As I type right now, it’s a beautiful, sunny, and chilly October morning. It’s perfectly autumn, and it’s the Monday of my favourite long weekend on the calendar – Thanksgiving! (In Canada, obviously.) I love everything about this time of year, save for one thing: like most great things, it doesn’t seem to last very long.

When we were kids in school at this time of year, we were always given exercises to do in class about what we were thankful for. And it’s not something I think about as often as I should, which is not good. So I figured, instead of just being grateful for an extra day in my weekend – which, trust me, I’m incredibly grateful for – I thought I might look at a few of the things, however big, however small, that I’m very lucky (and happy) to have. I need to do this as an exercise for myself from time to time, and not just on the arbitrary day that tells us We Should Give Thanks.

This year, more than ever before, I am incredibly grateful for my doctors. For years, they pushed me towards improving my health, which was something I didn’t give much thought to. If not for their final push a couple of years ago, and their ability to finally convince me that me alive is much better than me not-alive, I would not find myself in the position I’m in right now. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, and for the first time in my life, I feel as though I could really have a happy and wonderful future. I am a new person, with a new life, and I owe them thanks for convincing me not only that I could do it, but that I should do it.

I am grateful for the 5 incisions on my belly. Every day, they remind me of what it took for me to get here, and while they may not be pretty (and still itchy as fuck from time to time), they are mine. and I am proud and protective of them.

I am grateful for the surgeons who made those cuts, and who did so very well, which allowed me to have an amazing and easy recovery. I am grateful for the nurses who got me through the first few days, and made sure that I got up out of bed to walk around just hours after my surgery. (I am also grateful for morphine.) I am grateful for the support group that reminds me every few weeks that my experience is not unique, and that I am not alone.

I am grateful for my saggy upper arms, the skin that hangs from my thighs and chin/neck, the wrinkles covering my stomach. I may not always feel this way, but like my scars, they are a part of the map that describes the path I’ve taken to get to where I am right now, and I think that’s kinda wonderful.

I am grateful, as always, to the people in my life who are supportive and present – my family and friends. I am also grateful for the people in my life who haven’t been supportive, for giving me a little extra motivation to prove them wrong.

I am grateful for my job, and for the people there who were willing to give me a chance while knowing that I’d be having surgery the week after I started. I work with an amazing group of people for a company that I really enjoy being a part of, and it has been an incredible year. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to say the same next Thanksgiving too, regardless of where the next year will be spent.

I am grateful for Josh Donaldson. For Russell Martin, for Troy Tulowitzki, for Roberto Osuna. For John Gibbons, and Marco Estrada, and Brett Cecil (and his adorable family), and Aaron Sanchez. Oh, and JA Happ, and Devon Travis, and Jason Grilli, and Marcus Stroman, and… (I’ll stop, but you get the idea.)

I am grateful for baseball. I am grateful for late nights before early mornings, for watching day games in the boardroom, for stomach aches and adrenaline, for Edwings and curveballs and change-ups and bat-flips. This morning, I am grateful for Rougned Odor and his arm, whether it’s throwing balls poorly or throwing punches (also poorly).

I am grateful for triple shot lattes, which may or may not be directly related to baseball, too.

I am grateful for Twitter. Yes, even when I’m feeling mostly frustrated and irritated by it, it’s been pretty important to my socially-inept self for so long. I’ve met many wonderful people because of it, and it has allowed me to share so many things with people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

I am grateful for my passport. I am grateful that I am able to call myself Canadian, that the paths that led to my existence crossed the globe through time, and ended up here and intersected with one another, in a brilliant twist of fate that allowed me to call this great place home.

I am grateful for my cat, after dinner when she curls up against my legs, in the mornings when she follows me to the front door when I leave for work, in the evenings when she greets me when I come home, in the middle of the night when she decides it’s time to play.

I am grateful for the jeans I’m wearing right now, which I bought a couple of days ago, that are in a size I’ve never really worn before, from a store at which I’ve never really shopped, and that make me feel good about my curves and my lumps and my bulges.

I am grateful for Bruce Springsteen, his words, his music, and his bum.

I am grateful that I can allow myself to be shallow from time to time.

I am grateful for the device on which I’m typing this, for the pen and notebook sitting right next to it, and the fact that I am able to use them to throw words together, however badly.

I am grateful that I have a platform with which I can (over)share this nonsense, and that there people who are willing to read it. (Thank you!)

I am grateful that I’m alive.

I am grateful, and need to allow myself to acknowledge that gratitude from time to time.

I am grateful.

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