Steve: Sometimes it’s good to be grateful for things you didn’t get

It’s time to be thankful for things you have and things you remember.

But sometimes you have to stop and say thank you for things you didn’t get, remembering the old warning, “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.”

I’m thankful that I never got rich. Being rich means managing your money 24/7 and saying no a lot because a whole of people want your money and can offer you a thousand reasons why you should give your money to them. It means your money owns you, because you’re always on guard.

I’d rather spend less time managing less money.

I’m thankful not to be famous. Everybody owns you when you’re famous. You can’t be yourself. You have to be what you made you famous.

I’d rather be thankful for a few good friends than public adulation.

I’m thankful I never got a big boat. Big boats are great for making rooster tails on the lake and lounging and fishing from, but they’re also a lot of work. You have to tow them to the lake, launch them, get them back on the trailer, clean and maintain them, find a place for them for the off-season and often wait in line to back them to the water.

If you have one and love it, I’m happy for you and hope you’re thankful. But I really don’t want to own one. If you ask me, however, I’ll ride on your boat any time.

I’m thankful I don’t own a Ferrari. You can’t get them fixed and I couldn’t afford the gas and the speeding tickets. Also, knowing me, the first thing I’d do with it is back it into a tree.

I’m thankful I never owned a swimming pool. See boat above. Add more expense and maintenance.

I’m thankful I no longer have a corporate job in a major metropolitan area. I would still be commuting three hours a day, working as a small cog in a big corporate machine and watching my back like everyone else trying to protect a nook in the bureaucratic maze.

I’m thankful not to be living the rubber-stamp life of suburbia, too.

I’m thankful for a lot of things I do have. Healthy family, cute granddaughter, a job with an income, even my gentle dog. I’m thankful for most of the things that have happened to me and thankful about some things that could have happened and didn’t. I haven’t missed a meal for years.

Sometimes, however, I have to pause and think about what I used to want and sometimes still do. In the words of the fascinating guy in the beer commercial, you still need to “stay thirsty, my friend.”

It keeps you alive and striving. But you should also stay thankful for wishes fulfilled and sometimes for what you didn’t get, too.

Steve Hansen is the managing editor at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at

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