lot of money–I still don’t–but I have managed to withstand a New York existence.  I have lived alone for 47 years and have been able to pay my rent all by myself.  And I have accomplished that by never having a 9-to-5 job, but maintaining freelance employment throughout my adult life.  Most people find that amazing in itself.  I live within my means.  I don’t buy anything that I don’t have the available cash for, therefore I don’t incur any debts and I don’t owe anybody anything.  If I should want something that I cannot afford, I will just do without it.

Nowadays that my Social Security is enough to cover my rent, it is a great load off my mind.  So even during occasional employment slumps, I don’t have to worry about making my rent for the month.  I am grateful for all the breaks and concessions that I receive as a senior citizen, and I take advantage of everything that is offered me.  My insurance plan provides me complete medical coverage, which include doctor visits and follow-up care, hospitalization, prescriptions, plus eye care and dental coverage.

Even with my modest monetary means, I have all the comforts of home–my computer, TV, music-generator items, plenty of reading material, records and videos at my disposal.  Therefore, I am never bored.  I can always find something to do.  I can cook, sew, clean house and make minor household repairs.  The only thing I don’t have are a washing machine and dryer on the premises.  I still have to shlep to the Laundromat.  But, you can’t have everything.  I know people who do have a washer but are lacking a lot of things that I have.

My mother passed only three years ago, and I am thankful that she lived long enough to experience my adult life and musical career with me.  I am also thankful for the positive, stress-free upbringing I received from her as well as her unconditional love and support.  Although both my parents are now deceased, all my siblings, four brothers and one sister, are still alive.  I even have an uncle, my father’s brother, who is still with us at age 111!  I intend to follow his example.

I am thankful that I still have my voice and am able to do what I enjoy most, that is sing.  There is not as much paid choral work as there was in the past, but I still get occasional gigs and solo work.  I am grateful to have received a well-rounded education and always had many outlets and opportunities for artistic expression.

I am thankful to have many good, loving friends in my life.  When I hook up with somebody, it is almost always a lifetime commitment.  I have friends as far back as elementary school, high school, college and my Army years.  I love sex and I am proud to say that I can still get it up!

All things considered, I have much to be thankful for.  I love my life and I will hate to have to give it up someday.  So I am just going to enjoy it as long as I can.

Happy Thanksgiving Day, my dear Readers!