I am thankful for the news. This is probably obvious, and I don’t need to rehash all the reasons news matters to democracy. I actually came here to say I’m also thankful for the absence of it.
See, people like to complain about how the news is all bad, and there’s truth to that. But think about why. A plane landing safely or a concert without chaos doesn’t usually make headlines.
No one wants to read a story that says, “Everything was fine today, carry on!” People may say they do, but they don’t; we have the data. They might not read this one, and that’s okay. I’ll point out something bad and annoying soon, gas prices and people who use speakerphones in stores being lead contenders.
But it’s Thanksgiving time, and I’m just feeling thankful that the blithely ordinary, garden-variety moments still outweigh the upsetting ones.
I marvel at how much goes right every time I get on the road and people generally follow rules. Humans have an incredible unspoken pact to, for the most part, look out for each other. It’s stunning, really.
I’m also thankful for:
Sixty-five-degree mornings and 73-degree afternoons.
Stinky puppy breath.
Stepping into the sun after being chilly in the shade.
A shorebird that lingers long enough to be photographed.
The smell of rain.
A paperback that fits perfectly in one hand. Coffee in the other.
The feeling of cold water trickling down your throat.
Lying flat at the end of a long day knowing you finally get to sleep.
The first tortilla chip in a hot basket.
Dragging a pen through an item on a to-do list.
Laughing so hard you forget to worry about how you look.
Knowing every word to a song.
A bathroom with no line.
A joke that interrupts an argument.
A flowing conversation, an inside story, an apology, an easy silence, a hand squeeze, a glance.
A thought that no one in the world knows except you.
The night, strewn out on a couch, staying up way too late talking, that you glimpse what kind of adult your kid will become.
Friday, or Sunday, or Monday, or whatever day comes before your day off.
The ability to gather with people who matter most, even the ones who annoy and challenge us, and not through a screen. That moment when everyone looks around and lets out a deep breath, and just then, things feel like they might be okay.