It’s been five days since my last post and some of my friends and family are wondering if I’m losing interest in my blog. Well, the answer is, ‘yes’….and ‘no’.

‘No’ because I love the creative process of writing short pieces for the blog and it helps me keep my writing skills sharp. ‘Yes’ because there are times, even when you’re doing something that you love when you begin to ask yourself the question, ‘Why am I doing this?’

I started the blog back in January 2011 and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback, suggestions and comments supporting the blog and the things that I’ve written since the beginning of the year. I’ve met some wonderful people and I’ve really established a good number of faithful followers who provide great ideas for the blog.

But life happens and often it takes a back seat when there are other pressing concerns like family, work, church and more. With just a few weeks left in the year, it’s time to reevaluate the blog and decide the direction I would like to take in 2012 and beyond. I haven’t given up entirely on the blog and honestly I know that I never will because it’s a great outlet for my creativity.

Speaking of pressing concerns, we took some time off to unwind, get away from life and spend some time together as a family away from the day-to-day grind of work and school. A few things happened over the weekend to help me prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day holiday. I wanted to share them with you.

1 – I fell off the Gratitude Train

It was a long weekend of football. I was cold. The wind had been whipping around us all weekend, dust was wreaking havoc on my sinuses and it felt as if my eyeballs had been sandblasted and I was losing my sight along with my mind. But rather than finding the silver lining, I took the easy way out. I complained incessantly like a child whimpering for a toy in the supermarket. Instead of making it a positive, fun experience for my wife and sons, I made the entire trip about my needs, my wants and my indulgences. The Gratitude Train had left the station and I was still standing on the dock.

I dismissed the hardships of many and focused solely upon my own selfish desires. The more I focused on myself, the more angry and selfish I became and even though in my mind I knew that I was being stupid, I just couldn’t stop myself until I had thoroughly ruined the mood.

Retrospective – I had a lot more to be grateful for in this scenario A) I got a chance to prolong the football season and watch my boys learn and enjoy the sport. B) I have a clean bill of health and the use of all of my senses. C) I have a loving wife who has been patient with me through all the good and bad times. She is a saint. D) I have a job that allows me the ability to enjoy some time away with my family.

2 – Speak it and weep?

I was parked outside the sports complex, giving my mind a rest from football, lightening the (heavy) load on my feet and giving my sinuses a break from all the dust in the air in Mesquite (NV) when I noticed a group of boys no more than ten or eleven-years old walking in the general direction of my vehicle.

They were your average, typical American boy, ribbing each other about one thing or another and as they drew closer I started to pick up part of their conversation.

“Did you see me hit that [expletive]?” asked one of the boys to no one in particular.

“Yeah you [expletive] hit him so hard! I think he was [expletive] crying,” another boy said in reply.

“Oh [expletive] I could’a had another touchdown if I had caught that [expletive] pass!” said another boy and by that time I didn’t really care to hear the rest of the conversation because I was completely taken aback by their foul-mouthed exchange that it took every ounce of resolve to sit their quietly and try my best to ignore what they were saying.

I was even more flabbergasted when, after taking another sideways glance at the group, that there were at least three parents mingled in the group and not a single parent found it odd that these boys were being so vulgar.

Retrospective – Among the many things that I am grateful for is language and the ability to communicate. Without communication we would (and sometimes do) live in a state of chaos. Words are my life and I’m grateful for this special talent that gives me the ability to express myself artistically. I’m also thankful for wonderful sons who show their respect through the way they act and the words they use. I’m grateful that they have not followed my horrible example of saying inappropriate, mean-spirited things.

My gratitude posts continue tomorrow. I hope you have the time to be grateful for something or someone every day. I know that I will try a little bit harder every day.

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