I have so much to be thankful for, today and everyday. As Quakers, we are reminded that “thanksgiving” is a state of mind, a way of living. Still, it helps to have a special day on the calendar to be especially and publicly assessing what we are thankful for.
There is the usual list of things that I am thankful for: family, a home, work, etc. But here’s a few things I’m unexpectedly thankful for this year:
… and the rest of my respective parts that get me around. Seriously as a hip-hop and lindy hop dancer, that I have gone this many decades without a significant injury is such good fortune I can’t believe it. I know so many dancers who have been taken out for months or even years at a time because of some silly fall or misstep. So I am thankful for every opportunity I get to dance, whether its a crowded bar in the Mission or on stage at on outdoor festival before crowds of hundreds.
I don’t have my own kids, of course. But I get to borrow other people’s kids for a few hours every day at the Cal Academy for programs that I’m running. It’s often the best part of my day, getting to share with them my own excitement about science, technology and the world, and seeing their eyes widen and their minds expand in front of me. And it reminds me of what I was like as an adolescent and what kinds of learning opportunities they get to enjoy that I wish that I had growing up.
Five years ago, I could not even imagine that I would be writing that paragraph above. and yet, here I am.
My Brompton Bike
Many people ask me how can you live in California without owning a car? Answer: easily and happily.
My Brompton folding bike is the most expensive thing that I own. And it pays for itself every day in the joy I get riding it around the city, the overall health power-up I get, and the convenience of being able to take it on any form of public transportation, bring it into almost any building, and snap it into action in under 15 seconds.
Not having the have a car in California is a unique kind of blessing, with the cost of gasoline, parking, insurance, etc. Plus the knowledge that I’m not adding to our addiction to fossil fuels on a regular basis is some comfort.
I can’t imagine living anywhere without my bike.
For more than a year, I’ve been enjoying living in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. When I first moved back to the Bay from New York, I was dead set on living in San Francisco. But a crazy housing market and my uncertain finances meant that SF was not going to be an option for awhile. So I reluctantly took this one-bedroom near 40th and Telegraph.
It’s been a wonderful surprise getting to know Oakland and it’s many charms, from the excellent foodie spots to beautiful parks, live music, museums, and a super-diverse community.
I could go on and on about the things I am grateful for. My life is such a surprising blessing. I hope to never stop being surprised.