Obligatory Thanksgiving Column

Michael Boylan's picture

What am I thankful for as I sit down to write this column a day before Thanksgiving? The same things most of you are probably thankful for - family, health, central air and heat, indoor plumbing... my iPhone. I love all of those things but I don’t want to write about any of those things. It’s overdone. My family knows how much I love them, as does my iPhone.

I needed to come up with something though and, thankfully, my colleague John Munford gave me the idea to write about the things I was thankful for 10 years ago, before I (re-) met my wife and started a family.

Ten years ago I was 24 (cue the “Wayne’s World” dissolve into a flashback) and living at home with my Mom. I was thankful that my Mom wasn’t making me pay rent for living in the room above the garage (just had to foot the cable bill) and that my sister had moved out briefly enough for me to take the big room and stick her with the closet that used to be my room. (it wasn’t really a closet - no need to sic DFCS on my Mom - it was just small).

I was thankful that I had a real job at a newspaper. Prior to taking the job at The Citizen, I had gone from being a customer service representative at a cable company (cushiest job ever) to being a sales clerk at Rich’s. Nothing against the store, but I hated that job. I worked in housewares and had to keep everything neat and orderly. I couldn’t even keep my house neat and orderly and they wanted me to fold towels and linens. It was a nightmare. Thankfully, it was a brief one.

I was thankful that my friends from college had moved to Atlanta and that we still met up on a regular basis. I was thankful for Pint Night at Limerick Junction in Atlanta and I was thankful for the nights when I crashed on their couch after dining on greasy delicacies from the local diner.

I was thankful to have a computer in my room and to have discovered e-mail. As I write this, I can barely remember how novel it was to send e-mail and chat with people on-line. It is such a part of my life now, that I tend to forget that I had no computer in college (word processor all the way, baby) and didn’t get e-mail until I moved back home.

I was thankful the 1990s were coming to a close. It was a great decade that saw me graduate from high school and college and go from boy to man, but the last couple years of the 1990s weren’t anything special. I had several friendships end and I could see others starting to drift away.

I was thankful to still be interested in writing and performing comedy. That paved the way for me to rediscover my love for theater and that was a rich part of my life for a number of years afterwards (until those darn kids came along).

I was thankful to have a large family still around me. There was always somewhere to go when I needed help or wanted to talk and there was always someone to do something with. I was thankful to have time with my sister again. I didn’t see too much of her when I was busy with college and she was busy with high school. We reconnected and rebuilt a friendship.

Mostly, I was thankful to have an exciting future ahead of me and to have the optimism that I would be able to achieve my goals. I knew I had the right people around me and that I was in the right place at the right time. I was thankful that I was mature enough to be patient and to seize the opportunities before me.

Today, I am thankful that I have grown even more in the last 10 years and that I have been able to witness the special events in the lives of all my friends and loved ones. I am thankful to spend another holiday with all of them and to talk with those far away with my awesome iPhone.

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