One of the laziest aspects of modern culture is the ease with which we find ourselves focusing on the negative aspects of life. We simply slide right into whatever might be wrong at any given moment without a thought of how many good things are around us.
It’s rather lazy, comically so, but I also understand it to a certain degree. We are largely surrounded by negativity at each turn. Just scroll through Twitter, Facebook or turn on the news and it is calamity after calamity. I have no idea how my pal Jack Speer at NPR reads the news at the top of the hour. It’s truly a shitshow out there. War, murder, racism, hunger, politically-driven hate, mass shootings in schools or targeting the LGBTQIA+ community in night clubs, slim-fit clothes run amok, no beer at the World Cup. If you allow it to consume you, it’s easy to retreat into a hole of depression.
Certainly, I have significant stresses in my life. But I guess I choose to compartmentalize them and focus on the things and people around me which are uplifting. If you open your eyes, there’s a lot of good around us too. As we approach Thanksgiving 2022, I was taking stock and thinking that I have much to be thankful for:
- My nuclear family: Our lives are far from perfect. Friends see us on Facebook or Instagram and think we enjoy some idyllic reality. And yet, we have the same stresses, trials and tribulations that everyone else does like mortgages, car payments, kids doing stupid things or getting hurt, investments gone bad, poor hairstyle choices. But in the big scheme of things, we choose happiness.
- My broader family: My upbringing was far from perfect. My parents did the best they could and my brother, mother and father have always been supportive and loving. Not everyone has this. I was rather fortunate in spite of the nuttiness.
- Flannel shirts: I love them. Thanks to those who make and sell them at a reasonable price.
- My work spouses: Brian and Andy, my partners whom I deeply appreciate each and every day.
- My work family: An amazing group of dedicated, caring, reasonably smelling teammates including EK (Good work!), Sarah, Meg Ryan Not The Actress, Chase, Zach K., Zach M., Stammy Stamulis, Alexis, TJ, Miranda, Denny, Tony, Collin (#GingerPower), Mallory, Laura, AJ, Jason (and his Botox addiction), Shaila, AA, AAA, Jack, Jennifer, Mark, Patrick, Jennifer, Stephen, Alejandro, Britt, Mary Lindsay, Kianna, Benji, Coco, Nick (Bald2Beard Ratio), Destiny, Erin, Peter Panda.
- Elasticity’s business partners: Without the partner brands and organizations that trust us to guide their marketing communication strategy, we cannot do the work that defines us nor create the art that makes Elasticity what it is. Oh, and we cannot pay the bills nor salaries.
- Costco: You know what you’ve done with your pre-made meals and affordable, medium-quality clothing at reasonable prices.
- Sobriety: Four years running. Take that Pat Boone!
- Venlafaxine: People are often surprised to learn I suffer from anxiety. Well, I do. I used to frequently lash out in stressful situations, and in social settings my insecurities could drive me to try to be the life of the party so badly that the party wanted to pour gasoline on me and light me on fire. It’s all still a work in progress but it is far better and my thanks to the makers of Venlafaxine.
- ADHD: I get a lot done in a compressed period of time. Note to parents: ADHD ain’t all bad if you manage it well.
- Tolerance: I’m a lot to deal with. I get it. For those who get me, choosing to look through the mask and see the real me, or for those who simply put up with me—you are wonderful.
- Kyrie Irving and Elon Musk: For reminding us that all the money in the world can’t buy common sense.