Steve Svastics is thankful for all the adventures life has brought him.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches it’s easy for us to get caught up in our daily lives, with its stresses and worries. Money problems, mortgages/ foreclosures, kids, global warming … All of these fears and worries that clog up our brains also weigh down our souls. I do it. On a weekly basis. Hell, I pop a little blue pill everyday just to keep from getting too anxious or depressed. Pharma fortunes are made by creating countless little pills to help alleviate a never-ending list of ailments. So many of us are on that treadmill of everyday life that we don’t take the time to reflect on what we have! Thankfully, I’m reminded from time to time to look at things with a fresh perspective. When things seem to be at their worst, this is a great time to step back and concentrate on an attitude of gratitude. Recently, I started to think about all of the things that I’ve seen, done and experienced in my lifetime. For these things I give true thanks…
In my lifetime, I’ve had far more friends than enemies. I’ve had, then lost, friends and lovers. I’ve been in love and have made love to some incredible women. I’ve had my heart broken from some of these women but have always learned something from them. I’ve been married, I’m now divorced. I’ve seen both of my kids emerging into this world from the belly of their mother. I was the first person on this earth to kiss my children. I’ve seen and done things in my 47 years of life, things that billions of people alive right now will NEVER do or see.
I’ve seen the world from 70′ under the waves, scuba diving with the fish, chasing them through forests of kelp. The surge of the ocean’s power shifting me to and fro while the scattered sun beams danced off of the rocks. I’ve been to the tops of snow covered mountains and snowboarded down them. I’ve been in thick, green, lush redwood forests and in dry, arid, barren deserts.
I’ve skinny-dipped in warm tropical waters and caught a cold from wading into the Irish Sea. I’ve flown in the Goodyear blimp. I’ve sailed a boat on the ocean in a storm, feeling the power and energy of the sea as the waves slapped the boat around. From 37,000 ft. up, through my window on the plane, I’ve seen icebergs floating in the North Atlantic, their melt water lakes the color of the deepest sapphire blue.
I’ve flown over the Hudson Bay in northern Canada and seen the broken up ice pack, with every color of white, grey, brown and black. The surrounding land a barren wasteland of featureless rocks and scree. I’ve walked on the ramparts of ancient castles and I’ve walked along Main St. USA. I’ve explored an abandoned Russian nuclear bunker, hidden in a Hungarian pasture on the outskirts of my father’s village.
I know the exhilaration and fear of skateboarding a 12′ half-pipe. I’ve dropped into waves on a surfboard and nearly drowned in a winter swell. I’ve rode on motorcycles, trains, boats, cars, roller-coasters and even a unicycle. I’ve taken a “dry run” luge down a high, forested Hungarian mountain, with a wide green Slovakian valley below me in the distance. I’ve hiked a 7-mile path up to the summit of Ben Lomond, a mountain in Scotland, with a dear auld pal and then later toasted our climb with a pint in a 300-year old inn.
I’ve stood in a village in Hungary and heard my dad recount stories of his youth while standing on the lands of my forefathers. I know that feeling of skating down the ice, the cold air flowing through my hair and snapping the puck up and under the crossbar for a sweet goal. I’ve repelled from 50′ in the air. I’ve slammed around in a chaotic punk rock pit, arm and arm with my best friend (and survived).
I’ve had good health, good friends, good times, great memories.
Sometimes we all forget what we have or have had. We worry about what we don’t have or what we might lose. Will I have enough? Will I get what I want out of life? Do I even know what I want from life? I struggle with that often. I think it’s important to take the time to really reflect on what blessings we have or have had. I am thankful for these things and all that I’ve learned because of these experiences. So, right now, after reading this, sit and consider all of things in life that YOU are grateful for. Think of all of the unique, exciting, scary, surreal, and fascinating things that have happened in your lifetimes. Realize how lucky you are to have done things, seen things, lived through things that few others have and give thanks!
Get excited about the unknown experiences still to come, for yesterday is but a memory, tomorrow is still but a dream.
Will you wake up in time to enjoy it?