Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Reasons to be Grateful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the USA. I'm British but my wife is American so we have always celebrated Thanksgiving, and there is thing for Thanksgiving where you say things you are thankful for.

So I am going to go to do that but as I'm not American and since there is also thing where one points out that the original Thanksgiving eventually led to genocide, that I think I will use the word "grateful" rather than thanks.  

Anyway here are some things that I am grateful for. Not all the things, there are many others, and you don't have to agree that you would be grateful for these things if you were in my shoes.
  • I'm grateful that I can run a 10K in less minutes than my age in years. I'm 51 and my best 10K time is just under 51 minutes.
  • I'm grateful for holding babies from time to time, especially if they fall asleep in my arms.
  • I'm grateful for naps. I love naps.
  • I'm grateful I get really interested in things.
  • I'm grateful that the way my brain works happens to be a way that gets me to be a university professor even though I don't really know why.
  • I'm grateful that my parents and family in general value education so much. Between my brother, sister, me and parents, we have an average of two degrees each.
  • I'm grateful that I work under the same roof as many of the very smartest people I know. 
  • I'm grateful that some of those smart people, and many other smart people not under this roof, have been prepared to work with me on interesting things.
  • I'm grateful that I live under the same roof as three of the four smartest people I know. Actually I write it that way - which is absolutely true - because you, dear reader, may be one of the smartest people I know and would be a bit offended if I had written - as I could have done with perfect honesty - that I'm grateful that I live under the same roof as the three smartest people I know.
  • I'm grateful for being given the 1975 Wisden Cricketer's Almanack on my 11th birthday by my parents.
  • I'm grateful for being given his Curta calculator by my father, especially because he gave it to me while he was alive, rather than me inheriting it.
  • I'm grateful for my "happy toy", which is a 20GB hard disk MP3 player my wife gave me which helped me have lots of naps. 
  • I'm grateful for the awesome memory foam topped mattress we got a few years ago.
  • I'm grateful for my travel chess set, which I don't use much now but which was wonderful when I used to do more chess problems, and which also I think came from my wife.
  • I'm grateful for long hot baths.
  • I'm grateful for in-jokes with my wife, though I wouldn't like to enlarge on her physical perfections in a smoking room.
  • I'm grateful my wife likes British things.
  • I'm grateful my wife is from Walla-Walla Washington, and that she is British.
  • I'm grateful to live at one of the times in human history which is wonderful in many many ways. It's awful in other ways too but no other time in history has been better. For example ... 
  • I'm grateful that at any moment I can choose to watch the greatest actors and musicians in the world perform for me, wherever I am, something that the richest person in the world couldn't do not many years ago.
  • I'm grateful to have been able to work half-time when my children were young. 
  • I'm grateful to have a New York Times bestselling book dedicated to me. 
  • I'm grateful my father could honestly say about himself "when you've discovered the furthest known object in the universe, the rest of your career is a bit of an anti-climax." 
  • I'm grateful that my mother could change seats in an open cockpit biplane in midair and not understand why anybody thought it was a big deal.
  • I'm grateful that when I was particularly acutely mentally ill, my employer was sympathetic (both my employer as an entity and my colleagues individually). 
  • I'm grateful for my h-index.
  • I'm grateful that some people will laugh about the fact that I managed to wait so long to mention my h-index. 
  • I'm grateful that yesterday I was described as "very very metatextual". If you don't know what "metatextual" means, the previous point is an example since it is text is about this text itself.
  • I'm grateful that I wrote about the Petrie multiplier, and that I named it the Petrie multiplier.
  • I'm grateful to have been a token man speaker at a Women in Science festival. 
  • I'm grateful to have co-founded Depressed Academics with Mikael.
  • I'm grateful that I can write a post like this during work time and not have anybody complain.
 I am writing this post on Depressed Academics rather than my personal blog because, although many of these things are personal and not related to depression, I wanted to think of things that I should think about because when I need cheering up. Because there is one thing that I am not grateful for:
  • I am not grateful that it is hard for me to think of things I am grateful for, even though there are so many, yet it's so incredibly easy for me to think of things that hurt. 

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