Living Off the Slab Blog
2020 has Been a Bitch, But I Still Can be Thankful

Just the other day, my wife Cathy and I decided to talk a walk on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning. We started out by strolling down our tranquil tree line street, returning home through a wooded path that travels along an old abandon railroad bed.

While taking this walk, I could not help but juxtapose our tranquil surroundings with the turmoil, dysfunction, fear, and hatred that 2020 has brought us. It truly has been a bitch of a year. Personally, I have lost a cousin, six years my junior and then my father, at just 20 years my senior. These losses seem to make my remaining time noticeably shorter.

In addition, I suffered a broken foot and massive rotator-cuff injury in a motorcycle “misshape.” But I am on the mend and will eventually heal and return to full strength.

2020 has also brought the passing of many cultural icons that once again remind me of just how short life is. And of course, we have been hit with a global pandemic, and have endured one of the most ugly and contentious election seasons I have seen in my lifetime.

But even though, this year has felt like god is slowing pouring out the seven vials of wrath, I still find myself with the ability to be thankful. You see, I believe that life is largely what we make of it.

If we spend our time focusing on and participating in the hate and half-truths that permeates our "social media" driven culture, then life is going to be a pretty scary place…One I certainly do not want to live in.

On the other hand, if you can find the ability to see the beauty that truly surrounds us in even the most mundane of things…such as taking a walk on a beautify Sunday morning, holding the hand of the person you love more than anything else in this world…then life becomes amazing!

So, as we approach the third Thursday in November, it seems like a good time to shift our focus toward the blessings we find all around us and give thanks.

I am thankful for my wonderful wife, who supports me and encourages me to follow my dreams.

I am thankful for my family, and friends who love and support me…even with all my faults.

I am thankful for the amazing people I have had the chance to meet during my travels and to those who took the time to share their stories.

I am thankful for everyone who watches this channel and reaches out with comments, both good and bad. You encourage me and keep me honest.

I am thankful for to those who have in the past, and those that continue to support me on this channel. Everything you do is much appreciated and humbling.

I am thankful for living in a country that allows us to speak our minds and travel freely.

I am thankful for the beauty and wonders of our natural world. It is in these places, when I am quiet, that I realize just how small and insignificant my little problems truly are. Look at what I am a part of…

I am thankful to my skilled surgeon and his fantastic support staff for taking good care of my and starting me on the path to recovery.

And lastly, I am thankful that I am still healthy enough to continue doing the things I love.

Ride safe my friends!
--Craig Ripley

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