The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

Irresistable Shares: How 2013 REALLY Begins

So I am back in the office today after being off for the Christmas/New Year holidays. Before you go all Van Damme-Timecop-ish on me, it's my lunch hour. Well, at least the last few minutes of it. And you were about to jump all over me for writing non-work stuff at work, only to find out that this is my time, bro. Now don't you feel a tad guilty since I am spending it with you? Very good. Anyway, I needed to share a thought on how 2013 really begins. It starts with this:Thankfulness.Quit gawping like that; it is true. Despite all my machinations to the contrary, this is what I have discovered. Here's how, why, and so on:While I am quite talented at complaining, fussing, and have probably hosted some of the most bangin'-est pity parties of all time (read this part whilst holding up both arms with eyes closed in your best Rocker Pose),  I often realize during yearly transitions that I have oh-so-very much to be thankful for.Despite a few isolated illnesses and issues, my family came through 2012 relatively unscathed. There were some lessons in there and hopefully I captured them in my journal because otherwise, they are already long-forgotten. I have a memory like a sieve sometimes. Sad, but true.So I took part of my lunch at work today to walk to the store; I realized, about three seconds into 2013, that there were no 2013 calendars in our house. So as to avoid a major catastrophe, like having to make our own by 1) printing a January from the computer or 2) writing in January's dates at the bottom of December, I decided to go to the mecca of calendar shops--the 99-cent store.I had $5, which, on a trip to the 99-cent store is like having $million. I was gleeful on my way there, like the proverbial kid on her way to the literal candy shop (yes, I also had a goal of coming away with some sort of confectionery treat along with the calendars). The air was crisp but not too cool, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and I was on my way to the 99-cent store. Yay-yuh.And that's when a laundry list of things to be thankful about popped into my head.

  1. I had $5 in my pocket.
  2. I had the ability to walk about a mile and a half round-trip to go to the store.
  3. I was able to go where I wanted, when I wanted, without fear.
  4. I could see and feel the day.
  5. I have a job.
  6. I have a job from which I can take lunch at a time convenient to me (within reason, of course), during which I can walk to the store.
  7. I have a good and solid family to go home to.
  8. I have a car to drive to and from that good and solid family.
  9. We live in a good house, in a good neighborhood.
  10. Life could be far, far, far, far, far worse.

There were more things that came to mind during the walk, but as I mentioned before, memory like a sieve...Anyway, what actually started this whole thing was a moment of panic earlier today. I realize that my world, and that of my family, is due to change dramatically later this year when my current contract ends. If I don't have a regular job lined up, we may not have that good house in a good neighborhood or that car to drive for very long. I worry about that. A lot.However, I have had some conversations with God about it and I know that He has something great in store for me. And for us. But (and there's always a 'but') I have a really large worry gene. I am sure he should have been my twin but instead is more like one of those parasitic things that lives inside of a person when the twin is not ingested or conjoined. He (yes, my worry gene has a gender. And his name is Sven; he is named after my first car) is very pushy and insists on reminding me about all the things that frighten, upset, or irritate me. Like spiders, the smell of dead crickets (yes, they do have a smell--try living in a rural area and have a bunch of them die in your garage...), wet hairballs, deranged killers on the loose, and being jobless. Fortunately, God still cares for me, even in my eccentric weirdness. When I panic, like I did early this morning, He reminds me that He is in control. The job He has for me is waiting--either for the person currently in it to move on, for me to be momentarily okay enough to apply for and be hired into it, or for the right time.When I panic, He gives me the opportunity to think on other things. I was reading a blog post from The Misanthropic Muse this morning and her challenge was to write a response to the video and posting with 10 words. The video was about a couple (go watch it for yourself) and my response was "Open my chest. He is there, instead of my heart." In thinking about my relationship, it just came to me. See how God works? He made Sven go back to his cave so I could think on something true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, which gave me those 10 words.How could I not say that thankfulness is the way 2013 really begins? How could you not say the same?

Irresistable Shares: Morning Mental Themesongs

Resolutions - Ten Word Story