If this sounds familiar, it is because, in the great tradition of Herb Caen and Jon Carroll, I am recycling my eight previous thanksgiving messages. I missed a year--maybe I was too distracted by teaching.
This year we will all be in Orinda, along with my nephew Paul. Last year, we saw Borat together. Who knows what wackiness will ensue this year. Vicki and Marlow both have to work the week of Thanksgiving, but for the first time, I have the whole week off. I pay for it at the end of the school year, which is now the second week of June instead of the first.
I know I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a job that gets better every year, I have my health, and I have my family. I can't imagine why I would bother getting out of bed each morning if not for my wife and my two girls.
Regular readers know I earned my teaching credential and now teach 8th grade US History at a middle school. It is still true that I have not been this excited and challenged since 1974, when I started working as a professional journalist. This is my fifth year. Each year gets easier, but it never gets easy.
Still, my most important role is as husband to Vicki and father to Marlow and Rae. Of course, Marlow is now has an apartment in the city and will start working soon, so I only see her once in a while. Rae is at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. I haven't seen her since last May, but she'll be home for Christmas.
I think we all lose perspective sometimes, forget what's really important. We get wrapped up in our jobs and spend too much time working on them, both at home and in the office.
The years I have spent with my girls are priceless.
Not everyone can work in a home office--and I don't any more.
But no matter where you work, the next time you have to make the tough call between the meeting and the soccer game, go to the soccer game. You'll never regret it. I am thankful for my family. Be thankful for yours.
Also give thanks for your friends and your good fortune. Spread that good fortune around in any way you can. I have much to be thankful for this holiday season, as I have had every year of my life.
I am thankful that I have two living loving parents and a loving brother. I am thankful for my loving and understanding wife, and for the two most wonderful daughters I could have imagined, both of them turning into vibrant, intelligent young women before my very eyes.
I am thankful for every sunrise and sunset I get to see, every moment I get to be in, every flower I try so desperately to stop and smell. I am thankful that I can move closer every day to living a life in balance. Every morning, I am grateful to be alive. Not a bad way to start the day. For reasons I don't want to detail, I am extremely grateful just to be alive, because that almost didn't happen this year.
I am thankful for losing 70 pounds and weighing 230. I am thankful for the fact that I will still be that weight next year at Thanksgiving.
I am thankful, finally, for each and every one of you reading this column. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!