Thanksgiving may have passed us already, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be thankful every day in your life. This week, I thought about what I am thankful for. There’s a lot, but I’m going to narrow it down to five things.
Without my mother and father taking initiative when discovering I had autism, I may not be where I am today. Without the social coaching of my brother, I may not have as many, if at all, any friends. Then there are my relatives on both sides of my family who have always been supportive and understanding. It’s the advice of my family and their strong moral upbringing and support that made me into who I am today. I cannot thank them enough.
Is it cliché to put in your friends and family as things you are thankful for? Yes. But it’s true that I am thankful for both of them, especially my friends. Some have taught me to appreciate new things in life. Some have been able to guide me through difficult times in life. For all of them however, we have a unique bond – whether it is because of common interests, similar upbringings or matching personalities. Having friends to interact and hang out with is a blessing that I am thankful for.
3. My girlfriend
To be honest, I don’t think Megan had any idea what she was getting into when she decided to be in a relationship with me. Sure, she knew some of my interests, but getting to know someone with autism and understanding how it all applies to me is a serious commitment. We’ve had our miscommunications in the past, but we’ve always been able to work things out and she has – hopefully – gotten to understand who I am. There’s nobody who I enjoy being with more than her. She gives me the emotional and strategic support that I’ve always needed out of my significant other. She’s the woman who puts a smile on my face each day and I’m thankful that I can call her my partner in crime.
Growing up, sports had a significant impact on my life. Outside of something else I’m thankful for (which I will get to shortly), sports gave me an interest and a hobby. Having something to talk about is always important, and sports gave me that opportunity to talk about something that I care about and appreciate. Watching the sporting events is not all that I did. I played them too – not at any competitive level, just casual. As a kid, I remember in elementary school playing football and basketball during recess. I remember being a terrible batter in baseball, but always enjoyed getting to play the game. A few years ago, my friend Daniel introduced me to the sport of golf. Whenever I get to go to a driving range or a golf course, I always cherish the moment. Sports gave me something to grow an interest in, and I continue to have an interest in sports to this day.
5. Video Games
Some people will claim that video games will rot your brain. My counter-argument is that video games can help people. Consider this: before sports, I was obsessed with video games. It gave me a hobby and interest. More important though, it helped build decision-making skills. Whether it was deciding to take one path over another, electing to respond to a character in one way rather than the other, or choosing how I construct something, video games helped me with understanding the rewards – and consequences – of my actions. This in turn helped me evaluate the rewards and consequences of scenarios in real life.
In general, we should all be thankful for being able to experience life – whether we live with something that impacts our lives daily or not. However, it’s important to also be thankful for the things in your life that make a positive impact. Think about what you’re thankful for. If you’re thankful for the people in your life, be sure to thank them.